I never realised I was an introvert. I always thought I was super confident and an absolute extrovert. It was only when I did a Dale Carnegie course in 2001 (I think) that I realised just what a big introvert I really was. And as much as I always believed I was super confident, I actually wasn't all that confident - it was more a case of being very determined. Sure, I fight for the causes that I believe in and I love helping others (people and causes) and I will do whatever it takes (even if it means shaving my hair in front hundreds of people and sharing it with thousands more Dominion Post readers, even if it means appearing on the Good Morning show with Steve Price or one of the local radio stations to help spread the word of the CCF annual appeal), but for most of it, I much rather prefer to be the one organising things or shifting into the background rather than being the one taking centre stage.
The Dale Carnegie course was a brilliant course. It was definitely one of the best I ever did. It is the one course I will always recommend people do. And even though I did this course 10 years ago, I can still remember the profound effect this course had on 35 people. The change 35 of us underwent from week 1 to week 12 was simply phenomenal. It was the first time I ever came across a trainer who lived and breathed the things he taught. It wasn't just a job, it was an absolute passion. I think this is the first time I ever realised the power of positive mind set, that if you truly believed in something you can have the confidence to really go for it. And the tips and techniques were simply amazing.
When I did Toastmasters at school I thought I was doing a great job with prepared speeches. The ones I would write out and memorise and then deliver (what I thought was a great effort), but when it came to topics where they give you limited time to prepare, I really struggled. And of course it doesn't help that they counted the "uhms" and "ahs" during your speech.
It was only when I started Dale Carnegie that I realised I did it all wrong. That when I wrote my speech in Toastmasters and memorised it word for word, I didn't speak from the heart. I didn't base it on my own experiences so of course it would not have been believable.
The Dale Carnegie course was more than just about public speaking. It had a whole focus on memory techniques and more importantly some brilliant techniques when dealing with people. Even really really difficult people.
Recently I came across my Dale Carnegie books and I have decided it was time to read them again. They are a really great read. And each time I read them I find myself nodding my head in agreement.
So today we went to the city where Terence played tenpin bowling with some of his work buddies and I took the kids to Junglerama and I was reading some of my Dale Carnegie book and suddenly the one man sitting at the table next to us came to my table and asked me about the book. Turned out that he also did a similar Dale Carnegie course 20 years ago and just to prove my point - he couldn't stop raving about the course and the profound effect it had on his class of 26. So if a man can speak so passionately about a course he did 20 years ago, then it must be a good course :-)