Thursday, August 4, 2016

Notes on Quick and Easy Guide to Effective Speaking

This post contains my notes on the book The Quick and Easy Guide to Effective Speaking by Dale Carnegie.


Many individuals are familiar with Dale Carnegie's book How to Win Friends and Influence People. The Quick and Easy Guide to Effective Speaking is another book Carnegie wrote based on materials from his highly successful course he started teaching in 1912.

I read this book in 2012, the 100th anniversary of Carnegie's unique and effective method for improving communication. What follows are my notes as I recorded them in my 2012 planning journal.



3 Es

In order to be effective when speaking, your topic must meet these three criteria:

  • You earned the right to discuss through study or experience.
  • You are excited about the subject.
  • You are eager to share with others.

"The more you know about a good product, the more enthusiastic you become about it." p94

One of my favorite quotes: "I feel very much like the mosquito who found himself quite unexpectedly in a nudist colony - I don't know where to begin." p111

Chapter 4 - Earning the right to talk

1. Limit your subject.
2. Develop reserve power.
3. Fill your talk with illustrations and examples:

  • humanize your talk
  • personalize your talk using names
  • be specific and fill your talk with detail
  • dramatize your talk using dialogue
  • visualize by demonstrating what you are talking about

4. Use concrete words that are familiar to create pictures.

Chapter 5 - Vitalizing the talk

1. Choose subjects that you are earnest about.
2. Relive the feelings you have about the topic.
3. Act in earnest.

Chapter 7 - Making the short talk to get action

1. Give an example - an incident from your life.

  • build your example on a single personal experience
  • start you talk with a detail of your example
  • fill your example with relevant detail
  • relive your experience as you relate it

2. State your point - what you want the audience to do.

  • make the point brief and specific
  • make the point easy for listeners to do
  • state the point with force and conviction

3. Give the reason or benefit the audience may expect.

  • be sure the reason is relevant to the example
  • be sure to stress only one reason


Chapter 8 - Making the talk to inform

1. Restrict your subject to fit your allotted time.
2. Arrange your ideas in sequence.
3. Number your points as you make them.
4. Compare the strange with the familiar.

  • turn a fact in to a picture
  • avoid technical terms

5. Use visual aids

  • keep the exhibit out of sight until ready to use
  • use exhibits large enough to be seen from the back
  • never pass an exhibit around while you are speaking
  • hold up the exhibit so it can be easily seen
  • demonstrate, if practical
  • don't stare at the exhibit - speak to the audience
  • when finished with the exhibit, remove it from sight
  • use the "mystery treatment" for dramatic effect


Chapter 9 - Making the talk to convince

1. Win confidence by deserving it.
2. Get a yes-yes response.
3. Speak with contagious enthusiasm.
4. Show respect and affection for your audience.
5. Begin in a friendly way.

Chapter 10 - Making impromptu talks

1. Practice impromptu speaking.
2. Be mentally ready to speak impromptu.
3. Get into an example immediately.
4. Speak with animation and force.
5. Use the principle of here and now.

If you found this information helpful, I encourage you to pick up a copy of The Quick and Easy Guide to Effective Speaking. It will transform how you present to others, both in one-to-one conversations and in groups.

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