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SPEAK MORE EFFECTIVELY By Dale Carnegie Part One: Public Speaking A Quick and Easy Way By Dale Carnegie This booklet reveals the secrets of effective speaking that it took me over 40 years to discover. I have tried to tell you these secrets sim ply and clearly and to illustrate them vividly. I urge you to carry this booklet with you and to read it at least three times next week. Read it; study it; underscore the vital parts. Copyright © 2008 Dale Carnegie Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. 1PART ONE: PuBLIC SPEAKINg – A QuICK AND EASY W AY You may be saying to yourself: “Is there really a quick I could have saved myself years and years of wasted, and easy way to learn to speak in public—or is that heartbreaking effort. For example, I once wrote a book merely an intriguing title that promises more than it about Lincoln; and while writing it, I threw into the delivers” wastebasket at least a year of wasted effort that might have been saved had I known the great secrets that I No, I am not exaggerating. I am really going to let you am going to divulge to you. in on a vital secret—a secret that will make it easier for you to speak in public immediately. Where did The same thing happened when I spent two years I discover this In some book No. In some college trying to write a novel. course in public speaking No. I never even heard it mentioned there. I had to discover it the hard way— It happened again while writing a book on public gradually, slowly, painfully. speaking—another year of wasted effort thrown into the wastebasket because I didn’t know the secrets of If, back in my college days, someone had given me this successful writing and speaking. password to effective speaking and writing, 2IF POSSIBLE, SPEND YEARS IN PREPARATION What are these priceless secrets that I have been They never took any interest in me or gave me any affection. I knew I wasn’t wanted. Even as a little child dangling before your eyes Just this: talk about I could feel it. I often cried myself to sleep because of something that you have earned the right to talk about loneliness. The deepest desire of my heart was to have through long study or experience. Talk about someone ask to see my report card from school. But no something that you know and know that you know. one ever did. No one cared. All I craved as a little child Don’t spend ten minutes or ten hours preparing a was love—and no one ever gave it to me.” talk: spend ten weeks or ten months. Better still, spend ten years. Had Gay Kellogg spent ten years preparing that talk No. She had spent twenty years. She had been Talk about something that has aroused your interest. preparing herself to make that talk when she cried Talk about something that you have a deep desire to herself to sleep as a little child. She had been preparing communicate to your listeners. herself to make that talk when her heart ached because no one asked to see her report card from school. No To illustrate what I mean, let’s take the case of Gay wonder she could talk about that subject. She could Kellogg, a housewife from Roselle, New Jersey. Gay not have erased those early memories from her mind. Kellogg had never made a speech in public before Gay Kellogg had rediscovered a storehouse of tragic she joined one of our classes in New York. She was memories and feelings away deep down inside her. terrified. She feared that public speaking might be an She didn’t have to pump them up. She didn’t have obscure art far beyond her abilities. Yet at the fourth to work at making that talk. All she had to do was to session of the course, as she made an impromptu talk, let her pentup feelings and memories rush up to the she held the audience spellbound. I asked her to speak surface like oil from a well. on “The Biggest Regret of My Life.” Gay Kellogg then made a talk that was deeply moving. The listeners Jesus said: “My yoke is easy, my burden is light.” could hardly keep the tears back. I know. I could hardly So is the yoke and burden of good speaking. keep the tears from welling up in my own eyes. Her talk Ineffective talks are usually the ones that are written went like this: and memorized and sweated over and made artificial. Good talks are the ones that well up within you as a “The biggest regret of my life is that I never knew a fountain. Many people talk the way I swim. I struggle mother’s love. My mother died when I was only a year and fight the water and wear myself out and go old. I was brought up by a succession of aunts and onetenth as fast as the experts. Poor speakers, other relatives who were so absorbed in their own like poor swimmers, get taut and tense and twist children that they had no time for me. I never stayed themselves up into knots—and defeat their own with any of them very long. They were always sorry to purpose. see me come and glad to see me go. 3BECOME ExCITED ABOuT YOuR SuBjECT Even people with only mediocre speaking ability may As he finished his talk to the class, he said, in the voice make superb talks if they will speak about something of one who has had a revelation: “There is nothing that has deeply stirred them. I saw a striking illustration wrong with religion There is nothing wrong with God’s of that years ago when I was conducting courses love.” for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. It was an example that I shall remember for a lifetime. I’ll never forget that talk because of its emotional It happened like this: impact. When I congratulated the speaker on his deeply moving talk, he replied: “Yes, and I made it We were having a session devoted to impromptu talks. without any preparation.” After the class assembled, I asked them to speak on “What, If Anything, Is Wrong with Religion” Preparation Well, if he hadn’t prepared that talk, I don’t know what preparation is. He meant, of course, One member (a man, by the way, who had never that he had had no advance notice that he would have finished high school) did something to that audience to talk on that subject. I am glad he didn’t, because if that I have never seen any other speaker do in the he had had advance notice, his talk might have been years I have been training people to speak in public. far less effective. He might have labored over it and His talk was so moving that when he finished, every tried to make a speech and been artificial. Instead, he person in the room stood up in silent tribute. did just what Gay Kellogg did years later—he stood up and opened his heart and talked like one human being This man told about the greatest tragedy of his life: the conversing with another. death of his mother. He was so devastated, so griefstricken, that he no longer wanted to live. He said The truth of the matter is that he was preparing to that when he went out of doors, even on a sunny day, make that talk when he knelt and wept and said the it seemed as if he were wandering in a fog. He longed rosary. Living, feeling, thinking, enduring “the slings to die. In desperation, he went to his church and knelt and arrows of outrageous fortune”—that is the finest and wept and said the rosary, and a great peace came preparation ever yet devised for either speaking or over him—a divine peace of resignation: “Not my will, writing. but Thine be done.” 4LOOK INSIDE YOuRSELF FOR TOPICS TO TALK ABOuT Do beginners know the necessity of looking inside Think of it: here was a woman who had tried to speak themselves for topics Know it They never even heard about Mussolini’s Ethiopian war, yet she admitted she of it They are more likely to look inside a magazine had little knowledge and no interest in the subject. She for topics. For example, I remember meeting in the had neglected to speak on a subject she had earned subway one day one of our students—a woman who the right to talk about. was discouraged because she was making so little progress in this course. I asked her what she had talked After a discussion, I said to her: “I would listen with about the previous week. I discovered that she had respect and interest if you spoke about something you talked about whether Mussolini should be permitted have experienced and know about, but neither I nor to invade Ethiopia. She had gotten her information out anyone else would be interested in a subject which of an article in Time. She had read the article twice. I you yourself are not interested in, such as Mussolini’s asked her if she was interested in the subject, and she invasion of Ethiopia. You don’t know enough about it to said, “No.” I then asked her why she had talked about merit our attention or respect.” it. “Well,” she replied. “I had to talk about something so I chose that.” TALK FROM YOuR HEART—NOT FROM A BOOK Many students of public speaking are like that woman. However, the next speaker caught my attention They want to get their subjects out of a book or a immediately. A senior at Yale, he spoke about what magazine instead of from their own knowledge and was wrong with the colleges. He had earned the right convictions. For example, a few years ago, I was one to talk about that. We listened to him with respect. of the three judges in an intercollegiate speaking But the speaker who got the first prize began contest over the NBC network. The judges never saw something like this: the speakers. We listened to them from Studio 8G in Radio City. I wish, oh, how I wish that every student “I have just come from a hospital where a friend of and teacher of public speaking could have witnessed mine is near death because of an automobile accident. what went on in that studio. The first speaker spoke on Most automobile accidents are caused by the younger “Democracy at the Crossroads.” The next one spoke generation. I am a member of that generation and about “How to Prevent War.” It was painfully evident I want to speak to you about the causes of these that they were merely repeating carefully rehearsed accidents.” and memorized words. So neither the guest in the studio nor the judges paid much attention to them. Everyone in the studio was quiet as he spoke. He was One of the judges was Willem Hendrik Van Loon. talking about realities, not trying to make a speech. He When he began drawing a cartoon of one of the was speaking about something that he had earned the contestants, everyone stood and watched him and right to talk about. He was talking from the inside out. ignored the amateurish “orations,” the memorized words, which were coming over the air. 5HAVE AN EAgER DESIRE TO COMMuNICATE When Gay Kellogg spoke on the biggest regret of However, let me warn you that merely earning the right her life—never knowing a mother’s love—she had not to talk about a subject will not always produce a superb only earned the right through suffering to talk on that talk. Another element must be added—an element subject, but she also had a deep emotional desire to that is vital in speaking. Briefly, it is this: in addition to tell us about it. So did the class member who spoke earning the right to speak, we must have a deep and in the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce class about abiding desire to communicate our convictions and the death of his mother—“Not my will, but Thine be transfer our feelings to our listeners. done.” To illustrate: suppose I were asked to talk about History has repeatedly been changed by people raising corn and hogs. I spent twenty years on a corn who had the desire and the ability to transfer their and hog farm in Missouri, so surely I have earned convictions and emotions to their listeners. If John the right to talk on that subject. But I don’t have any special desire to talk on that subject. But suppose I Wesley had not had that desire and ability, he could were asked to speak on what was wrong with the kind never have founded a religious sect that has girdled of education I got in college. I could hardly fail if I the globe. If Peter the Hermit had not had that desire talked on that subject, because I would have the three and ability, he could never have stirred the imagination basic requirements for a good talk. First, I would be of the world and plunged Europe into the futile and talking about something that I had earned the right bloody Crusades for possession of the Holy Land. If to talk about. Second, I would have deep feelings and Hitler had not had the innate ability to transfer his hate convictions that I longed to convey to you. Third, I and bitterness to his listeners, he could not have seized would have clear and convincing illustrations out of my power in Germany and plunged the world into war. own experience. TALK ABOuT YOuR ExPERIENCES You are prepared right now to make at least a dozen Here is good news for you: your progress as a speaker good talks—talks that no one else on earth could will depend far more on your choosing the right topic make except you, because no one else has ever had to talk about than upon your native ability as a speaker. precisely the same experience that you have had. What You can feel at ease and make a fine talk immediately are these subjects I don’t know. But you do. So carry if you will only do what Gay Kellogg did: talk about a sheet of paper with you for a few weeks and write some experience that has affected you deeply, some down, as you think of them, all the subjects that you are experience you have been thinking about for twenty prepared to talk about through experience—subjects years. But you may never feel completely at ease if you such as “The Biggest Regret of My Life,” “My Biggest try to make speeches about “Mussolini’s Invasion of Ambition,” and “Why I Liked (Disliked) School.” Do Ethiopia” or “Democracy at the Crossroads.” that and you will be surprised how quickly your list of topics will grow. 6TALK ABOuT THINgS YOu HAVE STuDIED Talking about your own experiences is obviously the in red on the calendar, and spoke about the many quickest way to develop courage and selfconfidence. things for which to be thankful. Another person saw But after you have gained a bit of experience, you will some pigeons on the street. That inspired an idea. The want to talk about other subjects. What subjects And person gave a talk about pigeons that I shall never where can you find them Everywhere. For example, forget. But the prize winner that night was a class I once asked a class of executives of the New York member who had seen a bedbug crawling up a man’s Telephone Company to jot down every idea for a collar in the subway. The class member gave us a talk speech that occurred to them during the week. It was that I still remember after twenty years. November. One person saw Thanksgiving Day printed CARRY A SCRIBBLINg BOOK Why don’t you do what Voltaire did Voltaire, one of Then try to recall two or three other striking incidents the most powerful writers of the eighteenth century, of discourtesy. Select the best one and tell us what we carried in his pocket what he called a “scribbling ought to do about it. Presto You have a twominute book”—a book in which he jotted down his fleeting talk on Discourtesy. thoughts and ideas. Why don’t you carry a “scribbling book” Then, if you are irritated by a discourteous As soon as you begin to look for topics for talks, you clerk, for example, jot down the word “Discourtesy” in will find them everywhere: in the home, the office, the your scribbling book. street. “SINg SOMETHINg SIMPLE” Don’t attempt to speak on some worldshaking she herself was positively excited about her back door. problem such as “The Atomic Bomb.” Take something In fact, I never before heard anyone speak with such simple—almost anything will do, provided the glowing enthusiasm about painting the back door The idea gets you, instead of your getting the idea. For point I am trying to make is this: almost any subject example, I recently heard a student of this course, will do for a talk provided you yourself have earned the Mary A. Leer, of Chicago, talk on “Back Doors.” You right to talk about it through study or experience, and may find her talk dull as you read it; but if you had only are excited about it and eager to tell us about it. listened to it, as I did, you would have loved it because 7THIS IS THE FAMOuS TALK ABOuT BACK DOORS “Four years ago, when I moved into my present back doors tell tales. A slovenly back door tattles on apartment, the back door was painted a drab shade slovenly housekeeping. But a back door that is painted of gray. It was terrible. Every time I opened the back a cheerful color and has pots of blooming plants door it gave me a depressed feeling. So I bought a can sitting around and garbage cans that are painted and of beautiful blue paint and painted the outside of the orderly, that kind of back door tells you that there is back door, the jambs and the inside of the screen door. an interesting person with a lively imagination living That paint was the most exquisite shade of blue that I behind it. I have already bought a can of beautiful had ever seen; and every time I opened the back door blue paint; and next Saturday, I am going to have a after that, it seemed as though I was looking upon a bit gorgeous time. I am again going to make my back of heaven. door cheerful and inspiring.” “I was never more angry in my life than when I came And so it goes. A volume could be filled with home one evening not long ago and found that the examples to show the power of speakers who: house painter had pried open my screen door and painted my beautiful blue door a most hideous shade (a) Have earned the right, by study and of putty gray. I could have cheerfully choked that experience, to talk about their subject; painter. (b) Are excited about it themselves; and “You can tell a lot more about people from their back doors than you can from their front doors. Front (c) Are eager to communicate their ideas and doors are often prettied up just to impress you. But feelings to their listeners. 8HOW TO PREPARE AND DELIVER YOuR TALKS Here are eigHt principles tHt will a Help For example, let me show you the value of an y in prep immensel aring your talks: illustration. Years ago, a congressman made a stormy speech accusing the government of wasting our money I. Make brief notes of the interesting things by printing useless pamphlets. He illustrated what you want to mention. he meant by saying the government had printed a pamphlet on “The Love Life of the Bullfrog.” I would II. Don’t write out your talks. have forgotten that speech years ago if it hadn’t been for that one specific illustration, “The Love Life of the Bullfrog.” I may forget a million other facts as Why Because if you do, you will use written language the decades pass, but I’ll never forget his charge that instead of easy, conversational language; and when you the government wastes our money by printing and stand up to talk, you will probably find yourself trying to giving away pamphlets such as “The Love Life of the remember what you wrote. That will keep you from Bullfrog” speaking naturally and with sparkle. Exemplum docet. Not only does the example teach, III. Never, never, never memorize a talk word but it is about the only thing that does teach. I have for word. heard brilliant speeches which I promptly forgot because there were no examples to make them stick in If you memorize your talk, you are almost sure to forget it; my memory. and the audience will probably be glad, for nobody wants to listen to a canned speech. Even if you don’t forget V. Know far more about your subject that you it, it will sound memorized. You will have a faraway look can use. in your eyes and a faraway ring in your voice. You won’t sound like a human being trying to tell us something. Ida Tarbell, one of America’s most distinguished writers, told me that years ago, while in London, she received If, in a longer talk, you are afraid you will forget what a cable from S.S. McClure, the founder of McClure’s you want to say, then make some brief notes and hold Magazine, asking her to write a twopage article them in your hand and glance at them occasionally. on the Atlantic Cable. Miss Tarbell interviewed the That is what I usually do. London manager of the Atlantic Cable and got all the information necessary to write her fivehundred word IV. Fill your talk with illustrations and examples. article. But she didn’t stop there. She went to the British Museum library and read magazine articles and books By far the easiest way to make a talk interesting is to about the Atlantic Cable, and the biography of Cyrus fill it with examples. To illustrate what I mean, let’s West Field, the man who laid the Atlantic Cable. She take this booklet you are reading now. Approximately studied cross sections of cables on display in the British half of those pages are devoted to illustration. First, Museum, and then visited a factory on the outskirts of there is the illustration of Gay Kellogg’s talk about the London and saw cables being manufactured. “When suffering she endured as a child. Next, the illustration I finally wrote those two typewritten pages on the of the speaker on “What, If Anything, Is Wrong with Atlantic Cable,” Miss Tarbell said, as she told me the Religion” Next, the example of the woman who story, “I had enough material to write a small book tried to talk on Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia. That about it. But that vast amount of material which I had is followed by the story of the four college students and did not use enabled me to write what I did write in a speaking contest over the radio—and so on. My with confidence and clarity and interest. It gave me biggest problem in writing a book or preparing a reserve power.” speech is not to get ideas, but to get illustrations to make those ideas clear, vivid, and unforgettable. The old Roman philosophers used to say, “Exemplum docet” (the example teaches). And how right they were 9Ida Tarbell had learned through years of experience trying to catch a mouse. It doesn’t look around and that she had to earn the right to write over five say: “I wonder how my tail looks, and I wonder if I am hundred words about the Atlantic Cable. The same standing right, and how is my facial expression” Oh, principle goes for speaking. Make yourself something no. That cat is so intent on catching a mouse for dinner of an authority on your subject. Develop that priceless that it couldn’t stand wrong or look wrong if it tried— asset known as reserve power. and neither can you if you are so vitally interested in your audience and in what you are saying that you VI. Rehearse your talk by conversing with your forget yourself. friends. Don’t imagine that expressing your ideas and emotions Will Rogers prepared his famous Sunday night radio before an audience is something that requires years talks by trying them out as conversation on the people of technical training such as you have to devote to he met during the week. If, for example, he wanted to mastering music or painting. Anybody can make a speak on the gold standard, he would wisecrack about splendid talk at home when angry. For example, if it in conversation during the week. He would then somebody hauled off and knocked you down this discover which of his jokes went over, which remarks instant, you would get up and make a superb talk. Your elicited people’s interest. That is an infinitely better gestures, your posture, your facial expression would way to rehearse a talk than to try it out with gestures in be perfect because they would be the expressions front of a mirror. of genuine anger. And remember, you don’t have to learn to express your emotions. You could express your VII. Instead of worrying about your delivery, emotions superbly when you were six months old. Ask find ways of improving it. any mother. Much harmful, misleading nonsense has been Watch a group of children at play. What fine written about delivery of a speech. The truth is that expression What perfect emphasis, gestures, posture, when you face an audience, you should forget all communication Jesus said: “Except ye become about voice, breathing, gestures, posture, emphasis. as little children, ye cannot enter the kingdom of Forget everything except what you are saying. What heaven.” Yes, and unless you become as natural and listeners want, as Hamlet’s mother said, is “more spontaneous and free as little children at play, you matter, with less art.” Do what a cat does when cannot enter the realm of good expression. 10IF YOuR ATTITuDE IS gOOD—YOuR T ALK WILL BE Your problem isn’t to try to learn how to speak with Let me repeat: Your delivery is merely the effect of emphasis, or how to gesture or how to stand. Those a cause that preceded and produced it. So if you are merely effects. Your problem is to deal with the don’t like your delivery, don’t muddle around trying cause that produces those effects. That cause is deep to change it. Get back to fundamentals and change down inside you; it is your own mental and emotional the causes that produced it. Change your mental and attitude. If you get yourself in the right mental and emotional attitude. emotional condition, you will speak superbly. You won’t have to make any effort to do it. You will do it as VIII. Don’t imitate others; be yourself. naturally as you breathe. I first came to New York to study at the American To illustrate, a rear admiral of the United States Navy Academy of Dramatic Arts. I aspired to be an actor. once took this course. He had commanded a squadron I had what I thought was a brilliant idea, a shortcut to of the United States Fleet during World War I. He success. My campaign to achieve excellence was so wasn’t afraid to fight a naval battle, but he was so afraid simple, so foolproof, that I was unable to comprehend to face an audience that he made weekly trips from his why thousands of ambitious people hadn’t already home in New Haven, Connecticut, to New York City to discovered it. It was this: I would study the famous attend this course. actors of that day—John Drew, E. H. Sothern, Walter Hampden and Otis Skinner. Then I would imitate the Half a dozen sessions went by, and he was still best points of each one of them and make myself terrified. So one of our instructors, Professor Elmer into a shining, triumphant combination of all of them. Nyberg, had an idea that might make the admiral How silly How tragic I had to waste years of my life come out of his shell. There was a radical in this class. imitating other people before it penetrated my thick Professor Nyberg took him to one side and said: “I Missouri skull that I had to be myself, and that I couldn’t wonder if you will be good enough to make a strong possibly be anyone else. talk to support your philosophy of government Obviously, you will make the admiral angry, which is To illustrate what I mean: A number of years ago, exactly what I want. He will forget himself and in his I set out to write the best book on public speaking eagerness to refute your position, he probably will for business people that had ever been written. I had make a good talk.” The radical said,“Sure, I’ll be glad the same foolish idea about writing this book that I to.” He had not gone far in this talk, when the rear had formerly had about acting: I was going to borrow admiral leaped to his feet and shouted: “Stop Stop the ideas of many other writers and put them all in That’s sedition” Then he gave a fiery talk on how much one book—a book that would have everything. So I each of us owes to our country and its freedom. got scores of books on public speaking and spent a year incorporating their ideas in my manuscript. But it finally dawned on me once again that I was playing the Professor Nyberg turned to the naval officer and said, fool. This hodgepodge of other people’s ideas that I “Congratulations, Admiral A magnificent talk” The had written was so synthetic, so dull that no business rear admiral snapped back: “I’m not making a talk, but people would ever stumble through it. So I tossed a I am telling that little whippersnapper a thing or two.” year’s work into the wastebasket, and started all over Then Professor Nyberg explained that it had all been a again. This time I said to myself: “You’ve got to be putup job to get the admiral out of his shell, and make Dale Carnegie, with all his faults and limitations. You him forget himself. can’t possibly be anybody else.” So I quit trying to be a combination of other people, and rolled up my sleeves This rear admiral discovered just what you will discover and did what I should have done in the first place: when you get stirred up about a cause bigger than I wrote a textbook on public speaking out of my own yourself. You will discover that all fears of speaking will experiences and observations and convictions. vanish and that you don’t have to give a thought to delivery, since the causes that produce good delivery Why don’t you profit by my stupid waste of time Don’t are working for you irresistibly. try to imitate others. 11DON’T BE AFRAID OF BEINg YOuRSELF Be yourself. Act on the sage advice that Irving Berlin In the last analysis, all art is autobiographical. You can gave to the late George Gershwin. When Berlin and sing only what you are. You can paint only what you Gershwin first met, Berlin was famous—but Gershwin are. You can write only what you are. You can speak was a struggling young composer working for thirty only what you are. You must be what your experiences, five dollars a week in Tin Pan Alley. Berlin, impressed your environment, and your heredity have made you. by Gershwin’s ability, offered Gershwin a job as his For better or for worse, you must cultivate your own musical secretary at almost three times the salary he garden. For better or for worse, you must play your was then getting. “But don’t take the job,” Berlin own instrument in life’s orchestra. As Emerson said in advised. “If you do, you may develop into a second his essay, “Selfreliance”: rate Berlin. But if you insist on being yourself, some day you’ll become a firstrate Gershwin.” Gershwin There is a time in every man’s education when he heeded that warning and slowly transformed himself arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; into one of the significant American composers of his that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself generation. for better, for worse, as his portion; that although the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of “Be yourself Don’t imitate others” That is sound nourishing corn can come to him but through advice in music, writing, and speaking. You are an his toil on that plot of ground which is given him original. Be glad of it. Never before, since the dawn to till. The power which resides in him is new in of time, has anybody been exactly like you; and never nature, and none but he knows what that is which again, throughout all the ages to come, will there be he can do, nor does he know until he has tried. anybody exactly like you. So make the most of your individuality. Your speech should be a part of you, the very living tissue of you. It should grow out of your experiences, your convictions, your personality, your way of life. IN A NuTSHELL How to ake m rapid and easy rogress in p earning to l peak in s public Speak about something that: III. Never, never, never memorize a talk word for word. (a) You have earned the right to talk about through study and experience; IV. Fill your talk with illustrations and examples. (b) You are excited about; and V. Know far more about your subject than you can use. (c) You are eager to tell your listeners about. VI. Rehearse your talk by conversing with your I. Make brief notes of the interesting things friends. you want to mention. VII. Instead of worrying about your delivery, II. Don’t write out your talks. find ways of improving it. VIII. Don’t imitate others; be yourself. For More Information, please visit 12 12