Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 154) – Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie (1888 – 1955) American Writer and Lecturer

“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?

“How would you cure a horse that is afraid of cars—graze him in a back-woods lot where he would never see steam-engines or automobiles, or drive or pasture him where he would frequently see the machines?

“Apply horse-sense to ridding yourself of self-consciousness and fear: face an audience as frequently as you can, and you will soon stop shying. You can never attain freedom from stage-fright by reading a treatise. A book may give you excellent suggestions on how best to conduct yourself in the water, but sooner or later you must get wet, perhaps even strangle and be ‘half scared to death.’ There are a great many ‘wetless’ bathing suits worn at the seashore, but no one ever learns to swim in them. To plunge is the only way.”

— Dale Carnegie


About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
This entry was posted in Quotes for Public Speakers and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 154) – Dale Carnegie

  1. Conor Neill says:

    Love it so much I “Re-Blogged it”. First time I ever pushed that button on wordpress 😉 http://conorneill.com/2012/12/19/2143/

    • John Zimmer says:

      Thanks, Conor. Your comment makes me think of all those movies where the hero said, “Whatever you do, don’t push the red button!”


  2. Conor Neill says:

    Reblogged this on Moving People to Action and commented:
    How to apply “horse-sense” to ridding yourself of self-consciousness and fear.

  3. This about says it all, John. Great story and post.

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