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Interview with Joey Asher, Author of How to Win a Pitch

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Joey Asher is represented by Pump Up Your Book Promotion, an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book promotion.

Joey Asher is the author of Even a Geek Can Speak: Low-Tech Presentation Skills For High-Tech People, which was originally published by Longstreet Press in 2001 and is now in its third printing by Persuasive Speaker Press, and Selling and Communication Skills for Lawyers, which was published in 2005 by American Lawyer Media. How to Win a Pitch: The Five Fundamentals that Will Distinguish You from the Competition is his latest book.

We interviewed Joey to find out more about his new book and his life as a published author.


Thank you for this interview, Joey.  Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

I’ve been a writer for about 25 years. I was a newspaper reporter for seven years after graduating from college.  I had an interlude where I didn’t do much writing when I was practicing law.

For the last ten years, I have written quite a bit as President of Speechworks. We are a communication skills coaching firm based in Atlanta. I write a lot of articles and blog posts as a way of promoting my company.

I have three books, How to Win a Pitch: The Five Fundamentals that Will Distinguish You from the Competition, Even a Geek Can Speak: Low Tech Presentation Skills for High Tech People, and Selling and Communication Skills for Lawyers.  All three are available at www.amazon.com.

What is your favorite book at the present?

I like anything by Michael Connelly, the crime fiction writer. One of my all-time favorite books is The Spirit of St. Louis by Charles Lindbergh. What a great adventure story!

If you could trade places with one author who you have admired over the years, who would it be and why?

I love sports books. So I would love to have a career where I could immerse myself into a sport and write about it.  With that in mind, I would love to do something like John Feinstein, who writes great sports books. The same is true for David Halberstam, who wrote great books about sports.

Can you tell us a little about your latest book?

The book is How to Win a Pitch: The Five Fundamentals that Will Distinguish You from the Competition.  It details how to create and deliver presentations that win business.  It’s aimed at sales people. But it’s also a great book about how to persuade listeners.

As president of Speechworks, an Atlanta-based, nationally-known communication skills coaching firm, my colleagues and I have helped clients create and deliver presentations that have won billions of dollars in new business. We work with all industries including construction, architecture, engineering, high tech, financial services, manufacturing, real estate, accounting, law and others.

We have learned that the key to a great pitch is executing five fundamentals:  making the presentation solution-oriented, keeping it simple, delivering with passion, interacting with the prospect during the presentation, and appearing well-rehearsed.

The book teaches how to execute those fundamentals. It includes recipes for success as well as success stories taken from my experiences working with clients. 

What was the inspiration behind your book?  Why did you feel a need to write it?

In helping clients create and deliver sales presentations, I’m constantly being asked the following question: “How can we distinguish ourselves from the competition when what we are offering is so similar?”

My new book answers that question.  It includes everything you need to know to distinguish your firm from the competition in a competitive presentation.

What kind of research did you have to do to write your book?

The book is based on my experience helping sales people create and deliver sales presentations. I have worked with people in all industries including construction, real estate, architecture, law, engineering, accounting, high tech, financial services and many others. We have helped our clients create and deliver presentations that have won billions of dollars in new business contracts.

What message are you trying to convey with this book?

Distinguishing yourself is not about showing your offering to be different from the competition’s offering. Rather, it’s about executing presentation fundamentals better than your competition. Executing those fundamentals allows you to stand out as the best partner for the job.

Do you write mainly by day or by night?

When I’m working on a book, I write two pages every night. When I get my two pages done, I stop even if I’m in the middle of a sentence. That allows me to get a running start the next night.

Do you ever get writer’s block and what do you do when that happens?

As a newspaper reporter, I had to write every day. I wasn’t allowed to get writer’s block. So I have never had that problem.  

Thank you for this interview, Joey.  Do you have any final words you’d like to share with my readers?

If you want to learn how to create and deliver great sales presentations, buy my book. It’s available at www.amazon.com and from our website at http://www.speechworks.net/.

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