Before talking about the book Develop Self-Confidence, Improve Public Speaking Summary let’s first discuss the book’s author Dale Carnegie. He is one of the best-selling authors. Carnegie was the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, one of the best-selling self-help books of all time. Carnegie has written various self-help books, which has helped millions of people.
Why You need this book? Brief summary
If Public speaking frightens you, and you feel shy and nervous when you are asked to stand up and speak, then this book is for you, This book holds the key to fight against your public speaking fear, This book helps you to overcome your public speaking fear, it develops self-confidence in you, and helps you to become a good public speaker to the secrets of memory power and good delivery, natural laws of remembering and the essential elements in successful speaking, this book discusses the ways of opening and closing a talk and keeping the audience interested.
This book contains timeless techniques which help you to become a good public speaker and gives you insight on how great public speaker becomes great and how they deliver their speeches, Dale Carnegie’s How to Develop Self-Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking continues to help people speak confidently, effectively and efficiently.
Let’s understand this book in more detail:
Chapter 1: Developing courage and self-confidence
The author says that gaining the self-confidence and courage and the ability to think calmly and clearly while talking to a group is not one-tenth as difficult as most people imagine. Public speaking is not a gift given by God to certain people, anyone can develop talent, it just requires your passion and commitment, if you want to do something with full passion then you will able to develop it.
Dale Carnegie says: It is not a gift bestowed by Providence on only a few rarely endowed individuals. It is like the ability to play golf. Anyone can develop his own latent capacity if he has sufficient desire to do so.
The Author says that proper practice and training can take away your audience-fright and can make you more self-confident and courageous, The author says that never think or imagine that that your case is unusually difficult. Even those who afterward became the most eloquent representatives of their generation were, at the outset of their careers, affected by this blinding fear and self-consciousness.
Example: William Jennings Bryan, the battle-marked veteran that he was, admitted that in his first attempts, his knees fairly smote together.
Mark Twain, the first time he stood up to lecture, felt as if his mouth were filled with cotton and his pulse were speeding for some prize cup.
Grant took Vicksburg and led to victory one of the greatest armies the world had ever seen up to that time; yet, when he attempted to speak in public, he admitted he had something very like locomotor ataxia.
The late Jean Jaures, the most powerful political speaker that France produced during his generation, sat, for a year, tongue-tied in the Chamber of Deputies before he could summon up the courage to make his initial speech.
Dale Carnegie says that there are many famous speakers of England who at first faced nervousness and had audience-fright, but later after learning and improving they have succeeded in their career that too with flying colors.
The Author says that In order to get the most out of your efforts to become a good speaker in public, and to get it with rapidity and dispatch, four things are essential:
First: Start with a strong and persistent desire
The author says that this is of far more important than you probably realize, The author says that if your instructor could look into your heart and mind now and ascertain the depth of your desires, he could foretell, almost with certainty, the swiftness of the progress you will make, the Further author says that If your desire is pale and flabby, your achievements will also take on that hue and consistency. But, if you go after your subject with persistence, and with the energy of a bulldog, after a cat, nothing underneath the Milky Way will defeat you.
Second: Know thoroughly what you are going to talk about
If a person who is going to face the audience has no clue what he is going to talk, and has no plans what he is going to say while giving a speech, then such person can never feel comfortable in front of his auditors, Carnegie says a person who has no clue about his speech is like the blind leading the blind. Under such circumstances, your speaker ought to be self-conscious, ought to feel repentant, ought to be ashamed of his negligence.
Third: Act confident
Here the author talks about One of the most famous psychologists that America has produced, Professor William James, wrote as follows:
Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not. Thus the sovereign voluntary path to cheerfulness, if our spontaneous cheerfulness is lost, is to sit up cheerfully and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there. If such conduct does not make you feel cheerful, nothing else on that occasion can. So, to feel brave, act as if we were brave, use all of our wills to that end, and a courage fit will very likely replace the fit of fear.
Dale Carnegie says:
Draw yourself up to your full height, look your audience straight in the eyes, and begin to talk as confidently as if every one of them owed you money. imagine that they do. Imagine that they have assembled there to beg you for an extension of credit. The psychological effect on you will be beneficial.
Do not nervously button and unbutton your coat, play with your beads, or fumble with your hands. If you must make nervous movements, place your hands behind your back and twist your fingers there where no one can see the performance–or wiggle your toes.
As a general rule, it is bad for a speaker to hide behind furniture; but it may give you a little courage the first few times to stand behind a table or chair and to grip them tightly-or hold a coin firmly in the palm of your hand.
Here Dale Carnegie says: The last point we have to make here is emphatically the most important. Even though you forget everything you have read so far, do remember this: the first way, the last way, the never-failing way to develop self-confidence in speaking is to speak. Really the whole matter finally simmers down to but one essential; practice, practice, practice.
Chapter 2: Self-confidence through Preparation
Here author says that When a speaker is in that kind of mental and emotional state he will discover a significant fact: namely, that his talk will almost make itself. Its yoke will be easy, its burden will be light. A well-prepared speech is already nine-tenths delivered.
If you want confidence, why not do the things necessary to bring it about? “Perfect love,” wrote the Apostle John, “casteth out fear.” So does perfect preparation. Webster said he would as soon think of appearing before an audience half-clothed as half-prepared. Why don’t we prepare our talks more carefully? Why? Some don’t clearly understand what preparation is nor how to go about it wisely; others plead a lack of time.
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