This story is about how Warren Buffett took a car ride with a 22-year-old entrepreneur named Michael Hood last week, and shared with him his best advice about how to increase net worth by 50 percent.  

I'm going to assume you know who Buffett is, but let's introduce Hood.

He's the co-founder of a company called Voiceflow, which lets people build voice-enabled skills for Amazon's Alexa. He's based in Toronto, and had the chance to ride with Buffett in a car on the way to the Canadian Walk of Fame Inductee Gala last Saturday after being assigned as the multibillionaire's escort for the day.

"What is one tip?" Hood asked Buffett, sitting next to him in the car. "So you are talking to people who are 21, 22, just graduating school. What is one tip that you can give them?"

Buffett sounded like a man who's been asked this question by similar people in similar situations before. His reply:

It's very simple. Invest in yourself. The one easy way to become worth 50 percent more than you are now (at least), is to hone your communication skills, both written and verbal.

If you can't communicate, it's like winking at a girl in the dark. Nothing happens. You can have all the brainpower in the world, but you have to be able to transmit it. And the transmission is communication.

Hood recorded his interaction with Buffett, then uploaded the video to LinkedIn.

Now, will your net worth actually increase by 50 percent if you master public speaking and communication? I'm not sure of Buffett's math, but he's a billionaire and I'm not, so we'll go with it.

He's certainly right, however, about the fact that the words you use are among your most powerful tools -- and that those who can communicate clearly have a massive advantage over everyone else.

Ironically, as CNBC points out, Buffett has said separately that communicating and public speaking did not come naturally to him. He really had to work at it.

Buffett's son, Peter Buffett, told the BBC in 2009 that his father had been "reasonably socially inept" when he was younger. And the elder Buffett seemed to confirm this.

"I was terrified of public speaking when I was in high school and college," Buffett said in the same BBC video. "I couldn't do it. I mean I would throw up and everything. So I took this Dale Carnegie course."

He was 20 then, and Buffett says it was immensely impactful.

"I actually have the diploma in the office," Buffett says in that video. "And I don't have my diploma from college, I don't have my diploma from graduate school, but I have got my Dale Carnegie diploma there because it changed my life."

That course and this book, apparently. And now he's sharing it all.

Published on: Dec 7, 2018
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