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About The Book

From the esteemed author of the international bestseller How to Win Friends and Influence People comes a book to help you become the great communicator that you’ve always wanted to be!

We all know a great public speaker when we see one. He or she seems to possess qualities—confidence, charisma, eloquence, learning—that the rest of us lack. But the ability to speak well in front of others is a skill, not a gift. That means anyone can learn how to do it with the right guidance.

Stand and Deliver gives you everything you need to know to become a poised, polished, and masterful communicator. It reveals the techniques that have worked for countless great speakers throughout history. In this book you will learn how to prepare properly for a presentation, develop and project your own unique style, overcome stage fright, and win any audience in one minute.

Packed with tips, strategies, and real-life examples, including case studies of some of the world’s great orators, Stand and Deliver is the definitive guidebook for public speaking. The essential techniques that you learn from this book will benefit you for years to come.


C h a p t e r 1

Keys to High Impact Delivery

The Dale Carnegie organization is the world’s leading

resource for public speaking mastery, and this has

been true for almost a century. Just as certainly, the

Nightingale-Conant Corporation is the world leader in audio

learning technology. Now, Dale Carnegie and Nightingale-

Conant are proud to bring you this definitive book on speaking

in public. So whether you’re just starting out, or if you already

have extensive experience with oral presentations, Stand and

will take you to the next level of mastery.

Literally since the dawn of civilization, speaking well in

front of others has been an ongoing human challenge. This

was especially true for the classical civilizations of Greece and

Rome, but public speaking ability was also highly esteemed in

biblical times, and by Native American tribes, and by the cultures

of India and China. Fascinating as it might be, however,

our purpose here is not a history lesson. So right at the outset,

we’re going to introduce three key tools for creating a high impact

presentation. These are timeless principles upon which all

great speakers have relied—though each has done so in his or

her own way. By blending your unique identity with the universal

principles we’re about to discuss, you can transform yourself

into an effective public speaker almost instantly. So please read

carefully. What you’re about to learn will have a dramatic effect

not only on how you communicate to others, but on how you

see yourself as well.

Human beings are talking beings. We start talking when we

wake up in the morning and we keep at it until we go to sleep—

and some people don’t even stop then. Good conversation is one

of the great joys of human commerce. Good conversation should

be like the game of tennis, in which the ball is struck back and

forth, with each player participating equally. Bores are like golfers

who just keep hitting their own ball, over and over and over.

Good conversationalists make good speakers. They’re sensitive

to the presence of others. Their antennae are forever alert,

picking up signals from their audience and responding to those

signals in the presentation. Good speakers achieve a marvelous

give-and-take with listeners, just as good conversationalists do

in a social setting.

More specifically, both speakers and conversationalists recognize

that people desire recognition more than any other

factor. They frequently ask questions such as “Do you agree

with that?” Then they’ll pause and read the response that’s

forthcoming. It might be silence, rapt attention, nods, laughter,

or concern. If listeners are bored, they will always find ways

of showing that, despite their polite efforts to hide their feelings.

If they’re interested, they’ll show that too. As speakers,

we have a duty to be interesting or we shouldn’t stand before

an audience in the first place. Creating interest is the task of the

speaker, whether we’re the manager of the sales force in a car

dealership, an insurance agency, a real estate office, or a large

international organization. When interest leaves, the sell goes

out of our message.

Our responsibility is not only to create a speech that will lead

an audience to a believable conclusion. We must also make the

building blocks of that conclusion as fascinating as we can. In

this way we can hold the attention of our audience until we get

to that all-important final point. In addition, if we can develop

techniques that make our audience feel that we are conversing

with them, we will convey that we care what they are thinking,

and that will create the emotional climate for them to accept us

as favorably as possible.

Along with understanding the similarities between speaking

in conversation and speaking in public, you should also

understand certain important differences. You need to master

certain key skills that create the illusion that your presentation

is as personal as a one-on-one conversation—but that illusion

is only possible when you’ve professionalized yourself as a

speaker. David Letterman has the ability to speak with virtually

anybody while 10 million viewers are looking in. Yet he’s able

to make this seem as casual as a break at the office watercooler.

Now, you many not think of David Letterman as a great public

speaker, but he draws on the same principles that virtually

every accomplished speaker has used since ancient times.

What are these principles? The first is actually quite obvious,

and maybe that’s why so many speakers seem to forget

it. It can be stated in a single, short sentence: know what you’re

talking about
. Learn the material so well that you own it. Don’t

just have some expertise in your topic—master it. Be able to

fill every second of your presentation with solid content. Once

you’re able to do that, 90 percent of your work will be done before

you even get up in front of the audience.

To make this point, Dale Carnegie liked to invoke the

example of Luther Burbank, a great scientist by any measure

and probably the greatest botanist of all time. Burbank once

said, “I have often produced a million plants in order to find one

or two really good ones—and then I destroyed all the inferior

specimens.” A presentation ought to be prepared in that same

lavish and discriminating spirit. Assemble a hundred thoughts

and discard ninety—or even ninety-nine. Collect more material,

more information, than there is any possibility of employing.

Gather it for the additional confidence it will give you, and

for the sureness of touch. Gather it for the effect it will have on

your mind and heart and whole manner of speaking. This is a

basic factor in preparation. Yet speakers constantly ignore it.

Mr. Carnegie actually believed that speakers should know forty

times more about their topic than they share in a presentation!

Knowing one topic supremely well is obviously much more

practical than trying to master a larger number. Professional

salespeople, marketing experts, and leaders in the advertising

profession know the importance of selling one thing at a time.

Only catalogs can successfully handle a multitude of items. In

a five-minute speech or even a long speech, it’s important to

have a single theme, and like a good salesperson, you pose the

problem and then give your solution. At the end, the problem is

restated and the solution quickly summarized.

Your opening statement should be an attention getter. For

example, you might say, “Scientists all over the world are

agreed that the world’s oceans are dying.” A sobering thought

indeed. It captures immediate interest, and everyone is thinking,

“Why, that would presage the end of the world. What are

we doing about it?”

By invoking an internationally recognized authority as

your reference—someone such as the late Jacques Cousteau,

for instance—you provide supporting evidence that your

opening remark is true, then you outline the possible ways

that the disaster might be averted. At the end, you might say,

“Yes, the oceans of the world are dying today, but if we can

marshal the combined efforts of the world’s peoples, if we can

influence every maritime country to pass laws governing the

pollution of the seas by oil tankers . . .” So you end on a note

of hope and at the same time enlist the sympathy of every one

of your listeners in your cause.

Not all talks are about social problems, of course. You might

be talking about a recent fishing trip, in which case you find

something of special interest in the story and open with that.

You might say, “Ounce for ounce, the rainbow trout is one of

the gamest fish on earth.” It’s a much better attention getter

and interest stimulator than saying, “I want to tell you about

my recent fishing trip.” After a few words about the fish you

were after, you can work in the rest. “Two weeks ago, John

Cooper and I decided to try our luck on the White River near

Carter, Arkansas. It’s one of the most naturally beautiful spots

in the country . . .” Stay with the trip and that rainbow trout,

the hero of your story, and how good it tasted cooked over an

open fire on the bank of the river. Then at the close, to more

closely link your listeners to the subject, you might say, “If

you’ve never been trout fishing, let me recommend it as one of

the world’s best ways to forget your problems, clear your brain,

and gain a new perspective. And when you hook a rainbow

trout, you’re in for one of the greatest thrills of a lifetime.”

Watch your personal pronouns. Keep yourself out of your

conversation as much as possible. In the fishing story, talk

about the fish, the beautiful scenery, your companions, other

people you met, a humorous incident or two perhaps, but don’t

keep saying, “I did this” and “I did that.” The purpose of the

speech is not to talk about you but rather the subject matter.

An old saying is that small minds talk about things, average

minds talk about people, and great minds talk about ideas.

What you’re selling is almost always an idea, even if it’s painting

the house. The idea is the good appearance or the protection

of the house. The fishing-trip story is about the idea of

getting away and going after exciting game fish. One idea, well

developed, is the key.

A beautiful painting is put together by a thousand brushstrokes,

each stroke making a contribution to the main theme,

the overall picture. It’s the same with a good speech.

When speakers—especially inexperienced speakers—prepare

a talk, their biggest fear is not having enough to say to fill the

allotted time. Most people worry that they’ll run out of material

in the middle of their talk, but they respond to this fear in

a misguided way. They “puff ” their presentation. They wind

up trying to cram the story of their lives into their fifteen minutes

at the podium. The presentation gets bigger, but instead

of really growing, it just swells. This is an especially dangerous

pitfall for new speakers since it’s usually unconscious. The

principle of knowing what you’re talking about doesn’t mean

you have to say it all. You say just enough to fill your time effectively.

You leave your audience wanting more, and if you’ve

truly mastered your subject, they’ll know that there is more.

You’ll project knowledge to them that’s above and beyond your

actual spoken words.

To reach this level of mastery, you should begin preparing

ten days to two weeks before your event. Start your preparation

by sitting down with a pencil and paper for twenty minutes—

no less and no more—and writing at least fifty questions about

your topic. Fifty is the minimum, but you should definitely try

for as many as possible. Write your questions as quickly as you

can. Don’t give them a lot of thought. That’s why the twentyminute

time limit is important. This stage of preparation is a

sprint, not a leisurely stroll through your mental library.

During this twenty-minute session, you’re creating an outline

for your talk—and we want to stress the importance of

putting this in the form of questions. Research shows that this

is much more stimulating to the brain than a conventional outline,

and since you’re not supplying answers at this point, it can

also be done much faster. The answers will come later in other

sessions leading up to your talk.

Let me repeat, your first session should be limited to twenty

minutes, and it should be done the old-fashioned way, with an

actual pencil and paper.

In your second session, you’ll start supplying answers to

your questions and providing evidence for your ideas. This is

when the computer becomes an essential tool. Begin by creating

a document file of your questions—there should be at least

fifty—and quickly writing an answer for each one based on

your own knowledge. Write this just as you would say it if you

were sitting in Starbucks with a good friend. Unlike your first

session, you don’t have to limit yourself to twenty minutes, but

don’t feel as if you have to answer all of your questions either.

Just keep at it until you feel your energy start to fade. Resist

the temptation to use the Internet to gather information. That

will come later. Right now your job is to access everything you

know about your topic, which is probably a lot more than you

think you know.

It may take you several sessions to answer all the questions

you wrote down, but that’s no problem as long as you begin

at least ten days in advance. Just make sure that you complete

your answers with three or four days left before your talk. In

those final sessions, you can surf the Internet for facts and

figures to enhance what you’ve already written. Remember,

you don’t have to report everything there is to know about

your topic. Ideally, you have total mastery of your subject, but

that’s for your benefit as much as for the audience’s. Mastery

allows you to feel completely confident in your role as an

authority. It’s not something you have to demonstrate in the

actual words that come out of your mouth. So pick and choose

the pertinent and hard-hitting information that you want to

include. Think of your talk as a special meal you’re preparing

in your home for some honored guests. Don’t think of it as a

full service restaurant.

For some presentations you have little or no prior information.

Other times the opposite will be true. For example,

if you’re talking about your own life or career, you’ll have a

wealth of material on the subject. Your problem is to select

and arrange the information. Don’t try to tell your audience

everything because it can’t be done. Your talk will come off

as sketchy and fragmented. On the other hand, if you’re talking

about something that’s less familiar to you, avoid trying to

cover this up with excessive research. Be frank with yourself

and your audience about your relationship to the topic. You

don’t have to say you feel ignorant about it, but you don’t have

to pretend you’re a total expert either. You might want to take

only one aspect of your topic and expand upon it. Don’t make

your talk an abstraction. Make liberal use of illustrations,

personal observations, and self-revelations. Think of specific

situations you’ve observed, and let those situations reveal any

general principles. Your goal should always be to share your

authentic point of view with the audience. That may be the

view of an excited and highly motivated learner, or of an experienced

and completely genuine, reliable, and empathetic

teacher. By showing this is who you really are, you’ll capture

the goodwill of your listeners.

About The Author

Dale Carnegie was born in 1888 in Missouri. He wrote his now-renowned book How to Win Friends and Influence People in 1936. This milestone cemented the rapid spread of his core values across the United States. During the 1950s, the foundations of Dale Carnegie Training® as it exists today began to take form. Dale Carnegie himself passed away soon after in 1955, leaving his legacy and set of core principles to be disseminated for decades to come. Today, the Dale Carnegie Training programs are available in more than 30 languages throughout the entire United States and in more than 85 countries.  Dale Carnegie includes as its clients 400 of the Fortune 500 companies.  Approximately 7 million people have experienced Dale Carnegie Training.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (March 15, 2011)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781439188309

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