Thursday, October 6, 2022 Oct 6, 2022
74° F Dallas, TX


By Glenna Whitley |

PEOPLE Got a business speech coming up? Try this icebreaker about competition, courtesy of Dallas author JOE GRIFFITH. Two merchants set up shop across from each other One put up a sign: “Murphy and Sons, Established 1875.” His competitor responded with a sign of his own: “Johnson and Company, No Old Merchandise.”

Ideal for the business person-and anyone else-who must do public speaking, Griffith’s Speaker’s Library of Business (Prentice-Hall, $14.95) provides more than 3,000 zingers, zaps, thoughtful illustrations, and just plain funny stories on subjects ranging from “Ability” to “Work Ethic,” all designed to spice up the dreariest talk. It’s an amazing accomplishment for someone who thought he couldn’t read until after he graduated from college.

Griffith, who suffers from dyslexia, says it wasn’t so much that he couldn’t read, but that he never did. “I couldn’t understand what I was reading,” Griffith says. “I got labeled after an aptitude test as not too bright.” He managed to make it through college by attending seven institutions, taking the easiest courses at each and relying on friends to grill him orally about reading material. He finally graduated from East Texas State University in 1964, which at the time had no math requirement. “I still have trouble balancing a checkbook,” Griffith says, “but now I hire someone to do it.” Griffith still battles with reading comprehension, but has learned to use a computer to write down his stories, which he gleans from sources such as The Wall Street Journal and that bastion of literate prose, D.