December 15, 2009

What are your speaking skills worth to Warren Buffet?

On November 12, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates were interviewed at a town hall meeting by CNBC's Becky Quick and students from Columbia Business School. Toward the end of the meeting, the following question was asked by a student:

"What's the one thing that your MBA didn't prepare you for when you got out into the real world?"

Warren Buffett replied:

"Right now I would pay $100,000 for 10% of the future earnings of any of you, so if anybody wants to see me when this is over...

Now if that's true, you're a million dollar asset right now, right? If 10% of you is worth $100,000. Many of you, and I certainly could have when I got out, just in terms of learning communication skills... you know, it's not something that's taught. I actually went to a Dale Carnegie course later on, in terms of public speaking.

But if you improve your value 50% by having better communication skills, it's another $500,000 in terms of capital value. See me after class and I'll pay you $150,000."

Okay, so not a very articulate plug for public speaking training, but you get the gist.

(Pet peeve: Every single student to ask a question thanked Buffett and Gates for appearing. Here's what I think about wasting time at the beginning of your talk to thank people, especially when they've already been thanked by everyone who spoke before you! They could have added a whole other question and answer with all the time these students spent saying "thank you" and "we're so honored.")

Here's the transcript, but it's incomplete; this question is missing, and maybe others.

0 comments. Please add yours! :

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...