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FIG. I.

The Ward Statue of Henry Ward Beecher at Brooklyn, showing the orator in a good speaking position. From Lorado Taft's American Sculpture, by permission.

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PUBLIC SPEAKING

LESSON I

HOW TO STAND

ONE of the first questions to confront a student beginning his study of delivery in Public Speaking is How to stand on the platform. This is a very simple matter, but a failure to master it will always handicap the speaker's power.

By reference to Figure I we may discover the position generally used by the best speakers during the greater part of their work. In this position it will be noticed that the left foot is a trifle, say three to six inches, in advance of the right, and that a line drawn through it from toe to heel would pass through the heel of the right foot. The feet are not parallel, nor, on the other hand, are they set at right angles, but assume a position between the two and more nearly approaching the right angle. There is, of course, a counterpart to this position, in which the right foot is forward and a line drawn through it from toe to heel would pass through the heel of the left foot. The angle between the feet is, as before, just a little less than a right angle. These positions, together with the movements made in changing from one to the other, forward and backward, varying the angle between the feet to a slight extent in turning from side to side in order to cover the whole audience, will be enough for most public appearances.

CAUTION No. 1. — In changing from one of these positions to the other, be careful to bring the foot directly for

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CAUTION No. 2. — In holding either position, do not let the front knee be bent, with nearly all the weight on the back foot. The weight should rest about evenly on both

FIG. 2. A bad position, front knee FIG. 3. Changing posi-
bent. tion, bringing the left
foot forward.

feet, and the front knee should be kept straight. (See Fig. 2.)

CAUTION No. 3. — In changing from one position to the other, do not move the whole limb stiffly, but bend the knee and take a step, just as in walking. On a carpet, or rug, the toe may even be allowed to slide to position. (See Fig. 3.)

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CAUTION No. 4.—Be careful not to step too far in changing. If you do, the line passing through the front foot from toe to heel will pass through the instep of the back foot instead of the heel. Keep it through the heel.

CAUTION No. 5. — Unless you turn far to one side for a short time to cover a corner of the audience, it is well not to allow either foot at any time to point straight forward toward the middle of the audience.

CAUTION No. 6. — Move only one foot in changing from one position to the other.

EXERCISES

1. Take the position shown in Figure I and then change, observing the method shown in Figure 3. Change back. 2. Take the position shown in Figure I and then change, going forward, as in Ex. I. Now, still going forward, assume the original position. Repeat, going backward. 3. Walk several steps forward, assuming with each step one of the positions. Walk backward, still keeping the positions. This may be done to a count of 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., given very slowly.

NotE. — In all these exercises it is well to look at the feet for the first few times. After that, the student should keep his eyes to the front and get the position by merely feeling that he has it right. It is well to practice on a seam in the carpet or on a narrow board in the floor, keeping each foot on its own side of the seam or board.

LESSON II

HOW TO a BREATHE

Most students think they already know how to breathe. And they do, so far as is necessary to support life and engage in ordinary conversation. But in Public Speaking, where a large room must be filled with sound, and where speaking must be kept up for some time, a very much stronger and easier kind of breathing must be used. To explain this stronger and easier kind of breathing, it is necessary that we know something of the lungs and the muscles about them which make us able to breathe.

From Figure 4, it will be seen that the larger part of each lung is at the bottom and not at the top, and that it is shaped somewhat like a bellows. Now, in a bellows, we can get a much stronger stream of air by pressing away out at the larger end, where the handles are, than by

FIG. 4. The lungs.

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