I mentioned before that I wanted to take you, my friends, with me on my journey to becoming a published author. Perhaps you’ll learn from my failures and be encouraged by my successes.
One necessary step for me was Dale Carnegie. So, what does writing have to do with Dale Carnegie and public speaking?
Before this technological and social media age, all a writer had to do was write. They could go out into the wilderness, hole up inside a cabin and pound those typewriter keys. Then they would send their finished manuscript to a publishing company and start their next story while waiting for their check to come.
Those days are gone.
Publishers expect authors to go out and promote their book. They’re expected to have a blog and/or website. They’re also expected to do book signings and accept speaking engagements. I enjoy working on my blog, but public speaking terrified me. Back in my school days, the thought of getting up in front of the class and speaking made me sick – literally.
I finally realized I couldn’t hide from this fear anymore. When I’m published, I want to be able to promote my book. My Dad always said “the only way to get over a fear is to do it.” Some of the people I work with had taken the Dale Carnegie course and they said it helped them immensely. I decided to sign up.
In the class, the first thing discussed was criticism. It was not allowed in the classroom. Also, we all had to clap every time someone went up to speak and when they finished. This created a positive atmosphere and slowly, my nervousness went away.
Our speeches were only a minute or two long and they were different types of speeches. One was a “how to.” We had to demonstrate how to do something. That was just one of them.
My favorite one was the craziest one. It broke me out of my comfort zone. I was asked not to give details. It’s more enjoyable being surprised and not knowing ahead of time what you’ll be doing. Let’s just say, I had a blast. Everyone was cheering for everyone and I was laughing through the whole thing. I was actually looking forward to my turn! I couldn’t believe it! What this exercise did for me was it freed me. If I could have this much fun doing this exercise in front of the whole classroom; standing up and talking would be a breeze.
For the sake of everyone’s privacy, I was not allowed to take pictures during the classes and, of course, I cannot talk about what was discussed in class. Some of the speeches were of a personal nature and everyone’s privacy is respected here.
Since the manuscript I’m working on will be my first book, I don’t know how long the process takes. I’m hoping my book will be available by the end of the year. I’m looking forward to having it published and I’m actually looking forward to doing speaking engagements about my book. This change in me wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the Dale Carnegie staff and my fellow classmates.
The class I was in was an awesome group of people. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to conquer my fear. A big, heartfelt thanks goes out to all of you!
I highly recommend Dale Carnegie!