« VorigeDoorgaan »
It is the purpose of this textbook to present a clear statement of the elements of public speaking in accordance with these two ends. The plan is to devote a chapter to each important principle, and to present it in a form that is both comprehensive and readable, so that the student upon reading the chapter carefully will have a clear and definite idea of it as a unified whole, not as a mass of mere fragmentary suggestions, and will be able with the aid of the exercises at the close of the chapter to put it at once into actual practice.
Another aim throughout the book is to keep before the student constantly the importance of clear and accurate thinking as the foundation for all true expression, and to make absolutely unmistakable the fact that any expression that is without thought as a basis is bound to be more or less mechanical and, therefore, superficial. My observation has been that many people who think very clearly express their thoughts very badly through the voice, and that mere attention to the thought alone is by no means always adequate. This book aims to teach the importance of clear thinking as the foundation of all vocal processes, but no less does it aim to show the necessity for vocal and actional responsiveness as the medium through which thought must find expression. Therefore each principle is considered in its relation to the thought, and in such a manner as will enable the student to proceed always upon a thought basis.
I should perhaps add that this is in no sense "a book of speeches." Such excerpts from orations and other literature as have been used are in most instances very brief and are employed chiefly for purposes of illustration. As soon
as this volume is off the press I intend to publish a book of selections that will provide suitable material for teachers who desire to secure selections of a thoroughly practical nature for purposes of declamation. But in my judgment such material has no place in a book of this kind, the aim of which is to present the elements of public speaking.
If this book shall serve to correct some of the false conceptions that have been prevalent in regard to the subject of public speaking, and shall furnish the student a foundation for practical speech work, my purpose will be accomplished.
Throughout I have tried to make careful reference to all material quoted from books or from the words of men in public life. To these sources I am indebted for many things that have helped in making clear the principles that have been considered. And to those who by helpful criticism have offered suggestions of much value to me to my colleagues in the University of Wisconsin, Professors J. M. O'Neill, Gertrude E. Johnson, and Smiley Blanton of the Department of Public Speaking; to Professors H. B. Lathrop and O. J. Campbell of the Department of English, and to Mr. L. C. Hull of the Department of Psychology; to Professors B. F. Tanner of the University of Oklahoma and J. S. Gaylord of the Winona Normal School; to the Newton Publishing Company for permission to quote some passages from Phillips's Effective Speaking; and to my wife for advice and encouragement throughout the preparation of this volume I gratefully acknowledge my indebtedness. H. G. HOUGHTON
CHAPTER I. PLANNING THE SPEECH.
Choosing a subject. The object of a speech. The five general
ends. Analysis of the subject. Drawing a tentative outline. The
final speech plan. Assimilating the outline. Practical exercises
CHAPTER II. THE CONVERSATIONAL MODE
Misconceptions of speech delivery. Conventional pulpit ora-
tory. The oratory of Wendell Phillips. The essentially conver-
sational in delivery. Limits of the conversational mode. Recited,
ministerial, and grandiloquent forms. Exercises for gaining the
The true foundation of action. Some common misconceptions.
Value of training in action. Two essentials of training in action.
Importance of exercising the will. Platform manners. Position.
Poise. Freedom. Platform movement. Coördination of mind
What to seek and what to avoid. The logical cultivation of
gesture. Special aids for cultivating gesture. Expressiveness
The vocal mechanism. The breath as employed in speech.
Three methods of breathing. Correct breathing for voice pro-
Enunciation and pronunciation compared. Causes of poor
enunciation. The foundation of correct enunciation. Enuncia-
Pronunciation defined. Problems of pronunciation. The sec-
tional. The unusual. British versus American usage. How to
become proficient in pronunciation. Cases illustrating common
misuses. Errors of vowels, consonants, accent, syllabication.
Pitch as a vocal element. The melody of speech. The com-
pass of the speaking voice. False adjustments of the voice.
The point of departure in the study of pitch. A comparison of
song and speech. Influence of song notes in speech. General
laws of inflection. Establishing key. The cultivation of vocal
Time as an element of effective expression. Quantity values
in speech. The quantity elements of poetry and prose. The
The foundation of vocal quality. Influence of the emotions.
Physiological basis of vocal quality. Classifications of formal
Force as a persuasive element in expression. Factors deter-
mining acoustic conditions. Problems of various auditoriums.