13 APRIL 1956, Page 7

A RECENT American import to Britain is the Dale Carnegie

Course in Leadership Training and Effective Speaking, which has thrown open its doors in London. The course is based on the late Dale Carnegie's best-selling book. How to Win Friends and Influence People. It is run by Mr. Oliver K. Whiting, an Englishman, who bears a faint resemblance, both in appearance and in zeal, to Mr. Frank Buchman. 'You must stop me if I get too excited,' he told a group of British business executives. but I just want to tell everyone about the wonderful things the course can do.' The course, which takes up one evening a week for fourteen weeks (with a dinner in the fifteenth) is, basically, the teaching of public speaking. This in its turn is supposed to overcome shyness, which victory is supposed to lead to financial success. In America, many firms send their timid employees to the course, whence they return, it is said, raging ext-overts and excellent salesmen. The emphasis at each meeting is on, friendliness, and the student quickly learns a set of ingratiating techniques (always to smile, to look a man straight in the eye. to write birthdays on your cuff so you don't forget them, to develop a firm handshake) that nay seem, to the inhibited Englishman, more suitable to the nursery than to the hotel rooms in which they are taught. One meek, tongue-tied American businessman, through the course, became so delighted with the sound of his own voice that, in order not to waste Sundays, he joined a Quaker meeting-house, as he'd found that the Quaker service encouraged speaking.