Two-day workshop will focus on public speaking, speech-writing

From the press release:

(ASHEVILLE, N.C.) — A Zen approach to public speaking? Learn to speak from the heart while relaxing onstage as you’re doing it. Tell Your Better Story: Zen Speechmaking is a two-day workshop, May 19 and 20, designed to provide business professionals, civic and elected leaders, and anyone who wants to gain a deeper sense of their range as a speechwriter, storyteller and public speaker. Participants will take an active part in a powerful combination of experiential exercises that will include Zen meditation, walking, poetry, storytelling, writing and improvisational play.

The event takes place at Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville, 36 Montford Ave. in downtown Asheville, in the building it shares with the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. Hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m. Registration is $149 per person and includes meals. To register, visit

The workshop is led by celebrated author and speechwriter Jonathon A. Flaum of JAF Speechwriting, whose specialties include corporate, keynote, and political speechwriting and speaker coaching; and speaking pioneer James Navé, poet, storyteller, presentation coach and teacher of the Artist’s Way Creativity courses at The New York Open Center. A free wine and cheese reception on the evening before, May 18, at 7 p.m., will feature the Flaum and Navé with an introductory talk on how to relax your writing and become more comfortable on stage.

“The ability to be an effective speaker is critically important, whether you’re a CEO or business manager, a politician or activist, a church or club leader, or simply someone who wants to deliver a wedding toast or tell a story at a dinner party,” said Paul Knott, founding director of the Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville. “We’re delighted to launch Lenoir-Rhyne’s Living Room Series with this community and educational event and invite our new Asheville neighbors to join us.”

With classes starting in August, the Center will offer programs that include M.A. degrees in writing, community college administration and counseling.; Master of Science degrees in nursing and in sustainability studies; a dietetics internship focusing on obesity in children; a Master of Public Health; and a Master of Business Administration with concentration options in business and sustainability, tourism and hospitality, health care administration, arts entrepreneurship, and innovation, entrepreneurship and technology commercialization.

Lenoir-Rhyne University purchased part of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce building to house the Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville. The school is offering a one-time special discount rate for students entering in the fall 2012 semester. Any student taking six or more credit hours will receive a 10 percent discount on tuition during the fall term.

To learn more about the Center’s programs and employment opportunities, visit

Lenoir-Rhyne University is a private, coeducational university located in Hickory, N.C. It is affiliated with the N.C. Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and is open to students from all religious backgrounds.


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