How A $100 Course Transformed Warren Buffett From Shy Speaker To Confident Leader

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, wasn't always the confident speaker known today. Public speaking once made him “physically ill.” Determined to overcome this fear, Buffett took a $100 course at Dale Carnegie Training after graduating from Columbia Business School in 1951, Buffett shared this insight with author Gillian Zoe Segal during an interview for her 2015 book, “Getting There: A Book of Mentors.

What Happened: Buffett credits this course as having a significant impact on his success, stating that even modest improvements in communication skills can greatly enhance future earning power and other life aspects, reported CNBC Make It.

Here are four key tips from the Dale Carnegie course that Buffett found invaluable:

  1. Learn Thoroughly: Carnegie emphasized the importance of deep knowledge. Spend extensive time preparing on subjects you’re passionate about, enhancing your credibility and confidence.
  2. Share Personal Experiences: Making speeches personal is key to connecting with your audience. Buffett often includes personal anecdotes to illustrate his points.
  3. Use Brief Notes: Avoid reading from a script. Brief notes help you stay present and speak naturally.
  4. Be Enthusiastic: Show positive energy and confidence about your topic. Buffett's passion for investing and success shines through in his speeches.

Dale Carnegie CEO Joe Hart told CNBC in 2019 that professionals can still benefit from the lessons Buffett learned in that course. Carnegie himself advised speaking on topics you know well and preparing thoroughly to become a better communicator.

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Why It Matters: Buffett has often shared insights on the importance of foundational skills in achieving success. During the 1999 Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting, Buffett was asked how he would replicate his success if starting over in his 30s. He emphasized the importance of starting early, leveraging compounding interest, and disciplined investing.

Buffett’s strategic approach has been evident in his business dealings. Notably, he once paid $1.7 billion for a business without ever meeting its founders, relying on the “most important” thing in business: trust and integrity.

Moreover, Buffett has long advocated for policies supporting working-class families, emphasizing that economic divides are not due to the rich exploiting the poor. His stance on income inequality highlights his commitment to broader societal issues.

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Image Via Shutterstock

This story was generated using Benzinga Neuro and edited by Kaustubh Bagalkote

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