Review: The Art of Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie

Down and Dirty: 4 out of 5

Very valuable advice, but don’t use the audio version!

This is a classic book with a lot of good advice on how to monitor, regulate and improve your speaking ability in any situation. Each chapter builds on the last chapter’s lessons from intonation to emphasis to gestures.

There are tons of very influential, moving speeches as well as poems and letters to try your hand at reading. What is most engaging about this book is its homework assignments at the end of each chapter.  You are asked to practice speaking sentences or whole speeches, write and rehearse speeches here and there, and define the terms being used as well as explain how they could be used in various ways.

The reason I gave this book a less than perfect rating was because, for maximum efficiency, you can’t just have an audio or a text version of this book. You really need both! I loved that I could HEAR how to speak with different emphasis. However, when it came time to do my own practice speech reading, I couldn’t! Instead the audiobook had to read it to me, which ruined my chances of trying my hand at a different way of reading the speech.

If you’re looking for a book about public speaking, this is definitely one of the better ones I’ve come across.  Just be sure to get both versions of the book!

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