#14 What Dale Carnegie taught me about public speaking.
"Public speaking is the next skill that I will master."
...was what I told myself after I watched Warren Buffet’s documentary. The only award that Warren has in his office is the Dale Carnegie's public speaking certificate.
I’m an introvert and it takes huge cojones to start with something like that. I’ve done two so far and nearly cried myself to sleep the nights before. But I’m very happy with both of these events. They weren’t great, but I gave 100%. I maximised my skills at that time and with the skills that I had, I couldn’t do any better.
So I got to know the level of my skills and to get better I need to learn from the greatest minds in public speaking. Mr Carnegie was somehow the first that came to mind.
Something to keep in mind when speaking publicly:
Be honoured to be talking in front of your audience and let them know
No matter the size and type of the audience, being in front of that group of people is always a humbling experience. It’s a compliment. Acknowledging it is self-evident from politeness and graciousness perspective.
Acknowledge your audience
Never go to speak before doing your homework on the people you are speaking to. Figure out a couple of the best attributes you admire about them and why you are so grateful to be in front of them.
Mention people’s names who are in the audience
People’s name is one of the most beautiful sounds to them you can possibly make. Use their name as much as possible using common sense of course.
Stay humble, don’t be Mr Big Shot
Being humble predisposes confidence and good will. Abraham Lincoln was the master of this. He knew the wisdom from The Bible “He who humbles himself will be lifted up”.
Say “WE” not “YOU”
Involve people to your presentation or speech, never be condescending. If we give facts and present statements and say “you” all the time it gives them the idea that you are a rare breed and above them all. It comes off a little snobby.
Don’t frown and be a smartass
Keep in mind that your facial expressions and voice speaks louder than your words. Frowning never wins you any friends.
Know your audience. know what they want to hear
People are always tensely focused on their own interest and focused on solving their own problems. Show them how to raise their life quality, earn more money, solve problems, how to be happier, how to get what you want. Give them what they want to hear.
Be happy to be there
If you don’t enjoy talking to these people, why should they enjoy listening to you? Our sincere enthusiasm and joy are contagious. Your emotional attitude is as contagious as a plague. Talk about something that makes your heart pumping and lights your fire.
Don’t say sorry
It’s just a waste of time and says something about your confidence. Be thankful instead.
If you want to win people over, show them that what you are talking about really works. It creates extra value for them.
Feed from feedback and criticism
If you get constructive criticism, welcome it, embrace it. Instead of moping like a child say thank you to the people who have enough balls to give you that. Your goal is to learn, discover the truth and together you can find it faster. If I F up, the sooner somebody points it out, the better. It’s for your own good and brighter future.
Winning people over is simple, but it’s not easy. You have to come across as an honest and sincere in your purpose. They might not agree with everything you say, but they have to understand and honour your belief in those ideas.
People prefer a sucky speaker who exudes honesty, warmth and unselfishness, rather than a Caesar-like speaker, but an asshole at heart.
I and other introverts have a tendency to close ourselves into our rooms and avoid general public. What good is that going to do to anyone? There's a huge amount of benefits in mastering public speaking. You can gain a lot of confidence and be more comfortable around people.