- Author: Dale Carnegie with J. Berg Esenwein
- Genre: Non-fiction/Self-help
- Originally Published: 1915
- No. of Chapters: 31
- Price: 240 Nepali Rupees
- Summary: This is one of the most popular and widely read guides to improve public speaking skills. With its applicable tricks and tips and its simple language, it is popular for over a hundred years among people who want to transform from the common people into the best public speaker. This book helps you to overcome your stage fright and develop self-confidence, teaches you different tools to get your ideas across convincingly, helps you in making an interesting speech and tips on holding your listener’s attention. This book is not only about Dos and Dont’s of public speaking, but also provides you with ideas on how to write an influential speech. The main tips given by authors to become a confident, effective public speaker is simply to do it. “Practice, Practice, and Practice”. Have positive thoughts in your mind, forget yourself, and the fear you have. Also, expect success, there is always hope for you.
Lessons/Tips on Public Speaking
1. Practice to overcome your fear
Spiders, heights, public speaking…. everyone has their own phobia. Speaking in public is a matter of practice. To learn swimming, you have to swim. Similarly, the only way to become a skilled speaker is giving speeches. Here are three major techniques to help you do that:
- Forget the feeling of self-consciousness by becoming absorbed with the subject.
- Have something to say. Prepare the content that you are going to speak. At least memorize few starting lines and closing lines.
- Expect success. Think positive and believe in yourself.
Monotony is defined as boring sameness or a lack of variety and interest. Just like in music, monotony is the enemy. To avoid monotony give a dynamic speech using emphasis by changing pitch, pace, and using pauses.
3. Feeling, Enthusiasm and Body Language
You must be clear with subject so that you can feel and become what you are speaking. Transform yourself into your subject. Eliminate all unnecessary gestures. Your body language should match with your message and your enthusiasm and spirit should be clearly visible through your expression.
Having a sharp memory to remember things and especially your content will help you a lot to speak more fluently and naturally. The memory system is based on these three laws:
- Start by getting a deep and vivid impression of the thing you want to remember.
- Anything can be memorized if it is repeated often enough. So, practice, practice, and practice.
- The only way to remember something is to associate it with something else.
5. Influencing Techniques
To ignite the hearts and minds of your listeners, you have to arrange the audience in a way to do so. Acknowledge their needs, fears, and aspirations. Arouse your audience’s curiosity. Tell a story, or ask a question. Keep their interest by appealing to their interests.
6. Plan your Content
Use the power of the imagination when delivering a speech. With these three references you can plan and write your content on:
- The action seeker: State your facts. Argue from them. Appeal for action.
- Show that something is wrong: Show problem, show how to remedy it, and ask for involvement.
- The educator: Gain the audience’s interest and attention. State facts and educate the audience about the merits of your proposition. Appeal to the motives that will make the audience act. Build up to some kind of climax.
7. Other Tips
- Be as original as you can
- Be well-rested
- Avoid a heavy meal right before speaking
- Look well groomed
- Pay some attention to the physical location where you will be speaking
- Crowd the audience together
- Keep the air fresh
- Light up your face
- Resist the temptation to twiddle your thumbs fuss with your clothes, or play with a pen and paper
- Do not crowd out space with distractions
- Avoid guests on the platform
- Seat with your audience, if possible
- Always leave them laughing when you say Goodbye.
- It is not for fun reading. It is genuinely a very educational book that will certainly benefit you for your speaking skill.
- It is quiet technical to understand every bit.
- Because of its long examples of well known speeches, it feels like a textbook. Also, this book is full of quotes that sometimes create distractions.
- Since its 100 years old, it is quite outdated.
- A lot of this book’s knowledge is common sense and in that way there is little new information it brought. However, it could be used as a good tool to see where you stand and what improvement you can make.
This is highly recommended book if you want to master on art of speaking. It is a very basic and easy to learn. Though it is not much interesting, it is highly educating book. And of course the book has to be complemented with the practice otherwise it is waste read.