Friday, March 9, 2012

Reflections: The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking

 Adam C. Zern shares his thoughts on Dale Carnegie's The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking:

"I'm always willing to give an unknown book a try if I get it for free or an extremely reduced price.  This was the case for books like The Thirteen American Arguments by Howard Fineman and Rights from Wrongs by Alan Dershowitz.  Some of these unknowns ended up becoming true gems that I found great value in and others didn't have all that much to offer.  The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking by Dale Carnegie was one of those freebies I picked up after completing a school project, along with Dale Carnegie's very well known How to Win Friends and Influence People.

I can't help but think of Snake Oil when I see a title on any book that begins with "The Quick and Easy Way . . ."  Although Mr. Carnegie's book isn't Snake Oil, simply reading the book isn't a quick and easy way to effective speaking.  To his credit, Mr. Carnegie explicitly states that his ideas and suggestions have to be practically implemented in order for anyone to become a more effective speaker.  The book provides interesting insights, ideas, axioms, and anecdotes, but nothing revolutionary.  Although, I can't help but think that more contemporary self-help / effective speaking books might offer more research based information but probably not that much more in terms of general principles.  It’s hard not to be reminded of what the Preacher had to say so long ago: “there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Reading The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking was somewhat of a one-off for me.  I more than likely would not have purchased such a book, but picking it up for free gave me an excuse to spend a few days with it.  I'm sure if I ever have to share some thoughts on effective speaking, especially public speaking, I'll flip back through its pages for some interesting quotes or thoughts, but I probably won't think that much about the book aside from that."

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