Warren Buffet, the chairman of investment company, Berkshire Hathaway, is a self-made billionaire. According to Forbes magazine, he ranks as one of the wealthiest men in the world.
In a number of interviews over recent years, he has shared some of the secrets of his success.
He has declared that one investment in particular "supersedes all others".
You'll be amazed at what he recounts as one of the secrets of his success....
Warren Buffet is regarded by many as one of world's greatest money makers.
He's promised to give away over 99% of his fortune. So far he's donated $35 billion, much of it to the foundation of his friends, Bill and Melinda Gates.
His success means that when Warren Buffet talks, people tend to listen.
In 2009 he told students at Columbia University that investing in public speaking skills can increase a person’s value by 50%.
"Right now I would pay $100,000 for ten percent of the future earnings of any of you, so if you're interested, see me after class."
"Now, you can improve your value by 50 percent just by learning communication skills--public speaking. If that's the case, see me after class and I'll pay you $150,000."
Buffet makes clear that mastering the art of public speaking and improving your communication skills is one of the best investments you can make.
However, early on in his career, he admits to being petrified of public speaking
Determined to overcome his fears, Buffet, signed up for a public speaking class run by Dale Carnegie, the author of 'How to win friends and influence people'.
In the 2008 Berkshire Hathaway Annual General Meeting, Buffet explains:
"I was terrified of public speaking. I signed up for a Dale Carnegie course, then went home and stopped payment on the check. Then I signed up a second time, and paid with cash. It is important to communicate well both in writing and speaking."
The young investor was determined to get over his crippling fear of public speaking and to woo Susan Thompson, who he would later marry.
"I proposed to my wife actually during the middle of the course, I got so confident about my abilities," Buffett tells Forbes. "It also helped me sell stocks in Omaha, despite being 21 and looking even younger."
Buffett explains to Forbes that you can exponentially increase your potential "by simply being able to communicate better" and "enhancing your talents."
Today, in Buffett’s office, he doesn’t have a framed diploma of his college or business degrees. Instead he proudly displays his public-speaking certificate. “It’s the one investment that supersedes all the others,” Buffet says in an interview with CNBC.
“In my office, you will not see the degree that I got from the University of Nebraska. You will not see the master's degree I got from Columbia University. But you will see the award certificate I got from the Dale Carnegie Course."
"Your potential is something that will help you have a more interesting life," Buffett adds, "but there is no better time to work on that than today."
"Address whatever you feel your weaknesses are, and do it now. Whatever you want to learn more, start doing it today. Don't put if off to your old age," Buffett says.
"You'll have a more rewarding life not only in terms of how much money you make, but how much fun you have out of life; you'll make more friends the more interesting person you are," Buffett says. "So go to it, invest in yourself."
Buffet reinforces a vital point that every leader, manager and professional influencer should take on board. Continually improving your communication skills is vital for professional success.
In most business environments, we are all now too reliant on emails as our main method of communication. If we want to win hearts and minds, we have to engage others face to face.
You really can gain a competitive advantage, inspire others and become a catalyst for positive change by becoming a great speaker.
If you'd like to discover more about about becoming a persuasive, confident and compelling speaker, click here.
For over 20 years, I’ve been helping leaders, managers and sales teams get better results by improving their communication and influencing skills. My training is founded upon extensive research and analysis. Helping you to understand the specific behaviours, techniques and strategies of the world’s best speakers and influencers provides the platform to transform your presentations and sales skills.
How to overcome the fear of public speaking