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Speaking Expert Who Coached This Week’s Winning Team on “The Apprentice” Reveals Keys to Victorious Presentations

November 3, 2005 – With candidates’ fates riding on how well their team taught an adult education class on this week’s episode of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” a speaking expert who coached the winning team reveals the advice that proved key to the victorious team’s success.

“Your ability to get your message across depends on knowing how to use your voice effectively and what to say when,” says Susan Berkley, a former radio personality who is the author of Speak to Influence as well as the voice of Citiphone Banking and one of the voices that say “Thank you for using AT&T.” Berkley advised the Excel team on how best to structure their class and engage participants.

* Wherever possible, open your presentation with a brief humorous story or anecdote. Berkley taught them how to do this and encouraged the team to model Brian’s relaxed, self-deprecating style.

* If there is something obviously different about you, address it briefly and then move on, to avoid distracting the audience. Since Rebecca was on crutches with a broken ankle, she should tell the audience what happened and use it to build rapport, Berkley explains. “Audiences are always more comfortable with real people who are charmingly flawed, rather than perfect.”

* With limited time to convey tons of information, it’s essential to plan a fun, entertaining and highly interactive presentation – not necessarily to get across as many points as possible.

“Success in life, not only on TV, depends on understanding how to keep your audience from declaring you ‘Fired!,’” Berkley notes. “But that’s always a challenge. It’s definitely one reason ‘The Apprentice’ is still on the air in its fourth season.”

Susan Berkley’s firm, The Great Voice Company (, performs training on vocal mastery as well as creating phone system messages in many languages. Based in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, the firm serves a client list that ranges from AT&T and Citibank to John Hancock and Freddie Mac.

If you’d like more information, or to schedule an interview with Susan Berkley, please call 201.541.8595, or email

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