The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking — Dale Carnegie

Hannes Kleist
3 min readNov 17, 2021

Buch-Review — Hannes Kleist — 08.06.2020

This is a real quick one. 200 pages packed with advice on how to give a public talk.

He starts off a bit slow. The first 100 pages, he tries to convince you to speak publicly. The last 100 pages are packed tight with good advice on how to nail a public talk.

Dale Carnegie also wrote the classic “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. See the review here.

Part I — Basic Principles of Effective Speaking

Speakers who talk about what life has taught them never fail to keep the attention of their listeners. Audiences do not relish a talk filled with generalizations.

Jupp. My favorite tidbit in any talk is the “Stanwood founding story”. If you read this — you probably have heard it 10 times. 😂

Fun fact: No telling of the story is ever the same.

Part II — Techniques of Effective Speaking

Talking about introductions

These will center around three items: the subject of the speaker’s talk, his qualifications to speak on that subject, and his name. Often a fourth item will become apparent — why the subject chosen by the speaker is of special interest to the audience.

Short and sweet does it.

Be sure to be sincere. Do not indulge in deprecatory remarks or snide humor. A tongue-in-cheek type of introduction is often misinterpreted by some members of the audience.

Noted! I actually vowed to not use deprecatory humor again. If you do that with people who report to you, they hate that — so they told me — and even if you do that to your higher-ups, they hate that — I had some employees who did that and hated it. I do not even like the banter between friends. It’s an ego-fest.

How to open a talk, either:


A good example of suspense. Dale basically invented clickbait in 1962.

“Shortly after I started out as a professional baseball player, I got one of the biggest shocks of my life.”

Talking about show-of-hands

He forgets that he is listening to a talk. He smiles. He nods to a friend sitting next to him. The ice is broken. You, the speaker, are at ease, and so is the audience.

Talking about numbers

Mere numbers and amounts, taken by themselves, are never very impressive. They have to be illustrated;

Instead of telling an audience for example “You fill out 16 million forms over the course of your life”, use “if we stacked all forms that you have to fill out in your life it is higher than Kilimanjaro”.

He realized that the conclusion of a talk is the part toward which all that precedes it must reasonably move if an audience is to be impressed. This speaker usually throws a smoke screen over his inability to end a talk satisfactorily by lamely saying “thank you.” That is not an ending. That is a mistake. It reeks of the amateur.

That is really hard. I front load my talks often. But you need to have a punch line at the end. A grand finally. The end-boss.

I will use a for my next talk.

How do you go about bringing your talk to a climactic close? Here are a few suggestions: SUMMARIZE ASK FOR ACTION Ask them to do something specific. Don’t say, “Help the Red Cross.” Ask the audience for some response that is within their power to give. Make it as easy as you can for your audience to act on your appeal. Don’t say, “Write your congressman to vote against this bill.”

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Hannes Kleist

MBA, 10 years strategy at ProSiebenSat.1, 5 years app startup (exited), 5 years digital agency, now helping startups with sales