The Art of Public Speaking
by Dale Carnegie & J. Berg Esenwein, 1915
A preview of chapter 1 of The Art of Public Speaking:
ACQUIRING CONFIDENCE BEFORE AN AUDIENCE There is a strange sensation often experienced in the presence of an audience. It may proceed from the gaze of the many eyes that turn upon the speaker, especially if he permits himself to steadily return that gaze. Most speakers have been conscious of this in a nameless thrill, a real something, pervading the atmosphere, tangible, evanescent, indescribable. All writers have borne testimony to the power of a speaker’s eye in impressing an audience. This influence which we are now considering is the reverse of that picture–the power their eyes may exert upon him, especially before he begins to speak: after the inward fires of oratory are fanned into flame the eyes of the audience lose all terror. –WILLIAM PITTENGER, Extempore Speech. Students of public speaking continually ask, “How can I overcome self-consciousness and the fear that paralyzes me before an audience?” Did you ever notice in looking from a train window that some horses feed near the track and never even pause to look up at the thundering cars, while just ahead at the next railroad crossing a farmer’s wife will be nervously trying to quiet her scared horse as the train goes by?