This is a question that cannot be answered categorically. Dr. Lyman Abbott is able to deliver an entire address with scarcely a gesture of any kind, and yet hold his hearers in rapt attention. Other speakers accomplish the same end by using a great many gestures of a most vigorous nature. No one can say that the one style of delivery is good and the other poor or that one is better than the other. A great deal depends upon the temperament of the individual, upon the kind of speech that he is to give, or upon the circumstances under which it is to be delivered. Some speakers may use a great many gestures while others use few, and yet both may be equally effective.

It should be noted, however, that speakers who employ a great many gestures are less likely to be discriminating in the use of them than those who employ but few. It is a very easy matter to fall into the habit of using numberless, ineffective gestures that are scarcely more than jerks of the hand and are entirely without meaning.

I recall an address by a Secretary of the Treasury before a convocation of several thousand college students, in which the speaker used countless gestures of this kind to no purpose. They consisted chiefly of little thrusts toward the audience with the index finger. Hardly a sentence was uttered without one or more of these impulses of the hand, which soon lost all effect of emphasizing or expressing anything and became a decidedly distracting factor in the speech. This is the kind of mannerism that any speaker is likely to fall into if he uses gesture carelessly, without thought of its significance or purpose.

A few gestures used to good purpose in a speech will

enable the speaker to bring home a message with remarkable effectiveness and power; while a great many gestures used ineffectively not only destroy the force of all of them but become a positive hindrance. The speaker, in his use of gesture, as in his employment of the breath, should cultivate the very important principle of reserve power. A wealth of physical energy expended economically is always effective; while such power expended thoughtlessly and prodigally is invariably ineffective.

Overuse of the same kind of gesture. Another objectionable feature in the employment of gesture is the continued use of a single form of gesture at the expense of all other forms. This is commonly the result of habit due to employing gestures thoughtlessly. If a speaker's gestures do not mean anything, one kind of gesture is as good as another, and it is very easy for him to fall into the habit of using one form of gesture constantly. The continued use of the index finger in this way is not uncommon. I have known public speakers who seemed to have no ability to express anything through action except with the index finger of the right hand. Speakers who employ gesture in this way obviously use it to their own detriment. Such action is not merely inexpressive, it is a source of constant annoyance to an audience.

The same is true of gestures of the seesaw type; that is, the use of one hand and then the other with almost mechanical regularity. Such action is always more distracting than expressive.

The ideal of expression through gesture. If the student proceeds to learn gesture by the gradual steps that have been suggested in this chapter, he will not be likely to

fall into habits wherein gestures become mere regular, meaningless motions. And as he continues his pursuit of further skill in gesture, let him not forget that here, as in every other form of expression, thought must stand foremost.

The ideal of expression through action must always be the communication of the speaker's thought in the most expressive and, at the same time, the least obtrusive manner. The gestures that offend most are usually those that express least; and the speaker who cultivates his gesture with the thought of making it a valuable means of communicating ideas to others will never be guilty of the faults we have named. If he has a variety of ideas to convey, he will learn to express them with gestures of many different kinds, thus assuring variety of action. And if every gesture is expressive of some thought or emotion, he will be in no danger of employing action that is meaningless.

Different uses of gesture. Some further suggestions in regard to the different purposes for which gestures are employed will clear up many of the puzzling questions with which students are confronted in the beginning of their speech work. As to their uses, gestures are divided into four classes:

1. Those used to emphasize.
2. Those used to suggest.

3. Those used to locate.
4. Those used to imitate.

Emphatic gestures. Emphatic gestures are those that are used as an aid to vocal emphasis. In the sentence "If we fail it can be no worse for us, but we shall not

fail," the word "not" of the second clause is strongly emphatic, and would be given with strong vocal emphasis. If the speaker saw fit to aid his voice with a gesture, he might use a strong impulse of the open palm or of the clenched fist on the word "not" at the same time that he uttered it with strong vocal stress. This would be emphatic gesture. It is one of the most common and most effective kinds of gesture used by the public speaker. Anyone who becomes very earnest in his speaking tends to use emphatic gesture.

The most important suggestion in regard to its use is that it be timed exactly with the vocal stress that it accompanies. It is this kind of gesture that is used by the declaimer who wants to "put some gestures into his speech," and we know how ridiculous it seems when the stroke of his gesture comes a few seconds too early or too late. The emphatic gesture, to be effective, must coincide exactly with the vocal stress and must always come upon the important idea. It is absurd when used on an unimportant word.

It is well to remember, also, that emphatic gestures are the ones that are most overworked and that a speech which is all force has no force. It is here that the principle of the reserve power in gesture needs most attention. The speaker who thinks that he must drive home every idea with an emphatic action of the clenched fist emphasizes nothing. It is only as emphatic gestures are used where emphasis is needed that they become effective.

Suggestive gestures. Suggestive gestures are those that are used to stimulate the imagination to suggest to an audience things which they cannot see. It is used in

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describing objects or scenes which are clear to the speaker and which he wishes to render equally vivid in the imagination of his hearers. To accomplish this successfully requires no small amount of skill. The chief danger lies in making the picture too literal. Whenever the picture is presented in so much detail that nothing is left to the imagination, the speaker fails in his use of suggestive gesture.

The president of Andover Theological Seminary is a master in the use of this type of gesture. In the description of a New England landscape, he once portrayed a scene with such vividness that you felt yourself looking out upon it and admiring its beauty with him. The gestures were merely little suggestive actions of the hands and fingers without name or form; and yet, with the guiding instinct of the true artist, they gave little touches of light and shade and color that enabled you to see a picture that you could never forget. It is such skill as this in masterly portrayal that enables one to excel as a public speaker.

In the employment of suggestive gestures it is wise never to go beyond the point where the imagination is able to complete the picture. In the incident just cited there was no unnecessary itemizing, no mechanical measuring of distances, no enumeration of uninteresting details. All was accomplished by delicate touches here and there of life and color which enabled one to draw, in his own imagination, just the picture that the speaker intended.

Suggestive gestures are used by some speakers more than almost any other kind, and are particularly useful in portraying a great range of objects, scenes, and even

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