with oxygen this tidal air is sufficient.

But if a part of

the air breathed is to be used for the purpose of producing tone, more air is required, and this added amount is called complemental air. Now for purposes of speech, only the complemental air should be used. The tidal air should be held as a reserve in the lungs. A very common fault of untrained speakers is an attempt to use this reserve air for purposes of vocalization, with the result that there is not sufficient breath to support the tones, and the speaker appears to be expending constantly nearly every ounce of energy. And then to compensate for the lack of the necessary breath, there is a severe straining of the muscles of the throat in an attempt to make the voice-box perform that function without the sufficient supply of breath. The speaker can continue for only a short time in this way until the constriction of the throat causes a harshness of the voice that is unpleasant, and often painful, to listen to.

Properly controlled breath fundamental. The amount of air contained by the lungs varies greatly. In normal breathing it is only about twenty-five to thirty cubic inches, while in very deep breathing it may be increased to one hundred cubic inches or more, depending upon the elasticity of the chest. And while, as we have seen, more air is usually required for vocalization than for normal breathing, it is a great mistake to suppose that the public speaker must breathe constantly to the full capacity of his lungs. The prime essential of effective vocalization is not a large amount of breath, as is often supposed by untrained speakers, but rather a moderate amount of breath properly controlled.

How satisfying it is to listen to a speaker who has such perfect control of the breath that there appears to be always a great deal more held in reserve than is needed, and the voice-box seems merely an instrument that is being freely played upon by the stream of breath coming from the lungs! Indeed, there is hardly any resource of the public speaker more to be desired than that "splendid reserve" which affords always a sense of mastery.

In order that the exact action of the breath may be observed and understood, I give here two breathing records recently made in the Psychological Laboratory of the University of Wisconsin.



Diagram I shows the action of the breath in normal breathing. It is a record taken of my own breathing while I was sitting quietly with the eyes closed. The record was made by means of the pulmograph, a very delicate instrument which records the slightest expansion or contraction of the lungs in breathing and speaking. In each instance the downward stroke shows the action of the breath in inhalation, and the upward stroke its

action in exhalation. In this record the breath was not employed for vocalization. It was merely inhaled and exhaled in a normal way. It is interesting to observe that all the breaths are of about equal length, and that no difference can be observed between the lines that show the inhalation of breath and those that record the exhalation.

Now let us compare with this a second diagram, showing the action of the breath when employed in speech.



Diagram II is a record taken of my breathing while in exactly the same position as in the first instance. Here the breath was employed for purposes of vocalization. I spoke a paragraph from an oration of Robert G. Ingersoll, using much or little breath as the expression required, and controlling it so that there was no improper intake of breath in the midst of phrases.

If we compare this record with that of Diagram I, the following differences are apparent in the speaking record the lines indicating the inhalation show that the breath

was taken more quickly than in the breathing record, that inhalation occurred at less regular intervals, and that the breath was held in reserve and used little by little throughout each phrase as the expression demanded. This shows clearly the problem of breath control.

When a knowledge of how the breath may be controlled and of the function of the various organs of breathing has been acquired, there remains only the proper development of these organs so as to secure their greatest efficiency for purposes of speech. For the public speaker the prime essential is the ability to control the muscles of expiration. The speaker who is always short of breath does not understand this very important principle. Instead of conserving the breath by using it little by little as his speaking demands, he uses it prodigally and often finds it entirely expended in the midst of an important phrase. Then he must stop short for more breath or else call upon his reserve of tidal air to complete his expression. This is very common with schoolboys, who declaim just as many words as they are able to utter with one breath, then lift the shoulders high, take a long, deep breath, and proceed again in the same manner. In order to manage the breath properly, the speaker must be able to take it in quickly at the natural pauses in speech and to give it out sparingly by means of the restraint exerted by the muscles that control expiration. This can be accomplished by the practice of simple exercises that give complete control of the breathing muscles.

I have purposely avoided giving here any great number of detailed exercises for securing breath control. The exercises are limited and are of a very simple nature.

They are arranged in a graduated series, each one preparing the way for the next. They should be used in the order given, and an attempt should be made to gain a mastery of each step.

In youth the breathing muscles are elastic and yield promptly to training. This fact makes practical training by means of breathing exercises particularly profitable for young people of college age. Indeed, students are often able to make amazingly rapid progress in gaining control of their breathing muscles when the work is done conscientiously. In order to gain the best results two things, however, are absolutely essential :

1. A clear understanding of the purpose of each exercise and how it is to be used.

2. Consistent daily practice until complete control of the muscles is gained.

Half-hearted practice is time wasted. Definite results can be gained only by practicing the exercises with care for short periods and at regular intervals. A few minutes of painstaking practice each day, preferably at a time when mind and body are alert, will bring sure and certain results. It is altogether important to be sure that the exercises are being used correctly; then when once the right conditions have been established they should be practiced at regular intervals until abdominal breathing becomes a habit.

The following exercises, if practiced with a clear understanding of details, will be found entirely adequate for the average speaker. The student who has any serious difficulty with his breathing should apply to his instructor for special advice and direction.

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