involved in the principle of force will aid him much in this perplexity and in similar difficulties that sooner or later he will be sure to meet.

Conditions for speaking should be carefully considered. The first consideration of force is that of the size, shape, and general character of the room in which one is to speak. Many speakers seem to be unaware that there are differences in auditoriums, and this, no doubt, accounts for the failure of many speeches that might have been good had the conditions for them been right. The matter of the size of the room is generally of utmost importance to the success of a speech. The amount of force that would properly be applied to the voice for a talk in a drawing-room would be quite inadequate if used in an auditorium with a capacity of several thousand persons. In the case of the parlor talk no attention whatever would need to be given to force of voice. In the large auditorium this would be a very important consideration.

Clergymen who are accustomed to speak in large churches, where the acoustics are not always the best and where there are sometimes many vacant pews, soon learn the importance of this principle. By employing sufficient force to make the voice carry to all parts of the room, they are able to employ an easy, conversational tone that sounds to those in the pews no louder than the voice in ordinary conversation, while in reality a considerably greater amount of force is being used. This, of course, is the ideal adaptation of the voice to an auditorium, and one that should be sought by every speaker.

Not infrequently speakers who are accustomed to address large audiences acquire the habit of employing so

much volume of tone that their everyday conversation sounds sonorous and unnatural. When they speak in a small room their voices seem almost to strike one in the face. This shows a lack of appreciation on the part of the speaker of the very important fact that every room requires a special adjustment of the voice; otherwise the speech seems inapt and unsuited to the occasion, no matter if all the other elements of expression are properly employed.

Factors determining acoustic conditions. There are many other things besides the size of the room that have to be taken into consideration in this matter of adaptation. The shape, the character of the walls and ceilings, the draperies, and the kind of seats are even more important than the size in determining acoustic conditions. Buildings that are constructed with high ceilings, that have many angles, nooks, and corners where the voice may be caught and deflected, usually have a bad echo and are poorly suited to purposes of public speaking. Churches were formerly constructed after this manner, with many arches, cross sections, and projections from the roof that interfered considerably with the sound waves. Similarly, balconies supported by pillars and extending around three sides of the auditorium are usually open to the same objection, unless they are especially constructed with reference to the acoustics of the building. The voice being caught under such wide projections loses much of its power, and the speaker often experiences the sensation of not being able to tell what his voice is doing. He has the feeling that, although the voice is sent out in the proper manner, he has no assurance of

where or how it is "going to hit," and it becomes for him more or less a game of chance.

The tendency in modern architecture seems to be to eliminate, as far as possible, all complicated structure that is likely to interfere with the sound waves of the voice and to sacrifice, wherever necessary, decorative art to proper acoustics. So, instead of the elaborate and sometimes overornate interiors with the angles and decorative projections of former days, we now see more plain walls and concave ceilings.

Sometimes, however, plain walls do not give the desired acoustic conditions. Much depends upon the general proportions of the building. A type of building that is usually very difficult to speak in is the typical country opera house, a very long, narrow structure with low ceilings and a stage built high above the audience. In such buildings, where the length is entirely out of proportion to the width and height, the acoustics are invariably poor. The speaker who understands how to employ the proper amount of force to make his voice reach the people in the back rows is most likely to be successful in a building of this kind.

Many other considerations also enter in, affecting general acoustic conditions. Bare walls, floors, and seats are likely to produce echo. In theaters and other large public auditoriums this is sometimes avoided by placing draperies about the walls, cushioning the seats, and covering the floors with heavy carpets. In some auditoriums it has been found necessary to remove the plastering from the walls and ceilings and to substitute felt coverings, in order to make them at all suitable for speaking purposes. The mere matter of the room's being filled with people

is also of much importance. It is usually more difficult to speak in a room only half-filled with people than in one in which every seat is occupied, the bodies of the audience preventing echo in the same way as many of the devices that are employed expressly for that purpose.

Skilled architects, by taking into consideration all the factors that go to make up proper speaking conditions, have been able to construct buildings in which the acoustics are practically perfect. An example of very perfect architecture of this kind is the Hill Auditorium, recently completed at the University of Michigan. This building, with a seating capacity of something over six thousand, is so perfect in its acoustic qualities that when two extra rows of seats, which had not been planned for by the architects in the general scheme of the building, were added in the rear, they proved to be valueless. For the people in the rows immediately ahead the acoustics were perfect, but persons seated in these last two rows could hear only with much difficulty.

But hardly ever does the beginner have the advantage of such ideal conditions. He is usually obliged to get his experience by speaking in places where the conditions are very imperfect and where his success depends upon his ability to master the difficult situation. It is necessary, therefore, that he understand the conditions that he will be certain to meet, and be able to cope with them intelligently.

How to meet acoustic conditions. Perhaps the surest test of whether or not the speaker is meeting the acoustic requirements of the room in which he speaks is by observing the people in the back rows. If they are leaning

forward and apparently hearing with difficulty, or if they seem restless and indifferent, the speaker needs no further evidence that he is not doing his duty. Obviously if he is to make a successful speech, he must make his voice reach out to those in the most remote parts of the room. This requires the employment of sufficient force to give the voice the necessary carrying power. This may be accomplished by good breath support and very clear enunciation.

Force, secured with effort by means of labored breathing or accompanied by imperfect enunciation, is hardly more effective than a tone so weak that it cannot be easily heard. The ranter who shouts, expending all his breath as he goes along, is never effective. The speaker should be able, by means of proper control of breath, to give to the voice all the power that may be needed under any circumstance, but always in a manner that shows an abundance of reserve power.

The principle of reserve power most essential. It is this power held constantly in reserve that is one of the speaker's greatest elements of strength. If he is able, by means of good breath support, very clear enunciation, and a proper amount of force, to produce tones that reach easily to every part of the room in which he speaks, and that seem to his hearers to be made with no more effort than the tones of his ordinary conversation, he has mastered one of the fine arts of the public speaker. Labored speaking is always difficult to listen to. It gets on the nerves of the audience and makes them wonder why the speaker needs to work so hard to make himself heard. On the other hand, one of the most satisfying experiences of an audience is the feeling, on hearing the

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