How to Build Confidence and Influence People by Speaking in Public: 10 Tips from Dale Carnegie

Every person who strives to achieve certain success in life takes some action to develop certain skills in himself, with the help of which he can achieve the desired results. Anyone who dreams of becoming a doctor masters the basics and subtleties of medicine. Anyone who wants to advance in the career of a lawyer masters jurisprudence. A creative person polishes his skills in painting, literature, sculpture or acting. There are many examples. But is there something that a person should have, regardless of what profession he has chosen, what position he holds, or in what direction he decided to develop? Is there anything that a person needs to achieve success in any field of activity and in life in general? Surely we will not make a mistake if we talk about a person’s self-confidence, especially when it comes to public speaking.

In our article today, we will not teach you the intricacies of oratory, but will only touch on it as such. But what’s more interesting is that we will consider the topic of public speaking in conjunction with the topic of developing self-confidence.

But do not think that the tips that you will learn below are designed only for people whose activities are related to public speaking. In fact, the information from this article will be very useful to every person, regardless of his type of activity, profession, gender, age, etc. And this is largely due to the fact that information from the book of the famous teacher, psychologist, writer and just an outstanding and intelligent person – Dale Carnegie, entitled "How to develop self-confidence and influence people by speaking in public."

We do not claim to be an exhaustive analysis of this work, since it will be best if you conduct it yourself after reading it, but we want to introduce you to some of the most interesting, in our opinion, key points of the book.


How to Build Self-Confidence and Influence People by Speaking in Public: 10 Tips from Dale Carnegie's Book

To begin with, it is important to note that Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Build Self-Confidence and Influence People by Speaking in Public” itself focuses, for the most part, on the art of public speaking, implicitly touching on the topic of developing self-confidence. Based on this, we bring to your attention our collection of ten tips.


Tip # 1

Dale Carnegie confidently asserts that self-confidence, like the ability to speak eloquently in public, is not something inherent in a person from birth. Anyone who has a sincere desire can develop self-confidence and develop their oratory skills. All this can be compared, for example, with the ability to play poker, because, although it is considered difficult, it is not some kind of incomprehensible science.

Any person who sets a goal and shows appropriate diligence can learn to play poker excellently. The same is true with public speaking and self-confidence – do the appropriate exercises, and the result will not be long in coming.


Tip # 2

Any person in life has situations when everything is “out of the blue”: things are not going well, the mood is at zero, there is no confidence either in oneself or in the future. If this happens, Dale Carnegie recommends doing what the 26th US President Theodore Roosevelt did. When he was discouraged, he would look at a portrait of Abraham Lincoln and ask himself what he would do in a similar situation.

In other words, you need to find a role model for yourself (an example for action), for example, a movie character, historical figure, or fictional work hero that you admire, and try to see the situation through his eyes. And after the “picture” of his actions appears in your mind, act as your hero would have done.


Tip # 3

One of the best ways to develop self-confidence is proper appearance. If a person wears dirty clothes, does not take care of himself, etc., his self-confidence automatically falls, even if he does not notice it. If he has ironed trousers, a clean shirt, clean shoes, etc., and he himself is combed, shaved and smells good, then he feels accordingly.

You yourself have probably noticed more than once how your mood changes, depending on the appearance. Use this knowledge – your self-esteem will always be at the highest level, and hence your self-confidence too. In addition, if you are performing on stage, think about who is more pleasant to listen to: the one who looks great, or the one who looks like a tramp?


Tip # 4

Developing any quality or skill, whether it be self-confidence or the ability to speak publicly, you should never count on amazing quick results. Remember, learning anything is a gradual process. But even this is more important, but the fact that there often comes a period when there is a feeling that you are standing still. In psychology, this is called a period of stagnation.

The key point here is that in no case should you quit what you started and give up. If you feel like your public speaking skills aren't getting better despite constant practice, just keep improving. Remember: there will come a time when all the effort and minutes of waiting will more than pay off in the form of an amazing qualitative leap.


Tip # 5

What do you think determines the success of a speaker's speech? From its volume? How well prepared is she? Alas, this is far from the case. According to Carnegie, the success of any speech depends on whether there is a need in the mind of the speaker himself to speak out, whether there is a clear idea in his head of what he is talking about, whether his heart is on fire with this idea. If so, then success is almost guaranteed. It can be taken as a rule that a well-prepared speech is nine-tenths already delivered.


Tip # 6

If you are preparing a speech, remember that you cannot take it and prepare it as if by magic – once – and you're done! Real high-quality speech should take shape, become mature. And this is all the more important the more impact you want to have on future listeners.

It is best to choose a topic in advance, and then think about it in any free minute that appears. You should discuss it, ask yourself different questions about it, write down any thoughts about it. Keep in mind that wonderful and deep thoughts can visit you at any time. Only a carefully prepared speech will be able to hit the "bull's eye", that is, reach the consciousness of people and "hook" them.


Tip # 7

Do not think that the preparation of the speaker's speech ends at the stage of memorization. Once your speech is ready, you need to start its constant rehearsals. You need to rehearse at any time: when you are busy with household chores, when you walk with the dog, when you take a shower or bath. And the best thing is to regularly set aside time to retire and fully deliver the speech from beginning to end – emotionally, gesturing, with a message, addressing a real audience. The better your speech is rehearsed, the more impact it will have on the audience, and the better you yourself will feel during your speech.


Tip # 8

During a public speech, try not to make the mistake that is inherent in a huge number of speakers – when addressing the public, they look anywhere but at their listeners, as if they do not exist at all. It kills any contact, any relationship between the speaker and the audience.

Strive to draw people into your conversation. If you are asking a question, then ask it to a specific person. If you say something, then do it while looking someone in the eye. Only in this way will the listener feel your message, understand that you are not talking to the walls, but to him.


Tip # 9

Another mistake that speakers make is the formal beginning of the speech and the desire to show that careful preparation was carried out for it. You need to do it with precision, but vice versa. Your performance should look natural, free, almost improvised. You can make a speech unintentional by applying simple tricks, for example, by starting a speech by mentioning recent events or by continuing the conversation that preceded the speech. Keep in mind that the more natural the performance, the more interesting and effective it is.


Tip # 10

Dale Carnegie often talks about very simple things, such as the fact that a person's speech is a reflection of his manner of communicating with the people with whom he most often communicates. Based on this, he recommends taking an example from Abraham Lincoln, who talked a lot with writers. Spend more time with educated people who have a rich and varied speech – your speech will automatically change and become brighter. But remember that communicating with people whose vocabulary is poor will affect your speech in exactly the opposite way.


Dale Carnegie's advice seems to be very effective, despite its simplicity. And as already mentioned, they can be applied not only to oratory, but in general to any activity, and also simply to increase your personal productivity. We only covered ten tips in this article, but there are actually many more, so we highly recommend you check out How to Build Self-Confidence and Influence People by Speaking in Public.

We wish you self-confidence and bright performances!