self help sanctum home page beautiful seascape, BC, Canada

self esteem, self confidence, coping with anxiety, free self help e-books...


Self Help Books

FREE Self Help ebooks

Acres of Diamonds

The Art of Money Getting

The Art of Public Speaking

The Art of War

As A Man Thinketh

The Creative Process in the Individual

The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science

The Game of Life...

The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit

In Tune With the Infinite

The Law and the Word

The Master Key System

The Power of Concetration

The Prophet

Science of Getting Rich

Self Development and the Way to Power

Think and Grow Rich

What All The World's A-Seeking

Within You is the Power

Your Invisible Power

The Art of Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie and J. Berg Esenwein online


page 1 of 3 | table of contents

The Art of Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie and J. Berg Esenwein

Animis opibusque parati--Ready in mind and resources.

--_Motto of South Carolina_.

In omnibus negotiis prius quam aggrediare, adhibenda est pręparatio diligens--In all matters before beginning a diligent preparation should be made.

--CICERO, _De Officiis_.

Take your dictionary and look up the words that contain the Latin stem _flu_--the results will be suggestive.

At first blush it would seem that fluency consists in a ready, easy use of words. Not so--the flowing quality of speech is much more, for it is a composite effect, with each of its prior conditions deserving of careful notice.

_The Sources of Fluency_

Speaking broadly, fluency is almost entirely a matter of preparation. Certainly, native gifts figure largely here, as in every art, but even natural facility is dependent on the very same laws of preparation that hold good for the man of supposedly small native endowment. Let this encourage you if, like Moses, you are prone to complain that you are not a ready speaker.

Have you ever stopped to analyze that expression, "a ready speaker?" Readiness, in its prime sense, is preparedness, and they are most ready who are best prepared. Quick firing depends more on the alert finger than on the hair trigger. Your fluency will be in direct ratio to two important conditions: your knowledge of what you are going to say, and your being accustomed to telling what you know to an audience. This gives us the second great element of fluency--to preparation must be added the ease that arises from practise; of which more presently.

_Knowledge is Essential_

Mr. Bryan is a most fluent speaker when he speaks on political problems, tendencies of the time, and questions of morals. It is to be supposed, however, that he would not be so fluent in speaking on the bird life of the Florida Everglades. Mr. John Burroughs might be at his best on this last subject, yet entirely lost in talking about international law. Do not expect to speak fluently on a subject that you know little or nothing about. Ctesiphon boasted that he could speak all day (a sin in itself) on any subject that an audience would suggest. He was banished by the Spartans.

But preparation goes beyond the getting of the facts in the case you are to present: it includes also the ability to think and arrange your thoughts, a full and precise vocabulary, an easy manner of speech and breathing, absence of self-consciousness, and the several other characteristics of efficient delivery that have deserved special attention in other parts of this book rather than in this chapter.

Preparation may be either general or specific; usually it should be both. A life-time of reading, of companionship with stirring thoughts, of wrestling with the problems of life--this constitutes a general preparation of inestimable worth. Out of a well-stored mind, and--richer still--a broad experience, and--best of all--a warmly sympathetic heart, the speaker will have to draw much material that no _immediate_ study could provide. General preparation consists of all that a man has put into himself, all that heredity and environment have instilled into him, and--that other rich source of preparedness for speech--the friendship of wise companions. When Schiller returned home after a visit with Goethe a friend remarked: "I am amazed by the progress Schiller can make within a single fortnight." It was the progressive influence of a new friendship. Proper friendships form one of the best means for the formation of ideas and ideals, for they enable one to practise in giving expression to thought. The speaker who would speak fluently before an audience should learn to speak fluently and entertainingly with a friend. Clarify your ideas by putting them in words; the talker gains as much from his conversation as the listener. You sometimes begin to converse on a subject thinking you have very little to say, but one idea gives birth to another, and you are surprised to learn that the more you give the more you have to give. This give-and-take of friendly conversation develops mentality, and fluency in expression. Longfellow said: "A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years' study of books," and Holmes whimsically yet none the less truthfully declared that half the time he talked to find out what he thought. But that method must not be applied on the platform!