Book Review: The Quick and Easy Way To Effective Speaking by Dorothy and Dale Carnegie

Peninsula Team

September 02 2011

The Quick and Easy Way To Effective Speaking is a summary of the book written by Dorothy Carnegie and Dale Carnegie. It provides a great format for improving public speaking and basic communication skills. Carnegie perfects the art by proving that it is easy to speak in public, providing you follow a few simple, but important rules.

Carnegie illustrates the use of the basic rules by citing informative and relevant examples based on individuals’ ordinary experiences. The five step programme shows you how to be an effective speaker in your every day working environment, how to deal with the demands of winning others over to your point of view, to persuade and get action. It demonstrates how to exchange the usual fear of self-consciousness in to confidence. 

Part one looks at the fundamentals of effective speaking and acquiring those basic skills.  Carnegie suggests you take heart from the experiences of others, keep your goal before you, pre-determine your mind to success and ensure you seize every opportunity. In developing confidence, Carnegie states that you must first act confident and prepare in the proper way, but never prepare a scripted version of your talk. An important aspect is to speak about something you have earned the right to talk about through experience or study. I recall one of my earlier experiences with public speaking, whilst I was bumbling through my speech, it was only when I connected the content of my talk with something specific to me, that I was able to engage my listeners and really share something because I had earned the right to speak about it. It is very easy to slip into a mechanical way of exchanging information without truly connecting to one’s audience, whether on a one-to-one basis or in the presence of a greater audience, the principles remain the same.

Part two looks at the speech, speaker and audience, namely limiting the subject and developing reserve power. In particular the kinds of examples and illustrations that can add to an engaging speech, for example by using familiar words that create mental pictures. 

Part three explores the purpose of prepared and impromptu talks, such as making the short talk to get action and giving the reason or benefit the audience may expect, making communication more powerful.

Part four deals with the art of communicating and the delivery of the talk, crashing through the shell of self–consciousness and how to converse with the audience. Finally part five looks at the challenges of effective speaking and applying what you have learned by using specific detail in everyday conversation.

In my experience this book is a light and effective tool for everyday communication in the business world. It is just as relevant today as it was then; the modern business world is constantly looking at ways to work faster and smarter, which means we have to adapt our thinking and communication in the same way.

The book is available from Amazon:

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