influence his emotions in a way that would make his voice sound very different from what it would under either of the two circumstances just mentioned. Yet it need not be in any way unnatural or bombastic but, as in the case of Wendell Phillips, merely a more elevated form of conversation.

Point 4, which stands at the top of the conversational scale, represents the most elevated form of conversational speaking, that which is employed on great occasions where important issues are at stake and the emotions are likely to play a very important part. On such occasions as this no speaker who has the spark of true eloquence in his soul is going to talk in a way that sounds just the same as though he were addressing a small group of people on a matter-of-fact topic. The simple fact is that the emotions arising from the occasion, from the dignity of the theme, and from all of the circumstances connected with a momentous event of this kind give rise to an elevated delivery that unquestionably sounds very different from the less elevated forms of conversational speaking. And yet it should be noted well that because it sounds different and is more elevated it need not be any the less fundamentally conversational. That is to say, the speaker may be just as truly conversing with his audience as though he were addressing a small group informally. Here is where the difficulty usually arises, where most high-school declaimers and college orators make their fatal mistake. They fail to understand that the speaker may be truly oratorical and at the same time entirely conversational in his delivery. Accordingly, they ape the barnstormer, whose delivery is mere sound and fury and nothing more.

Let the speaker understand that to be truly conversational he must be at all times conversing with his audience, that is, really thinking with them and not merely speaking at them in high-sounding style. When once he gets this conception of conversational speaking, he will have no difficulty in understanding how one's delivery may range all the way from the simplest form of colloquialism to the loftiest eloquence of the great occasion, and yet at all times and in every circumstance retain all the essential elements of the most direct conversation.

The mistake should not be made of supposing that the simple diagram that we have used to illustrate how conversational speaking may be more or less elevated is intended to show that there are just four distinct types of conversational speech. This division is entirely arbitrary (it might as well be ten or any other number) and is intended merely to show how speaking that sounds very different and is adapted to every variety of circumstance may all be truly conversational in its essential character.

What, then, is to be said of the speaking that does not come within the limits of what we have called the conversational mode of delivery? Such speaking is that which has a flavor of the "ministerial tone," the "recited tone," the "stump-speaker's tone," or some other such characteristic, which possesses always more or less of an element of artificiality. The objection to it is that it is hollow and unnatural and is, for the most part, for the sake of sound instead of sense. If there is doubt of this in the mind of anybody, sufficiently convincing proof may be had by listening to the high-school boy who "orates" in

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a vociferous tone, with often not the slightest thought of the meaning of the words that he is uttering and certainly with no conception of really conversing with his audience. And if this is not sufficient evidence, go to hear some of the many speakers who assume the solemn cadences that are characteristic of the "ministerial tone" or the unnatural vocal flights of the stump speaker, and there will be little doubt as to the falseness of such modes of delivery.

To be sure, there is justification under certain circumstances for these hollow forms of delivery. For instance, upon the stage, where all is a play world and it is just as much the function of the actor to portray the grotesque as any other type of life, they may all be used and very properly so. But they have no place in the realm of speechmaking, where the aim is first, last, and always to converse with the audience in a manner that may be entirely informal, very formal, or any of the varying degrees between these two extremes of the scale, depending wholly upon the circumstances. With a clear understanding, then, of what the conversational mode is, the only thing that remains is to learn how to use it.

The oratory of Wendell Phillips as a type. The keynote of the delivery of Wendell Phillips is the point of departure for all effective speaking in that it was essentially conversational. His biographers tell us that in his delivery there was no element of display or bombast; that his idea of conveying a message to an audience effectively was that of speaking in a very simple manner as if he were carrying on a conversation with a single individual in his audience. He spoke as one might speak

in conversation, where the voice modulates naturally in response to the changing thought or emotion, wholly without aim for effect or display of any kind. As Higginson suggests, it was as if he repeated to his audience in a little louder tone what he had just said to a friend at his side. In short, his public speech was merely heightened conversation his normal conversation made louder and stronger to meet the needs of his larger audience. As was said of him, "His speaking was always that of a gentleman conversing." No one to-day doubts the effectiveness of this principle in Phillips's oratory. His opponents spoke of him as "an infernal machine set to music,' and Dr. James Bashford,1 who heard him on several occasions, says: "Mr. Phillips's art was more nearly perfect than that of any other man I have ever heard. The language and tones and gestures were so perfectly adapted to the thought that he seemed the most natural speaker I ever listened to."

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This principle may be taken by the student as the basis for all his work in delivery. Let him lay aside all ideas about speaking that is high sounding and employed for effect, and let him merely converse with his audience as he would converse with a single individual in that audience, taking pains to speak loud enough to be heard distinctly by every person in the room and in a manner befitting the occasion and surroundings. This is the first and most fundamental step. Then, when he finds that he is able to face his audience and merely converse with them, all of the elements of vocal expression may be brought to his aid to make that conversation effective.

1 Fulton and Trueblood, Practical Elocution, Appendix.


EXERCISE I. Let the student choose another member of his class in speaking who will act as his auditor and critic. Let him sit down at a table in a very informal manner opposite his partner and take up the discussion of some current topic that is of vital interest to both. In the discussion of this topic he should aim to set forth his views in regard to the subject in as clear and orderly a manner as possible, employing simple language and the best diction he is able to command. His sole purpose should be to set forth his views of the subject so clearly that his partner cannot fail to understand him, and so convincingly that he will be obliged to agree that he is right. If he has sometime been a high-school declaimer and assumes a false mode of delivery, as is so often the case, his partner should put such questions as: "Well now, I didn't just get that point. Won't you explain it again?" In this way all the natural tones and inflections of the most direct conversation will be established.

Then, let us suppose that his partner fails to be convinced and he finds it necessary to employ more forceful language. Let him stand up and argue his case with much greater earnestness, using gestures and pounding the table if necessary, but all the time speaking in a tone of voice that shows his great desire to convince his partner that he is right.

After considerable practice of this kind in direct and conversational speaking let him go upon a platform and argue his cause before an imaginary audience. It is exceedingly important that he should not consciously think of this act as "making a speech" but rather as an attempt to convince a considerable number of people of the truth

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