One of the grandfathers of the motivational speaking world is Dale Carnegie. Dale Carnegie was born in a low-income family from a small farm in Maryville, Missouri. Early in his adolescent years, he showed great potential as he actively participated in debate during high school. He managed to finish college through his diligence at State Teacher’s College in Warrensburg and eventually got first job as a salesman for Armour and Company in Nebraska which he successfully made as his sales territory.
Carnegie’s lifelong dream was to become a Chautauqua lecturer, so he eagerly saved $500 and quit his job to be able to fulfill this dream. But he ended up attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Finding out that success in acting was elusive, he returned to New York and lived at the 125th Street YMCA. That was when the idea of teaching public speaking came to his mind. He took a job as an instructor at YMCA and discovered that the students felt more confident to address their public audience after asking them let all of their natural thoughts and feelings come out.
Shortly after, he began to develop public speaking courses on his own. In 1926, he released his first collection of books entitled Public Speaking: A Practical Course for Businessmen, which was renamed in 1932 as Public Speaking and Influencing Men in Business. Among other books he published were How to Stop Worrying and Start Living and Lincoln the Unknown.
His most famous book is titled, How to Win Friends and Influence People, which made it’s permanent mark in the minds of his readers. In 1936, his book sold 10 million copies in different language translations, setting a record of being one of the best-selling books of all time.
Because his book became a worldwide hit, his demands and job offers increased as a writer and lecturer. He started a news column and founded the Dale Carnegie Institute for Effective Speaking and Human Relations which branched out internationally. His courses were highly recognized worldwide for being effective in self-improvement, public speaking, better salesmanship, corporate training, and interpersonal skills.
Carnegie’s passion has always been teaching others how to achieve success through the books he write and speeches he delivers. He wanted us to identify our authentic self, to project a unique style in public speaking, and win over the audience, persuading them to take action. Techniques for doing so are included in the method of public speaking he developed – the “Stand and Deliver” method.
All his efforts paid off, as many people thanked him for giving them advice that made them climb the success ladder in business and even in real life. Carnegie passed away home on November 1, 1955 due to Hodgkin’s disease, yet his influences still remain up to this age. It’s been proven through fact that the popularity of his books has increased by 5 million copies in 31 different languages and the institute he founded has had 450,000 graduates since his death.