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person from realizing new ones. Each temperament, trade, and profession (this is especially true of the ministry) gives rise to a set of feelings peculiar to itself. These feelings are of narrow range, and are frequently so pronounced as. to dominate the speaker. Some students require a reconstruction of their emotional character amounting to a new birth. Dominant sets of feelings must be guarded against, and a combination of temperaments cultivated.
The student of speaking must submit to the unaccustomed. New ways of speaking, new ways of acting, are possible only to those who can welcome new feelings. The greater ease with which youth and those in early manhood can take up that which produces new feelings, indicates this period as the most hopeful one for the study and practice of the Elements of Public Speaking.
2. Control through the Will. The faults of the student of Public Speaking may be clearly pointed out. He soon learns to recognize his main faults for himself. He squeezes the voice in the throat; he speaks too rapidly or too slowly; he reads in monotone, and without reference to communicating to the audience. Now, these and other faults may be affected by direct effort of the will. Inhibit by act of will all unpurposed movements of the mind and body. Possibly, inhibition is never purely negative, but includes the substitution of a purposed idea or act for one that is not purposed. For instance, anger is controlled by filling the mind with some other idea, say of pleasure or pity. Inhibition of rapid delivery is accompanied by a substitution of the idea of orderly and deliberate movement. In ordinary control, however, the negative feature of inhibition is dwelt upon more fully than substitutionary activity, and practically amounts to the same in result.
“In an adult of pretty complete volitional control, almost all movements, whether of recreation or of business, are connected together through their reference to some unity, some final purpose
which the man intends. There is involved first a process of inhibition, by which all movements not calculated to reach the end are suppressed ; second, co-ordination, by which the remaining movements are brought into harmonious relations with each other; and third, accommodation, by which they are all adjusted to the end present in consciousness.
“ There is also a deepening of the control. The movements become organized, as it were, into the very structure of the body. The body becomes a tool more and more under command, a mechanism better fitted for its end, and also more responsive to the touch. Isolated acts become capacity for action. That which has been laboriously acquired becomes spontaneous function. There result a number of abilities to act in this way or that — abilities to walk, to talk, to read, to write, to labor at the trade. Acquisition becomes function; control becomes skill. These capacities are also tendencies. They constitute not only a machine capable of action in a given way at direction, but an automatic machine which, when consciousness does not put an end before it, acts for itself. It is this deepening of control which constitutes what we call habit.” 1
1 Dewey's Psychology, p. 382.
As the credit of a person is good, not by what he spends, but by what he holds, so also the strength of a speaker is great, not by what he uses, but by what he keeps in reserve. The tear in the eye stirs more than the tear on the cheek, and the suppressed groan is more affecting than the loud lament. While the audience demands vigor and earnestness, it also demands a control that shall master and direct that earnestness. The impression that great force is used upon small matters, and that the speaker's limitations are obvious, is fatal to success. Reserved force, however, is not suppressive of earnest
The dull speaker may never be excessive nor extravagant in physical or emotional energy, but it cannot be said that he is governed by reserved force. He is, instead, lacking in force, since one can reserve only what he has. The speaker with the control of reserve, it is safe to say, feels more than others. He gives the impression that he has sources of power upon which he does not find it neces
His store of information is not exhausted; his physical strength could well endure more; his vocal force is within the range of easy delivery; his emotions are chastened within appropriate manifestation.
Many speakers start out with an abrupt force that shocks the audience, and then allow the force gradually to diminish. Consequently, at the climaxes there is insufficient force to make them effective, and finally the close is feeble. The process of good speaking has been reversed. Sometimes excessive force continues uniform from beginning to
sary to draw.
end; and at other times there is unnecessary and excessive, sometimes periodic, application of force. Other violations of this principle are excessive bodily action, pacing the platform, swinging the arms; the lungs are allowed to become exhausted, the tone is breathy, .excessive loudness is obvious.
Specialization of Function. - As specialization economizes effort, it is to be regarded as an aspect of reserved force. By specialization of function is meant that in the accomplishment of any purpose only those agents, organs, or muscles are used that are necessary to the achievement of the specific aim. It implies also the successive instead of the simultaneous use of the several parts. The awkward walker, for example, exerts the whole body, while the graceful walker uses only the organs and muscles of locomotion. Again, contrast the excessive muscular exertion of the person learning to ride the bicycle with the ease and localized effort of the skilful rider.
In Public Speaking, there is a tendency to use too many parts, and to use the necessary parts simultaneously in any special act. At times, physical energy is substituted for vocal discrimination, noise for emphasis. In physical carriage, the body should be erect, free; and in movements, only the organs of locomotion should be used. In voice, only the kind and force adapted to the special demand should be allowed. Excessive and laborious use should be guarded against. In enunciation, only the tip of the tongue should be active, if the proper sound demand it alone. In gesture, the whole body should not be thrown with the movements of the arms; and the fingers should distinguish their function from that of the hand.
examples will serve to show the application of the principle of specialization in delivery.
As might be supposed, specialization is realized by inhibiting the reflex participation of unrelated functions,
and by educating the special functions to depend on their own office. For example, where emphasis is called for, train the voice to use emphasis instead of loudness. Again, when the hand and arm only are needed in gesture, compel the body to remain passive. To the audience, specialization gives the impression of ease and elegance, and so satisfies the æsthetic demand of
and ear. Reserved force manifests itself in the following ways:
1. In the physical bearing. It is strong, and every movement has a purpose, and is without excess.
It is closely identified with physical control; the co-ordinations are accurate and timely. It suggests culture and good character. 2. In the
se of the voice. The breath is all converted into tone. The chest is active, the lungs are well filled. Breathing is never labored nor obtrusive. There is an absence of noisiness.
3. In suppressed emotion. In reserved force, there is the impression given of strong and vital thought and feeling. The speaker seems to express less emotion than he feels. Intensity and dynamic effort, rather than noise, are the manifestations of such force. 4. In a masterful hold upon the audience.
The speaker seems to hold the audience by direct effort of will. This hold upon the audience seems to reflect its power upon the speaker, and he in turn is restrained or held by the audience. Poise and purpose are controlling. Mentally, emotionally, vocally, the audience is in the grasp of the speaker. The total impression upon the audience is that of vigor with ease.
5. In specialized effort. This gives the impression of ease