Article Category: Book Reviews

The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking (Dale Carnegie): Book Review

Dale Carnegie Book The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking: Modern Techniques for Dynamic Communication is 224 pages of practical, plain, and pure public speaking advice.

Author Dale Carnegie packs an incredible breadth of public speaking advice into a short, easy-to-read format.

Over 7 million people have completed Dale Carnegie training, following the basic wisdom contained in this book.

About Dale Carnegie

In 1912, Dale Carnegie was living at the YMCA in New York City when he approached the manager to allow him to teach a course in public speaking. He ran out of material in the very first session, and resorted to improvisational techniques that he had learned as an actor. To his surprise, he discovered that these techniques helped his students conquer their public speaking fears.

From humble beginnings, that YMCA course led to a 40-year career teaching public speaking. The Dale Carnegie course which has been completed by over seven million people in 75 countries. Known as the father of the self-help movement, Carnegie is a best selling author of many books, including How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Comparison to Speak Like Churchill

Sometimes, the best way to describe something is to compare it to another similar thing.

Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln is another popular public speaking book that I recently reviewed. I recommend reading both books, but they differ in several ways.

Breadth and Depth of Coverage

Not surprisingly, depth and breadth are inversely related. (Both books have approximately the same length.)

  • Quick and Easy touches on the entire breadth of public speaking, including topics such as confidence, overcoming fear, impromptu speaking, and giving an introduction. Coverage for some topics is quite brief — perhaps only a few paragraphs.
  • Speak Like Churchill aims more squarely at delivery and speech writing techniques. Each technique is explored in depth.


Both books have broad appeal, but…

  • Quick and Easy aims at a novice speaker.
  • Speak Like Churchill aims at an intermediate speaker looking to take their skills to the next level through powerful writing and delivery.

Subject of Anecdotes

  • Quick and Easy illustrates principles by citing examples from average citizens.
  • Speak Like Churchill primarily relies on anecdotes from famous politicians.

Type of Speaking Situations

  • Quick and Easy discusses many distinct speaking situations — informative speeches, persuasive speeches, impromptu speaking, introducing speakers, presenting and accepting awards, and both short and long talks.
  • Speak Like Churchill describes techniques which can be applied in all situations, but these situations are not directly addressed.


The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking is an excellent public speaking primer. The coverage on overcoming nervousness alone is worth the price of this book for novice speakers. All speakers can gain from the systematic treatment of speaking fundamentals.

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The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking by Dale Carnegie Andrew Dlugan 1.5 March 2, 2008 Practical and plain public speaking advice. Covers a wide breadth of topics. This book contains the foundation for the Dale Carnegie speaking courses which have been completed by millions of people.

This article is one of a series of public speaking book reviews featured on Six Minutes.
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  1. Jason Peck says:

    Hey Andrew,

    Nice review. I recently picked up a copy of Dale Carnegie’s book and what amazes me is that although the book is so old most of the information is still being taught today and it seems almost bang up-to-date.

    I’ll have to try and get hold of that Chruchill book now.



  2. Patricia Song says:

    Hello Andrew,
    I have seen you speak at a previous contest, in which you placed. I actually sat beside you. I’m a Toastmasters member as well.
    Have you read another one of Dale Carnegie’s books titled: How to Develop Self-Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking?
    If you have, what do you think of that book in comparison to this one? I am looking to buy that book, but then came across your book review.

    1. Andrew Dlugan says:

      Unfortunately, I have not read the “How to Develop Self-Confidence…” book by Dale Carnegie so I cannot provide the first-hand comparison you are seeking.

      However, my understanding is that all of the Dale Carnegie books are very similar in terms of style and depth. Thus, I would assume that “How to Develop Self-Confidence…” is also written in a plain-language, matter-of-fact style. It’s probably a bit old-fashioned and dated (Dale Carnegie wrote his books over 50 years ago), and reflects the society in which he lived. That being said, his advice is very practical and, for the most part, timeless.

      I’d say that you probably can’t go wrong considering the price. I’ve heard generally positive comments about all of his books. If you do choose the “How to Develop Self-Confidence…” book, I would be curious to know how you liked it.

  3. JOSHUA says:

    wonderful writer,life becomes simple only if one applys his knowledge.

  4. Hey Andrew,

    I was looking for a quick resume for his Dale Carneige other book: Develop self confidence, Improve public speaking, and stumbled upon this site.
    I did not know about this book, so thank you for the recommendation.

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