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How to be heard: the art of public speaking
In an age of blanket social media use, getting your voice across has never been more important or difficult. But what are the secrets of winning over your audience?
O ver the years, comedy scriptwriter Heidi Ellert-McDermott must have put thousands of words into mouths more famous than hers. But even she didn’t find it easy to stand up and make a speech at her own wedding.
“Even though I felt like I’d written a good one, I was still surprised on the day that I was nervous,” she recalls. “I suddenly found myself thinking, ‘Whoa, it’s my turn’ and the nerves overwhelmed me. It’s only now that I understand a few techniques people should use – and one of them is not alcohol.”
A wedding is one of the few times even those genuinely terrified of public speaking can’t decently get out of, a time-honoured trial of nerves for the self-conscious. But the growing willingness of women to opt in even when tradition allows them to duck out – think Meghan Markle proposing her own toast after marrying Prince Harry this spring – suggests a wider cultural shift. To have a voice, to speak up rather than sit there mute, feels increasingly charged and significant. And not just for women, but for anyone who might previously have struggled to be heard in public life.
“The good thing about a bride’s speech is there are no rules. You can choose to take on some of the duties of the groom or just do something off the wall – tell a story, do a poem, whatever,” says Ellert-McDermott, who now runs Speechy , an agency producing bespoke wedding orations that is receiving an increasing number of inquiries from brides-to-be. “We all know the statistics about how few female speakers there are at conferences. Well, this is one area where women actually do have the control and can put themselves on the lineup – and that’s why it’s disappointing when brides don’t even consider it.”
Public speaking can sound like a rather stuffy skill, redolent of dreary Rotary Club dinners and those polishing future ministerial CVs at Oxbridge. (William Hague, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, the education secretary, Damian Hinds, and universities minister, Sam Gyimah, are all former Oxford Union presidents; for the sake of diversity, former leader Michael Howard was president of its Cambridge equivalent.) This kind of formal oratory isn’t dead, of course; just think of Johnson packing in the crowds on the party conference fringe or the hitherto obscure attorney general Geoffrey Cox QC’s positively Shakespearean warm-up speech for Theresa May a few weeks ago. But the bad news for the one in four who (according to a 2014 survey by Chapman University) is frightened of public oratory is that speaking and presentation skills matter well beyond the obvious fields of politics and the bar. They regularly come close to the top of employer wishlists when hiring and, if anything, matter more for the self-employed when pitching for work, money or just a higher profile in a world where the art of self-promotion is constantly evolving.
Twenty years ago, TED was a fairly obscure annual technology conference held in Vancouver. Now it is a global brand, its 20-minute talks from experts on everything from architecture to the female orgasm downloaded more than a billion times. From podcasts and vlogs to pop-up feminist salon nights where anyone can take the mike, Generation Z is developing new ways to speak, debate, argue and raise professional profiles.
“Some people are wary of being the person who loves the sound of their own voice, but I think that has become quite old-fashioned now,” says Viv Groskop , the standup comedian and author of the forthcoming How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking , who runs workshops coaching businesswomen on public speaking. “Now that you can broadcast 24/7 on YouTube or Instagram Stories, there’s a whole generation who are not afraid of their own voice and wouldn’t even understand the sort of 1950s concept of ‘don’t be the one who’s always talking out of turn’. People want to own the room but not be obnoxious about it, let other people have their turn too.”
What they do worry about, she says, is doing it memorably enough to be heard. “In this particular post-#MeToo moment, women don’t worry so much about what they’re going to say. They know exactly what they want to say and they’re going to say quite a bit about it. But they want to say it in such a way that it’s powerful.”
And that raises serious questions about who has the skills and the opportunity to speak up. In theory, anyone can just nominate themselves to do a TED talk, or chip in at a meeting. In practice, it’s rarely that simple.
It’s a long time since Margaret Thatcher was advised to lower her voice by an octave if she wanted to be taken seriously but women may still have to work slightly harder than men to sound authoritative on a stage, according to research suggesting a lingering subconscious association between deep voices and leadership. ( One study of 792 male chief executives, in affiliation with Duke University, found the ones with lower voices led larger companies and made more money.) Prejudice also lingers around regional accents, with the BBC political correspondent Chris Mason recently admitting he was told as a young journalist that he’d never get on the radio with his Yorkshire Dales burr, while the shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, is dogged on social media by people suggesting her Mancunian vowels somehow make her sound “thick” .
There is, Groskop argues, still some unspoken resistance to being lectured by people who don’t fit a received idea of leadership. “Clearly Hillary Clinton is an excellent speaker but, as Jennifer Palmieri [her director of communications] has written , throughout Clinton’s career she received constant advice about how to change her speaking style. She would always reply, ‘If you could just tell me now who I need to talk like, tell me who’s perfect?’ – and there was never an answer.”
But fear of criticism is no reason to duck out of a presentation, she argues; the key is to find a speaking style that works for you. “It’s a terrible misnomer, this idea that somehow, if you’re scared of something, that’s an indicator you’re not suited to it. If you remember the speech Oprah gave at the Golden Globe awards [about #MeToo], which was universally acclaimed as brilliant, she said afterwards one of the reasons it was so good is she got so nervous she was dry mouthed. She could hardly move her lips and so she had to enunciate every syllable just to get through it.”
Planning in advance for how you’ll cope if something goes wrong helps considerably, says Groksop, as can simple tricks such as speaking more slowly than feels natural or doing breathing exercises before going on stage. But arguably the best means of conquering fear is practice, and the earlier it starts the better. Rhetoric, or the art of oral persuasion, was taught to ancient Greek and Roman students as an essential tool for taking part in a civic life, in a culture where written texts were still relatively new forms of communication. To this day, a nodding acquaintance with Cicero or Demosthenes remains a staple of a classic public-school education (the old Etonian Tory MP Jesse Norman once explained his alma mater’s dominance of politics by arguing that it excelled both at letting pupils take the initiative and at “things like rhetoric and poetry and public speaking and performance”).
Schools such as Eton no longer have a monopoly on perhaps the most valuable skill gained from learning to debate – developing the critical thinking skills needed to formulate an argument in the first place. Godwin junior school is a large primary school serving a relatively deprived area of Forest Gate, east London. More than a fifth of its pupils have free school meals and more than a third don’t have English as a first language. Yet, two years ago, it won the national schools debating cup organised by Debate Mate , a not-for-profit organisation that sets up debating clubs, hosted by students from top universities, in inner-city schools.
“Our school is about preparing pupils for lifelong success and a lot of research shows that it’s not just academic results that count. They’re very important, of course, but it’s also about children and young people being confident and articulate,” says the headteacher, Sine Brown. “Whether it’s job interviews, university interviews, starting your own business and wanting a loan to do so, it’s not just what you put on paper – it’s how you present yourself. The debating club helps develop confidence and articulacy and we’ve really seen the difference it’s made to our children.”
The club is popular, with about 80 children enrolled, and Brown thinks it has boosted their self-esteem. “It’s about our children knowing that they’re as good as anyone else, as capable of holding a room. To be 10 or 11 and stand up in front of a roomful of people you don’t know and present an argument not only teaches them a skill but gives them a mindset. The shift is, ‘I can do this.’ Those children you might not naturally think would gain a lot, you can see it in their confidence, in the way they hold themselves. You can see they feel they have a right to be heard.”
The bonus, she says, is that learning how to marshal evidence, and how to predict and counter opposing arguments verbally, has also improved the children’s written work. The advantage of teaching children not merely to speak in public but to debate is that it encourages different ways of thinking, according to Jessica Rolfe-Dix, a former teacher and managing director of Debate Mate.
“We have a thing called points of information – interruptions from the other side – and if you don’t accept them then you don’t get as high marks,” she explains. “You see them listening and then having to respond. That skill is one they’ll take into university or the workforce – it’s being able to not fold under pressure and to take a challenge in a non-confrontational way.” For some older children growing up in London’s “postcode wars” between rival gangs, she says, debating competitions are one of the few chances they have to mix safely with teenagers from other estates. For others, learning to anticipate and rebuff the opposition is an early exercise in staying one step ahead of the argument, which is perhaps why university debating clubs have traditionally been such a training ground for politicians.
The Labour MP and former education minister Kevin Brennan doesn’t have the traditional background some might expect for a former president of the Oxford Union. The son of a steelworker and a school dinner lady, both of whom left school before 16, he was the first child from his school to get into Oxbridge. But as Brennan puts it, “Being from south Wales I was used to the idea that you should be able to orate, to speak, to use language to persuade people. And one thing I did feel going into that environment as a young man was that most of the people who went to university weren’t geniuses, but a lot of them had been imbued with a great degree of self-confidence, not always justified, by their educational backgrounds.”
He resolved, he says “never to let that group of people lord it over others because of that confidence”. What the union gave him was the chance to learn from the cream of guest speakers. Brennan still remembers the former Tory MP Matthew Parris giving a “brilliant” speech about being gay, without ever specifically mentioning that he was gay (this was after all the early 80s), and the formative experience of debating alongside Neil Kinnock: “I learned from him how to use a little bit of humour to make your point – Neil was very good at that – and something about the rhythms of speech. He was of that old-time, chapel-preacher-from-the-valleys tradition, brilliant at speaking without notes.”
Brennan taught for a while after graduating and introduced a debating club to the comprehensive he worked in. “What I tried to do was to say, ‘Yes, it’s important to be able to present your views on world peace or whatever, but actually what really matters is if someone challenges your views, can you defend them?’ Because that means you understand them.” It is this ability to confront and dismantle counter-arguments, rather than simply clinging to the line, that arguably distinguishes political sheep from goats.
The classicist Mary Beard once argued, in a lecture for the Almeida theatre’s Figures of Speech series, that political oratory in the strict sense died when politicians stopped writing their own speeches. Audiences could, she argued, tell the difference between a leader articulating their own thoughts and one speaking someone else’s lines.
No modern leader has time to write all their own material, of course. Arguably, though, big set-piece political speeches no longer matter as much as we tend to think. Croaking through a party conference speech while the set collapsed around her did not finish Theresa May off in 2017, while this year’s infinitely better performance hasn’t magically revived her either. Donald Trump is a terrible speaker but, if anything, his fanbase sees that as a mark of authenticity.
Yet shining in a televised debate – as Nick Clegg famously did in 2010 , or Nicola Sturgeon in 2015 – where politicians have to think on their feet can still be a game-changer. Short, highly emotive outbursts in parliamentary debates increasingly have the capacity to go viral, too. (Think Anna Soubry furiously pointing out that Brexiters on her own side won’t be the ones losing their “gold-plated pensions” if it all goes wrong or those clips of Jeremy Corbyn at prime ministers’ questions that do so well on Facebook.)
The prepared speeches that still make the hair rise on the back of one’s neck, meanwhile, tend to be those that aren’t just selling a policy or playing to the gallery, but actively confronting elements of the audience. Kinnock’s extraordinary denunciation of Militant Tendency; Hugh Gaitskell’s “fight, fight and fight again” speech on nuclear disarmament; Margaret Thatcher’s declaration that the “lady’s not for turning”; Robin Cook’s resignation speech over Iraq – all are examples of speakers tackling more than just an abstract argument.
“Speeches where you’re genuinely trying to persuade and change the opinion of the room are more electric,” says Brennan. “If you’re just preaching to the faithful and pushing their buttons, that’s a different thing from when there’s a transformational issue at stake and the leader is trying to lead people somewhere they didn’t know they wanted to go.”
And that’s perhaps the difference, in the end, between giving a great speech and genuinely owning the room. The former is nerve-racking for the speaker. But the latter is not wholly comfortable for the room. And that’s what makes the question of who gets to be on the podium in the first place so significant. Who, exactly, is now afraid of whom?
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The art of speaking
PUBLIC speaking is defined as the act or process of making speeches in public and the art of effective oral communication with an audience.
But the process of making speeches in public goes far beyond the stage time. It involves a lot of background preparation work before those speeches can be delivered.
Likewise, defining public speaking as an art involves more than just oral communication.
It is the entire package of the speaker, the stage, the lighting, the layout, the sound system and a whole lot of other items.
This is where the conventional definitions of public speaking do not do justice to the act of delivering a great speech. Here are some of the common myths surrounding public speaking:
Myth 1: Public speaking is about talking to a large audience
It may not necessarily be. It could be a one-person audience or an audience of thousands. As long as you are communicating, it is considered public speaking.
�You cannot not communicate� is a saying I would like you to remember at this point.
Myth 2: Public speaking is an art
It is not just a delicate art - there are steps and methods in delivering a speech that make it into a science.
When you describe something as an art, people get the notion that it is a skill that you either have or don�t have, and that it is something innate and difficult to learn.
Myth 3: Public speaking involves just the oral presentation
The Mehrabian Rule states that in any presentation, 7 per cent is accorded to words, 38 per cent to tone of voice and 55 per cent to body language.
The rule was named after Albert Mehrabian, professor emeritus of psychology at UCLA, who is famous for his work on the relative importance of verbal and non-verbal messages.
Public speaking is not just about what you say, but more importantly, how you say it.
Myth 4: Public speaking is first and foremost about the content
Content is the skeleton of the speech. You still need to dress up the content with the skills to deliver it or else the effectiveness of the message may be lost.
That is why I always refer to a speech presentation as delivering a speech.
Myth 5: It is more difficult to prepare for a two-hour speech than a five-minute one
To quote a famous line from Mark Twain: �If you want me to talk for two hours, I can start now. If you want me to speak for five minutes, I am going to need a week ��
If you have all the time you need to deliver your speech, you have a lot of leeway and margin to deliver the main message of your speech. But if you have a limited time to make your point, then it becomes important to make your point effectively.
The saying, �we cannot not communicate� is absolutely true.
You are communicating every moment, whether you are conscious of it or not. You are presenting yourself to the world at every instance, moment and situation.
People around you judge you at every possible juncture. That is the reason you need to communicate to the outside world in a better way.
The bottom line is, learning public speaking skills sets you apart from your peers and the competition. Good communication skills get you noticed and remembered and give you influence.
As you embark on your public speaking journey, remember that to start, you don�t have to be good, but to be good, you have to start. - Source: ST/ANN
*Article by Lawrence Chan, a professional speaker and associate trainer with d�Oz International Singapore.
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The Art of Public Speaking
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- An Introduction to Punctuation
- Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
- M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
- B.A., English, State University of New York
Public speaking is an oral presentation in which a speaker addresses an audience , and until the 20th century, public speakers were usually referred to as orators and their discourses as orations.
A century ago, in his "Handbook of Public Speaking," John Dolman observed that public speaking is significantly different from a theatrical performance in that it is "not a conventionalized imitation of life, but life itself, a natural function of life, a real human being in real communication with his fellows; and it is best when it is most real."
Unlike its predecessor oration, public speaking involves an interplay of not only body language and recitation, but on conversation , delivery , and feedback . Public speaking today is more about the audience's reaction and participation than an orations' technical correctness.
Six Steps to Successful Public Speaking
According to John. N Gardner and A. Jerome Jewler's "Your College Experience," there a six steps to creating a successful public speech:
- Clarify your objective.
- Analyze your audience.
- Collect and organize your information.
- Choose your visual aids.
- Prepare your notes.
- Practice your delivery.
As language has evolved over time, these principals have become even more apparent and essential in speaking well in a public capacity. Stephen Lucas says in "Public Speaking" that languages have become "more colloquial" and speech delivery "more conversational" as "more and more citizens of ordinary means took to the rostrum, audiences no longer regarded the orator as a larger-than-life figure to be regarded with awe and deference.
As a result, most modern audiences favor straightforwardness and honesty, authenticity to the oratory tricks of old. Public speakers, then, must strive to convey their objective directly to the audience they will be speaking in front of, collecting information, visual aids, and notes that will best serve the speakers' honesty and integrity of delivery.
Public Speaking in the Modern Context
From business leaders to politicians, many professionals in modern times use public speaking to inform, motivate, or persuade audiences near and far, though in the last few centuries the art of public speaking has moved beyond the stiff orations of old to a more casual conversation that contemporary audiences prefer.
Courtland L. Bovée notes in "Contemporary Public Speaking" that while basic speaking skills have changed little, "styles in public speaking have." Whereas the early 19th century carried with it the popularity of the recitation of classic speeches, the 20th century brought a change in focus to elocution. Today, Bovée notes, "the emphasis is on extemporaneous speaking, giving a speech that has been planned in advance but is delivered spontaneously."
The internet, too, has helped change the face of modern public speaking with advents of "going live" on Facebook and Twitter and recording speeches for later broadcast to a global audience on Youtube. However, as Peggy Noonan puts it in "What I Saw at the Revolution":
"Speeches are important because they are one of the great constants of our political history; for two hundred years they have been changing — making, forcing — history."
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The art of conversation
Philosopher, The University of Melbourne
John Armstrong does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
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Conversation is civilized speech. It is more purposeful than chatter; more humane than gossip; more intimate than debate. But it is an elusive ideal.
In our verbal exchanges we often flip from one topic to another – while conversation suggests something more sustained, more substantial.
A conversation is the encounter of two polished minds: tactful enough to listen, confident enough to express their true beliefs; subtle enough to search out the reasons behind the thoughts.
A conversation is a work of art with more than one creator. So, quite often, two or more people cannot rise to the level of conversation. They talk with one another. It may be cheerful, it may be polite, it may be a bit funny, it may be informative. But it lacks something crucial to conversation: the risk of seriousness.
Secretly we yearn for real conversation, because we long to encounter the best and most substantial versions of other people. We long for the truth of our selves to be grasped and liked by another person.
A classical conception of conversation takes convergence as its final – if distant – goal. When intelligent, reasonable and cultivated people disagree there is almost always some hidden confusion or failure of evidence that explains the lack of harmony. But with time and care these failings can be made good. Classical conversation is the mutual aid in the joint pursuit of the truth.
An interim benefit of such conversation is the light it sheds on what decent people really actually do disagree about. And more than that it illuminates the intimate why: the motives, fears, hopes, associations, key experiences, leaps of logic and quiet deductions – all of the things that add up to explaining why a serious person holds the view they do.
This is surprisingly rare. How often, really, do we appreciate why someone thinks as they do?
This is why true conversation is not quite like a debate. In a debate one feels that an argument has priority. In conversation it is the person that comes first. And though our traditions of law, science and scholarship, and even of politics, make a noble cause of putting the argument first, there is something they lose along the way.
In the end, all beliefs are the beliefs of individuals. This does not establish truth – for what is the case is the case whether anyone assents to it or not.
My point is the worth of a truth, the significance of an idea, the power of a belief, depends on the inner life of the person who holds it. And if we do not know about that inner life, we do not really know that idea.
But this is to move from the classical to a more romantic ideal of conversation. The finest talk with another person is the search for soul-companionship.
The most tender-ideal vision of conversation is given by Tolstoy’s hero Levin in a moment of great personal happiness: try to see what is precious to the person you are conversing with and you will discover that it is precious to you as well.
In a 1962 essay, the political philosopher, Oakshott, advanced a rather wonderful vision of an entire culture as a kind of conversation. And the vision gets its power from being – I think – a lovely distortion. It is not so much true to the facts as true to our hopes. It is how our culture might be, if it were improved.
As civilised human beings, we are inheritors, neither of an inquiry about ourselves and the world, not of an accumulated body of information but of a conversation, begun in the primeval forests and extended and made more articulate in the course of centuries.
It is a conversation which goes on both in public and within each of ourselves. Of course there is argument and inquiry and information, but wherever these are profitable they are to be recognised as passages in this conversation, and perhaps they are not the most captivating of the passages.
Conversation is not an enterprise designed to yield an extrinsic profit, a contest where a winner gets a prize, nor is it an activity of exegesis; it is an unrehearsed intellectual adventure.
Education, properly speaking, is an initiation into the skill and partnership of this conversation in which we learn to recognise the voices, to distinguish the proper occasions of utterance, and in which we acquire the intellectual and moral habits appropriate to conversation. And it is this conversation which, in the end, gives place and character to every human activity and utterance.
I think, though, that more weight should be given to the consequential benefits of good conversation. There are things worth loving other than intellectual adventure.
Still, taking inspiration form this grand utterance, perhaps there are many parts of this great conversation which need attention.
For years, I’ve been longing to get into a big, sustained conversation about art. I have heard, in my life, an embarrassing quantity of talk about art; I have heard (I should think) just about every possible point of view set forth and maintained with deep conviction.
I have heard every view disparaged. But I have, to be honest, heard hardly any conversation about art. That is conversation that tries to get to know an alternative point of view, that is curious to find the best expression of its own opinion – not just the most strident or most celebratory.
One of the most precious aspects of conversation is that it does not presuppose agreement. It presupposes civility and sincerity. Painfully often we preach to the choir. We advance our views in ways designed to make those who already agree with us cheer. Conversation has something of the missionary about it: it is interested in meeting the unbeliever, the sceptic, the doubter, the opponent.
So here’s my idea. I’d like to pursue the great conversation about art. And I’d like to start with the central question: how should we define art? Otherwise we won’t be sure what we are talking about.
The great conversation spreads out to embrace a wide range of issues: why is art important - if in fact it is? One what grounds, if any, can a work of art be correctly described as great? Who decides what counts as good art, and are they right people to do so.
Should the state subsidise art? If so, what modes of support are most effective? And these questions grow out of, and into, a million others – about exhibitions, galleries, favourite postcards.
But the point is not merely to spread out. The aim of great conversation is to organise, to connect, to unify – even, dare I say it, to simplify.
So speak to me. How should art be defined?
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AN ESSAY ON THE ART OF SPEAKING.
THAT oratory is an art of great consequence, will hardly be questioned in our times, unless it be by those (if any are so ignorant) who do not know, that it has been taught, and studied, in all countries, where learning has gained any ground, ever since the days of Aristotle. That the manner or address of a speaker, is 〈◊〉 the utmost importance, and that a just and pleasing manner in delivering either one's own compositions, or those of others, is difficult of acquisition, and but too much neg∣lected among us, seems unquestionable from the deficiencies we so commonly observe in the address of our public speakers, much more than in the matter uttered by them, and from the little effect produced by their labours.
Of the learning necessary for furnishing matter; and of the art of arranging it properly; of invention, compo∣sition and style, various writers among the Greeks, Ro∣mans, French, Italians, and English, have treated ve∣ry copiously. It is not my design to trouble the world with any thing on these branches of oratory. I shall confine myself merely to what the prince of orators pronounced to be the first, second, and third part, or all that is most important in the art, viz. delivery, com∣prehending what every gentleman ought to be master of, respecting gesture, looks, and command of voice.
Page 4 What is true of most of the improvements, which are made by study, or culture, is peculiarly so of the art of speaking. If there is not a foundation laid for it in the earlier part of life, there is no reasonable ground of ex∣pectation, that any great degree of skill in it should ever be attained. As it depends upon, and consists in practice, more than theory 〈◊〉 requires the earlier initiation: that practice may 〈◊〉 full scope, before the time of life arrives, in which there may be occasion for public exhi∣bition. Mankind must speak from the beginning, there∣fore ought, from the beginning, to be taught to speak rightly; else they may acquire a habit of speaking wrong. And whoever knows the difficulty of breaking through bad habits, will avoid that labour by prevention. There is a great difference between speaking and writ∣ing. Some, nay most of mankind, are never to be writers. All are speakers. Young persons ought not to be put upon writing (from their own funds, I mean) till they have furnished their minds with thoughts, that is, till they have gotten funds: but they cannot be kept from speaking.
Suppose a youth to have no prospect either of sitting in parliament, of pleading at the bar, of appearing upon the stage, or in the pulpit; does it follow, that he need bestow no pains in learning to speak properly his native language? Will he never have occasion to read, in a company of his friends, a copy of verses, a passage of a book, or newspaper? Must he never read a discourse of Tillotson, or a chapter of the Whole Duty of Man, for the instruction of his children and servants? Cicero justly observes, that address in speaking is highly orna∣mental, as well as useful, even in private life * The limbs are parts of the body much less noble than the tongue. Yet no gentleman grudges a considerable expense of time and money to have his son taught to use them pro∣perly. Which is very commendable. And is there no attention to be paid to the use of the tongue, the glory Page 5 of man? Supposing a person to be ever so sincere and zealous a lover of virtue, and of his country; without a competent skill and address in speaking, he can only sit still, and see them wronged, without having it in his power to prevent, or redress the evil. Let an artful and eloquent statesman harangue the house of commons up∣on a point of the utmost consequence to the public good. He has it greatly in his power to mislead the judgment of the house. And he, who sees through the delusion, if he be awkward in delivering himself, can do nothing toward preventing the ruinous schemes, proposed by the other, from being carried into execution, but give his single vote against them, without so much as explaining to the house his reasons for doing so. The case is the same in oth∣er smaller assemblies and meetings, in which volubility of tongue, and steadiness of countenance, often carry it against solid reasons, and important considerations.
To offer a help toward the improvement of youth in the useful and ornamental accomplishment of speak∣ing properly their mother tongue, is the design of this publication; to set about which I have been the more excited by experiencing, in my own practice, a want of such a collection as the following. What I propos∣ed to myself at first, was only to put together a com∣petent variety of passages out of some of the best writ¦ers in prose and verse, for exercising youth in adapt∣ing their general manner of delivery to the spirit or hu∣mour of the various matter they may have occasion to pronounce. Such a collection, I thought, might be acceptable to the public, in consideration of its fur∣nishing at an easy expense, a general variety of exam∣ples for practice, chosen and pointed out, without trou∣ble to masters. A design, which as far as I know, has not before been executed. * On farther considera∣tion, Page 6 it occurred to me, that it might render such a pub∣lication more useful, if I prefixed some general obser∣vations on the method of teaching pronunciation, and put the emphetical words in italics, and marginal notes shewing the various humours or passions, in the several examples, as they change from one to another, in the course of the speeches. All masters of places of edu∣cation are not, I fear, sufficiently aware of the extent of this part of their duty; nor of the number of particulars to be attended to, which render it so difficult to bring a young person to deliver in a completely proper manner, a speech containing a considerable variety of different hu∣mours or passions. So that some masters, as well as all pupils, may find their account in using this collection, till a better be published.
Whoever imagines the English tongue unfit for ora∣tory, has not a just notion of it. That, by reason of the disproportion between its vowels and consonants, it is not quite so tractable as the Italian, and consequently, not so easily applied to amorous, or to plaintive music, is not denied. But it goes better to martial music, than the Italian. And in oratory and poetry, there is no tongue, ancient, or modern, capable of expressing a greater vari∣ety of humours, or passions, by its sounds (I am not speaking of its copiousness, as to phraseology ) than the English. The Greek, among the ancient, and the Turkish and Spanish, among the modern languages, have a loftier sound, though the gutturals in them, of which the English is free (for it is probable, that the ancient Greeks pronounced the letter χ guttural∣ly) are, to most ears, disagreeable. But there is not in those languages, the variety of sound which the Eng∣lish affords. They never quit their stiff pomp, which, on some occasions, is unnatural. Nor is there, as far Page 7 as I know, any language more copious, than the Eng∣lish; an eminent advantage for oratory. And if we must fall out with our mother-tongue, on account of some hard and un-liquid syllables in it, how shall we bear the celebrated Roman language itself, in every sentence of which we find such sounds as tot, quot, sub, ad, sed, est, ut, et, nec, id, at, it, sit, sunt, dant, det, dent, dabat, dabant, daret, darent, hic, haec, hoc, fit, fuit, erat, erunt, fert, duc, fac, dic, and so on.
It is greatly to our shame, that, while we do so lit∣tle for the improvement of our language, and of our manner of speaking it in public, the French should take so much pains in both these respects, though their lan∣guage is very much inferiour to ours, both as to em∣phasis and copiousness.
It is true, there is not now the same secular demand for eloquence, as under the popular governments of an∣cient times, when twenty talents (several thousands of pounds) was the fee for one speech; * when the tongue of an orator could do more than the sceptre of a monarch, or the sword of a warrior; and when su∣perior skill in the art of haranguing was the certain means for elevating him, who possessed it, to the high∣est honours in the state. Even in our own country, this is partly the case; for the instances of bad speak∣ers rising to eminent stations in the government, are rare. But it must be owned, our politicks now turn upon other hinges, than in the time when Greek and Roman eloquence flourished. Nor are we, accordingly, like to bestow the pains which they did, for consummating ourselves in the art of speaking. We shall hardly, in our ages, hear of a person's shutting himself up for many months in a cell under ground, to study and practise elocution uninterrupted; or declaiming on the sea-shore, to accustom himself to harangue an enraged multitude without fear; or under the points of drawn swords fixed over his shoulders, to cure himself of a Page 8 bad habit of shrugging them up; which with other par∣ticulars, are the labours recorded to have been under∣taken by Demosthenes, in order to perfect himself, in spite of his natural disadvantages, of which he had ma∣ny in the art of elocution. What is to be gained by skill in the art of speaking may not now be sufficient to reward the indefatigable diligence used by a De∣mosthenes, a Pericles, an Aeschines, a Demetrius Pha∣lereus, an Isocrates, a Carbo, a Cicero, a M. Antony, an Hortensius, a Julius, an Augustus, and the rest. Yet it is still of important advantage for all that part of youth, whose station places them within the reach of a polite education, to be qualified for acquitting them∣selves with reputation, when called to speak in public. In parliament, at the bar, in the pulpit, at meetings of merchants, in committees for managing public affairs, in large societies, and on such like occasions, a compe∣tent address and readiness, not only in finding matter, but in expressing and urging it effectually, is what, I doubt not, many a gentleman would willingly acquire, at the expense of half his other improvements.
The reader will naturally reflect here upon one im∣portant use for good speaking, which was unknown to the ancients, viz. for the ministerial function. I therefore have said above, page 7, that we have not the same secular demand for elocution, as the ancients; meaning, by reservation, that we have a moral, or spiritual use for it, which they had not.
And no small matter of grief it is to think, that, of the three learned professions, real merit is there the most ineffectual towards raising its possessor, where it ought to be most; which must greatly damp emulation and dil∣igence. An able physician, or lawyer, hardly fails of success in life. But a clergyman may unite the learn∣ing of a Cudworth with the eloquence of a Tillotson, and the delivery of an Atterbury: but, if he cannot make out a connection with some great man, and it is too well known by what means they are most common∣ly Page 9 gained; he must content himself to be buried in a country curacy, or vicarage at most, for life.
If nature unassisted could form the eminent speaker, where were the use of art or culture; which yet no one pretends to question? Art is but nature improved upon and refined. And before improvement is applied, genius is but a mass of ore in the mine, without lustre, and with∣out value, because unknown and unthought of. The an∣cients used to procure for their youth, masters of pronun∣ciation from the theatres * and had them taught gesture and attitude by the palaestritae. These last taught what is, among us, done by the dancing-master. And, as to the former, no man ought to presume to set himself at the head of a place of education, who is not in some degree capable of teaching pronunciation. However, I could wish, that gentlemen, who have made themselves perfect masters of pronunciation and delivery, would undertake to teach this branch at places of education, in the same manner as masters of music, drawing, dancing, and fencing, are used to do.
It is well when a youth has no natural defect or imped∣iment, in his speech. And, I should by no means, advise, that he, who has, be brought up to a profession requiring elocution. But there are instances enough of natural de∣fects surmounted, and eminent speakers formed by inde∣fatigable diligence in spite of them. Demosthenes could not, when he began to study rhetoric, pronounce the first letter of the name of his art. And Cicero was long necked, and narrow-chested. But diligent and faithful labour, in what one is in earnest about, sur∣mounts all difficulties. Yet we are commonly enough disgusted by public speakers lisping, and stammering, and speaking through the nose, and pronouncing the letter R with the throat, instead of the tongue, and the letter S like Th, and screaming above, or croaking be∣low all natural pitch of human voice; some mum∣bling, as if they were conjuring up spirits; others Page 10 bawling, as loud as the vociferous vendors of provisions in London streets; some tumbling out the words so precipitately, that no ear can catch them; others drag∣ging them out so slowly, that it is as tedious to listen to them, as to count a great clock; some have got a habit of shrugging up their shoulders; others of see-sawing with their bodies, some backward and forward, others from side to side; some raise their eyebrows at every third word; some open their mouths frightfully; oth∣ers keep their teeth so close together, that one would think their jaws were set; some shrivel all their fea∣tures together into the middle of their faces; some push out their lips, as if they were mocking the audi∣ence; others hem at every pause; and others smack with their lips, and roll their tongues about in their mouths, as if they laboured under a continual thirst. All which bad habits they ought to have been broken of in early youth, or put into ways of life, in which they would have, at least, offended fewer persons.
It is through neglect in the early part of life, and bad habits taking place, that there is not a public speaker among twenty, who knows what to do with his eyes. To see the venerable man, who is to be the mouth of a whole people confessing their offences to their Creator and Judge, bring out these awful words, "Almighty and most merciful Father," &c. with his eyes over his shoulder, to see who is just gone into the pew at his elbow; to observe this, one would imagine there was an absolute want of all feeling of de∣votion. But it may be, all the while, owing to noth∣ing but awkwardness; and the good man looks about him the whole time he is going on with the service, merely to keep himself in countenance, not knowing, else, where to put his eyes.
Even the players, who excel, beyond comparison, all other speakers in this country, in what regards deco∣rum, are, some of them, often guilty of monstrous im∣proprieties as to the management of their eyes. To di∣rect Page 11 them full at the audience, when they are speaking a soliloquy, or an aside-speech, is unsufferable. For they ought not to seem so much as to think of an audience, or of any person's looking upon them, at any time, especially on those occasions; those speeches being only thinking aloud, and expressing what the actor should be supposed to wish concealed. Nor do they always keep their eyes fixed upon those they speak to, even in impassioned dialogue. Whether it is from heedlessness, or that they are more out of countenance by looking one another stedfastly in the face, I know not; but they do often ramble about with their eyes in a very unmean∣ing and unnatural manner.
A natural genius for delivery supposes an ear; though it does not always suppose a musical * ear. I never heard poetry, particularly that of Milton, better spoken, than by a gentleman, who yet had so little discernment in music, that he has often told me, the grinding of knives entertained him as much as Handel's organ.
As soon as a child can read, without spelling, the words in a common English book, as the SPECTATOR, he ought to be taught the use of the stops, and accus∣tomed, from the beginning, to pay the same regard to them as to the words. The common rule, for holding them out to their just length, is too exact for practice, viz. that a comma, is to hold the length of a syllable, a semicolon, of two, a colon of three, and a period of four. In some cases, there is no stop to be made at a comma, as they are often put merely to render the sense clear; as those, which, by Mr. Ward, and many other learned editors of books, are put before every re∣lative. It likewise often happens, that the strain of the matter shews a propriety, or beauty, in holding the pause beyond the proper length of the stop; particularly when any thing remarkably striking has been uttered; by which means the hearers have time to ruminate up∣on it, before the matter, which follows can put it out of their thoughts. Of this, instances will occur in the following lessons.
Page [unnumbered] Young readers are apt to get into a rehearsing kind of • notony; of which it is very difficult to break them. Monotony is holding one uniform humming sound through the whole discourse, without rising or falling. Cant, is, in speaking, as psalmody and ballad in music, a strain consisting of a few notes rising and falling with∣out variation, like a peal of bells, let the matter change how it will. The chaunt with which the prose psalms are half-sung, half-said, in cathedrals, is the same kind of absurdity. All these are unnatural, because the con∣tinu • lly varying strain of the matter necessarily requires a continually varying series of sounds to express it. Whereas chaunting in cathedrals, psalmody in parish-churches, ballad music put to a number of verses, dif∣fering in thoughts and images, and cant, or monotony, in expressing the various matter of a discourse, do not in the least humour the matters they applied to; but on the contrary, confound it. *
Young people must be taught to let their voice fall at the ends of sentences; and to read without any particular whi • cant, or draw • , and with the natural inflections of vo • , which they use in speaking. For, reading is nothing but speaking what one sees in a book, as if he were expressing his own sentiments, as they rise in his mind. And no person • s well, till he comes to speak what he sees in the book before him in the same natural manner as he speaks the thoughts, which arise in his own mind. And hence it is, that no one can read properly what he does not understand. Which lea • is me to observe, that there are many books much fitter for improving children in reading, than most parts of scripture, especially of the Old Testament. Be∣cause the words of our English Bible are, many of them, absolete: the phraseology, as of all bare translations, stiff, the subjects not familiar to young persons, and the cha∣racters grave and forbidding. Fables and tales, found∣ed upon good morals, and select parts of history Page 13 and biography, and familiar dialogues, are more pleasing and suitable to children under seven and eight years of age. And such familiar reading, as co • ing near to their own chat, is most likely to keep them from, or cure them of a can • ing, whining, drawling, or u • -ani∣mated manner.
They must be taught, that, in questions, the voice is often to rise towards the end of the sentence, contrary to the manner of pronouncing most other sorts of mat∣ter; because the emphatical word, or that, upon which the stress of the question lies, is often the lust in the sentence. Example. "Can any good come out of Nazareth? " Here the emphatical word is Nazareth; therefore the word Nazareth is to be pronounced in a higher note than any part of the sentence. But in pro∣nouncing the following, "By what authority dost thou these things; and who gave thee this authority?" the emphatical words are authority and who: because what the Jews asked our Saviour was, by what power or au∣thority, he did his wonderful works; and how he came by that power. And in all questions, the emphasis must, according to the intention of the speaker, be put upon that word which signifies the point, about which he inquires. Example. "Is it true that you have seen a noble lord from court to-day, who has told you bad news?" If the inquirer wants only to know, whether myself, or some other person, has seen the sup∣posed great man; he will put the emphasis upon you. If he knows, that I have seen somebody from court, and only wants to know, whether I have seen a great man, who may be supposed to know what inferior persons about the court do not, he will put the emphasis upon noble lord. If he wants to know, only whether the great man came directly from court, so that his intelligence may be depended upon, he will put the emphasis upon court. If he wants only to know, whether I have 〈◊〉 scen • to-day, or yesterday, he will put the 〈…〉 upon to day If he knows, that Page 14 I have seen a great man from court, to-day, and only wants to know, whether he has told me any news, he will put the emphasis upon news. If he knows all the rest, and wants only to know, whether the news I heard was bad, he will put the emphasis upon the word bad.
The matter contained in a parenthesis, or between commas instead of a parenthesis, which authors and editors often use, and between brackets,  is to be pro∣nounced with a lower voice, and quicker than the rest, and with a short stop at the beginning and end; that the hearer may perceive where the strain of the discourse breaks off, and where it is resumed; as, "When, therefore, the Lord knew, that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made, and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus himself did not baptize, but his disciples ) he departed from Judea, and returned to Gallilee." *
A youth should not only be accustomed to read to the master, while the general business of the school is going on, so that none, but the master, and those of his own class, can hear him; but likewise to read, or speak, by himself, while all the rest hear. This will give him cour∣age, and accustom him to pronounce distinctly, so that every syllable shall be heard (though not every syllable alike loud, and with the same emphasis ) through the whole room. For it is one part of the judgment of a public speaker, to accommodate his voice to the place, he speaks in, in such a manner as to fill it, and, at the same time, not stun the hearers. It is matter of no small difficul∣ty to bring young readers to speak slow enough. There is little danger of their speaking too slow. Though that is a fault as well as the contrary. For the hearers cannot but be disgusted and tired with listening much longer than is necessary, and losing precious time.
In every sentence, there is some word, perhaps sev∣eral, which are to be pronounced with a stronger accent, or emphasis, than the others. Time was, when the em∣phatical word, or words, in every sentence, were print∣ed in Italics. And a great advantage it was toward un∣derstanding Page 15 the sense of the author, especially, where there was a thread of reasoning carried on. But we are now grown so nice, that we have found, the inter-mixture of two characters deforms the page, and gives it a speckled appearance. As if it were not of infi∣nitely more consequence to make sure of edifying the reader, than of pleasing his eye. But to return to em∣phasis, there is nothing more pedantic than too much laid upon trifling matter. Men of learning, especial∣ly physicians, and divines, are apt to get into a ful∣some, bombastic way of uttering themselves on all oc∣casions, as if they were dictating, when perhaps the business is of no greater consequence, than What's a clock? Or how's the wind? Whose coach is • ha • we've left behind? SWIFT.
Nor can an error be more ridiculous, than some that have been occasioned by an emphasis placed wrong. Such was that of a clergyman's curate, who having occa∣sion to read in the church our Saviour's saying to the disciples, Luke xxiv. 25. "O fools and slow of heart" [that is, backward ] "to believe all that the prophets have written concerning me!" placed the emphasis upon the word believe; as if Christ had called them • ols for believing. Upon the rector's finding fault; when he read it next he placed the emphasis upon all; as if it had been foolish in the disciples to believe all. The rector again blaming this manner of placing the em∣phasis, the good curate accented the word prophets. As if the prophets had been persons in no respect wor∣thy of belief.
A total want of energy in expressing pathetic language is equally blameable. I have often been amazed how public speakers could bring out the strong and pathetic expressions, they have occasion to utter, in so cold and un-animated a manner. I happened lately to hear the tenth chapter of Joshua read in a church in the coun∣try. It contains the history of the miraculous con∣quest Page 16 of the five kings, who arose against the people of Israel. The clergyman bears a very good character in the neighbourhood. I was therefore grieved to hear him read so striking a piece of scripture-history in a manner so un-animated, that it was fit to lull the whole parish to sleep. Particularly I shall never forget his manner of expressing the twenty second verse, which is the Jewish general's order to bring out the captive kings to slaughter. "Open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings to me out of the cave;" which he uttered in the very manner he would have expressed himself, if he had said to his boy, "Open my chamber door and bring me my slippers from under the bed."
CICERO * very judiciously directs, that a public speak∣er remit, from time to time, somewhat of the vehemence of his action, and not utter every passage with all the force he can; to set off, the more strongly, the more emphatical parts; as the painters, by means of shades properly placed, make the figures stand off bolder. For if the speaker has utter∣ed a weaker passage with all the energy he is master of, what is he to do, when he comes to the most pathetic parts?
The ease, with which a speaker goes through a long discourse, and his success with his audience, depend much upon his setting out in a proper key, † and at a due pitch of loudness. If he begins in too high a tone or sets out too loud, how is he afterwards to rise to a higher note, or swell his voice louder, as the more pathetic strains may require? The command of the voice, therefore, in this respect, is to be studied very early.
The force or pathos, with which a speech is to be de∣livered, is to increase as the speech goes on. The speak∣er Page 17 is to grow warm by degrees, as the chariot wheel by its continued motion; * not to begin in a pathetic strain; because the audience are not prepared to go along with him.
False and provincial accents are to be guarded against, or corrected. The manner of pronouncing, which is usual among people of education, who are natives of the metropolis, is, in every country, the standard. For what Horace † says, of the choice of words, viz. that the people, by their practice, establish what is right, is equally true of the pronunciation of them.
Nature has given to every emotion of the mind its prop∣er outward expression, in such a manner, that what suits one, cannot by any means be accommodated to another. Children at three years of age express their grief in a tone of voice, and with an action totally different from that, which they use to express their anger; and they utter their joy in a manner different from both. Nor do they ever, by mistake, apply one in place of another. From hence, that is, from nature, is to be deduced the whole art of speaking properly. What we mean, does not so much depend upon the words we speak, as on our manner of speaking them; and accordingly, in life, the greatest at∣tention is paid to this, as expressive of what our words of∣ten give no indication of. Thus nature fixes the outward expression of every intention or sentiment of the mind.
Art only adds gracefulness to what nature leads to. As nature has determined that man shall walk on his feet, not his hands: Art teaches him to walk gracefully.
Every part of the human frame contributes to express the passions and emotions of the mind, and to shew in general its present state. The head is sometimes erect∣ed, sometimes hung down, sometimes drawn suddenly back Page 18 with an air of disdain, sometimes shews by a nod, a partic∣ular person, or object; gives assent, or denial, by different motions; threatens by one sort of movement, approves, by another, and expresses suspicion by a third.
The arms are sometimes both thrown out, sometimes the right alone. Sometimes they are lifted up as high as the face, to express wonder, sometimes held out before the breast, to shew fear; spread forth with the hands open, to express desire or affection; the hands clapped in surprise, and in sudden joy and grief; the right hand clenched, and the arms brandished, to threaten; the two arms set a-kimbo, to look big, and express contempt or cour∣age. With the hands, as Quintilian * says we solicit, we refuse, we promise, we threaten, we dismiss, we invite, we intreat, we express aversion, fear, doubting, denial, asking, affirmation, negation, joy, grief, confession, peni∣tence. With the hands we describe and point out all cir∣cumstances of time, place, and manner of what we re∣late; we excite the passions of others, and sooth them, we approve and disapprove, permit, or prohibit, admire or despise. The hands serve us instead of many sorts of words, and where the language of the tongue is un∣known, that of the hands is understood, being univer∣sal, and common to all nations.
The legs advance, or retreat, to express desire, or aver∣sion, love, or hatred, courage, or fear, and produce exulta∣tion, or leaping in sudden joy; and the stamping of the foot expresses earnestness, anger, and threatening.
Especially the face, being furnished with a variety of muscles, does more in expressing the passions of the mind, than the whole human frame besides. The change of colour (in white people) shews, by turns, anger by redness, and sometimes by paleness, fear likewise by paleness, and shame by blushing. Every feature contrib∣utes its part. The mouth open, shews one state of the mind, shut, another; the gnashing of the teeth, another. Page 19 The forehead smooth, and eyebrows arched and easy, shew tranquillity or joy. Mirth opens the mouth towards the ears, crisps the nose, half-shuts the eyes, and sometimes fills them with tears. The front wrinkled into frowns, and the eyebrows over-hanging the eyes, like clouds, fraught with tempest, shew a mind agitated with fury. Above all, the eye shews the very spirit in a visible form. In every different state of the mind, it assumes a differ∣ent appearance. Joy brightens and opens it. Grief half∣closes, and drowns it in tears. Hatred and anger, flash from it like lightning. Love, darts from it in glances, like the orient beam. Jealousy and squinting envy, dart their contagious blasts from the eye. And devotion raises it to the skies, as if the soul of the holy man were go∣ing to take its flight to heaven.
The ancients * used some gestures which are unknown to us, as, to express grief, and other violent emotions of the mind, they used to strike their knees with the palms of their hands.
The force of attitude and looks alone appears in a won∣derously striking manner, in the works of the painter and statuary; who have the delicate art of making the flat canvas and rocky marble utter every passion of the human mind, and touch the soul of the spectator, as if the pic∣ture, or statue, spoke the pathetic language of Shakespear. It is no wonder, then, that masterly action, joined with powerful elocution, should be irresistible. And the vari∣ety of expression by looks and gestures, is so great, that, as is well known, a whole play can be represented with∣out a word spoken.
The following are, I believe, the principal passions, humours, sentiments, and intentions, which are to be ex∣pressed by speech and action. And I hope, it will be allowed by the reader, that it is nearly in the following manner, that nature expresses them.
Tranquillity, or apathy, appears by the composure of Page 20 the countenance, and general repose of the body and limbs, without the exertion of any one muscle. The countenance open; the forehead smooth; the eyebrows arched; the mouth just not shut; and the eyes passing with an easy motion from object to object, but not dwelling long upon any one.
Cheerfulness adds a smile, opening the mouth a little more. Mirth or laughter, opens the mouth still more to∣wards the ears; crisps the nose; lessens the aperture of the eyes, and sometimes fills them with tears; shakes and convulses the whole frame; giving considerable pain, which occasions holding the sides.
Raillery, in sport, without real animosity, puts on the aspect of cheerfulness. The tone of voice is sprightly. With contempt, or disgust, it casts a look a-squint, from time to time, at the object; and quits the cheerful aspect for one mixed between an affected grin and sourness. The upper lip is drawn up with an air of disdain. The arms are set a-kimbo on the hips; and the right hand now and then thrown out toward the object, as if one were going to strike another a slight back-hand blow. The pitch of the voice rather loud, the tone arch and sneering, the sentences short; the expressions satyrical, with mock praise intermixed. There are instances of raillery in scripture itself, as 1 Kings xviii. and Isa. xliv. And the excellent Tillotson has not scrupled to indulge a strain of that sort now and then, especially in exposing the mock solemnities of that most ludicrous (as well as odi∣ous) of all religions, popery. Nor should I think raille∣ry unworthy the attention of the lawyer; as it may oc∣casionally come in, not unusefully, in his pleadings, as well as any other stroke of ornament, or entertainment * .
Buffoonery assumes an arch, sly, leering gravity. Must not quit its serious aspect, though all should laugh to burst ribs of steel. This command of face is somewhat diffi∣cult; though not so hard, I should think, as to restrain the contrary sympathy, I mean of weeping with those who weep.
Page 21 Joy, when sudden and violent, expresses itself by clap∣ping of hands, and exultation, or leaping. The eyes are opened wide; perhaps filled with tears; often raised to heaven, especially by devout persons The countenance is smiling, not composedly, but with features aggravated. The voice rises, from time to time, to very high notes.
Delight, or pleasure, as when one is entertained, or ravished with music, painting, oratory, or any such ele∣gancy, shews itself by the looks, gestures, and utterance of joy; but moderated.
Gravity, or seriousness, the mind fixed upon some im∣portant subject, draws down the eyebrows a little; casts down or shuts, or raises the eyes to heaven; shuts the mouth and pinches the lips close. The posture of the body and limbs is composed, and without much motion. The speech, if any, slow and solemn; the tone unvarying.
Enquiry into an obscure subject, fixes the body in one posture, the head stooping, and the eye poring, the eyebrows drawn down.
Attention to an esteemed, or superior character, has the same aspect; and requires silence; the eyes often cast down upon the ground; sometimes fixed on the face of the speaker; but not too pertly.
Modesty, or submission, bends the body forward; levels the eyes to the breast, if not to the feet, of the superior character. The voice low; the tone submissive; and words few.
Perplexity, or anxiety, which is always attended with some degree of fear and uneasiness, draws all the parts of the body together; gathers up the arms upon the breast, unless one hand covers the eyes, or rubs the forehead; draws down the eyebrows; hangs the head upon the breast; casts down the eyes, shuts and pinches the eyelids close; shuts the mouth, and pinches the lips close, or bites them.
Suddenly the whole body is vehemently agitated. The person walks about busily; stops abruptly. Then he talks to himself, or makes grimaces. If he speaks to another, his pauses are very long; the tone of his voice unvarying, Page 22 and his sentences broken, expressing half, and keeping in half of what arises in his mind.
Vexation, occasioned by some real or imaginary misfor∣tune, agitates the whole frame, and, besides expressing itself with the looks, gestures, restlessness, and tone of per∣plexity, it adds complaint, freting, and lamenting.
Pity, a mixed passion of love and grief, looks down upon distress with lifted hands; eyebrows drawn down; mouth open; and features drawn together. Its expression, as to looks, and gesture, is the same with those of suf∣fering, (see suffering) but more moderate, as the painful feelings are only sympathetic, and therefore one remove as it were more distant from the soul than what one feels in his own person.
Grief, sudden, and violent, expresses itself by beating the head; groveling on the ground, tearing of garments, hair, and flesh; screaming aloud, weeping, stamping with the feet, lifting the eyes, from time to time, to heaven; hurrying to and fro, running distracted, or fainting away, sometimes without recovery. Sometimes violent grief pro∣duces a torpid sullen silence, resembling total apathy. *
Melancholy, or fixed grief is gloomy, sedentary, motionless. The lower jaw falls; the lips pale, the eyes are cast down, half-shut, eyelids swelled and red, or livid, tears trick∣ling silent, and unwiped; with a total inattention to eve∣ry thing that passes. Words, if any, few, and those dragged out, rather than spoken; the accents weak, and interrupted sigh • breaking into the middle of sentences and words.
Despair, as in a condemned criminal, or one who has lost all hope of salvation, bends the eyebrows down∣ward; clouds the forehead; rolls the eyes around fright∣fully; opens the mouth toward the ears; bites the lips; widens the nostrils; gnashes with the teeth, like a fierce wild beast. The heart is too much hardened to suffer tears to flow; yet the eye-balls will be red and inflam∣ed, Page 23 like those of an animal in a rabid state. The head is hung down upon the breast. The arms are bended at the elbows, the fists clenched hard: the veins and muscles swelled; the skin livid; and the whole body strained and violently agitated; groans, expressive of inward torture, more frequently uttered than words. If any words, they are few, and expressed with a sul∣len, eager bitterness; the tone of voice often loud and furious. As it often drives people to distraction, and self-murder, it can hardly be over-acted by one, who would represent it.
Fear, violent and sudden, opens very wide the eyes and mouth; shortens the nose; draws down the eye∣brows; gives the countenance an air of wildness; covers it with deadly paleness; draws back the elbows paral∣lel with the sides; lifts up the open hands, the fingers together, to the height of the breast, so that the palms face the dreadful object, as shields opposed against it. One foot is drawn back behind the other, so that the body seems shrinking from the danger, and putting itself in a posture for flight. The heart beats violently; the breath is fetched quick and short; the whole body is thrown in a general tremor. The voice is weak and trembling; the sentences are short, and the meaning con∣fused and incoherent. Imminent danger, real, or fan∣cied, produces, in timorous persons, as women and children, violent shrieks, without any articulate sound of words; and sometimes irrecoverably confounds the understanding; produces fainting, which is sometimes followed by death.
Shame, or a sense of one's appearing to a disadvan∣tage, before one's fellow-creatures, turns away the face from the beholders; covers it with blushes; hangs the head; casts down the eyes; draws down the eyebrows; either strikes the person dumb, or, if he attempts to say any thing in his own defence, causes his tongue to fal∣ter, and confounds his utterance; and puts him upon making a thousand gestures and grimaces, to keep him∣self Page 24 in countenance; all which only heighten the con∣fusion of his appearance.
Remorse, or a painful sense of guilt, casts down the countenance, and clouds it with anxiety; hangs down the head, draws the eyebrows down upon the eyes. The right hand beats the breast. The teeth gnash with an∣guish. The whole body is strained and violently agitated. If this strong remorse is succeeded by the more gracious disposition of penitence or contrition; then the eyes are raised (but with great appearance of doubting and fear ) to the throne of heavenly mercy; and immediately cast down again to the earth. Then floods of tears are seen to flow. The • nees are bended; or the body prostrated on the ground. The arms are spread in a suppliant posture, and the voice of deprecation is uttered with sighs, groans, timidity, hesitation, and trembling.
Courage, steady, and cool, opens the countenance, gives the whole form an erect and graceful air. The accents are strong, full mouthed and articulate, the voice firm and even.
Boasting or affected courage, is loud, blustering, threat∣ening. The eyes stare; the eyebrows drawn down; the face is red and bloated; the mouth pouts out; the voice hollow and thundering; the arms are set a-kimbo; the head often nodding in a menacing manner; and the right fist clenched, is brandished, from time to time, at the per∣son threatened. The right foot is often stamped upon the ground, and the legs take such large stri •• s, and the steps are so heavy, that the earth seems to tremble under them.
Pride assumes a lofty look, bordering upon the aspect and attitude of anger. The eyes open, but with the eye∣brows considerably drawn down; the mouth pouting out; mostly shut, and the lips pinched close. The words walk out a-strut, with a slow, stiff, bombastic affection of importance. The arms generally a-kimbo, and the legs at a distance from one another, taking large tragedy-strides.
Page 25 Obstinacy adds to the aspect of pride, a dogged sourness, like that of malice. See Malice.
Authority opens the countenance; but draws down the eyebrows a little, so far as to give the look of gravity. See Gravity.
Commanding requires an air a little more peremptory, with a look a little severe or stern. The hand is held out, and moved toward the person, to whom the order is given, with the palm upwards, and the head nods toward him.
Forbidding, on the contrary, draws the head backward, and pushes the hand from one with the palm downward, as if going to lay it upon the person, to hold him down im∣moveable, that he may not do what is forbidden him.
Affirming, especially with a judicial oath, is expressed by lifting the open right hand, and eyes, toward heaven; or, if conscience is appealed to, by laying the right hand upon the breast.
Denying is expressed by pushing the open right hand from one; and turning the face the contrary way. See Aversion.
Differing in sentiment, may be expressed as refusing. See Refusing.
Agreeing in opinion, or conviction, as granting. See Granting.
Exhorting, as by a general at the head of his army, re∣quires a kind, complacent look; unless matter of offence has passed, as neglect of duty, or the like.
Judging demands a grave, steady look, with deep atten∣tion; the countenance altogether clear from any appearance of either disgust or favour. The accents slow, distinct, emphatical, accompanied with little action, and that very grave.
Reproving, puts on a stern aspect, roughens the voice, and is accompanied with gestures not much different from those of threatening, but not so lively.
Acquitting is performed with a benevolent, tranquil countenance, and tone of voice; the right hand, if not both, open waved gently toward the person acquitted, ex∣pressing dismission. (See dismissing.)
Page 26 Condemning assumes a severe look, but mixed with pity The sentence is to be expressed as with reluctance.
Teaching, explaining, inculcating, or giving orders to an inferior, requires an air of superiority to be assumed. The features are to be composed to an authoritative gravity. The eye steady, and open, the eyebrow a little drawn down over it; but not so much as to look surly or dogmatical.
The tone of voice varying according as the emphasis re∣quires, of which a good deal is necessary in expressing mat∣ter of this sort. The pitch of voice to be strong and clear; the articulation distinct; the utterance slow; and the manner peremptory. This is the proper manner of pro∣nouncing the commandments in the communion office. But (I am sorry to say it) they are too commonly spoken in the same manner as the prayers, than which nothing can be more unnatural.
Pardoning differs from acquitting, in that the latter means clearing a person after trial of guilt; whereas the former supposes guilt, and signifies merely delivering the guilty person from punishment. Pardoning requires some degree of severity of aspect and tone of voice, because the pardoned person is not an object of intire unmixed appro∣bation; otherwise its expression is much the same as grant∣ing. See Granting.
Arguing requires a cool, sedate, attentive aspect, and a clear, slow, emphatical accent, with much demonstration by the hand. It differs from teaching (see Teaching ) in that the look of authority is not wanting in arguing.
Dismissing, with approbation, is done with a kind aspect and tone of voice; the right hand open, gently waved toward the person: with displeasure, besides the look and tone of voice which suit displeasure, the hand is hastily thrown out toward the person dismissed, the back part toward him, the countenance at the same time turned away from him.
Refusing, when accompaned with displeasure, is express∣ed nearly in the same way. Without displeasure, it is done with a visible reluctance, which occasions the bring∣ing out the word slowly, with such a shake of the head, and Page 27 shrug of the shoulders, as is natural upon hearing of some∣what, which gives us concern.
Granting, when done with unreserved good-will, is ac∣companied with a benevolent aspect, and tone of voice; the right hand pressed to the left breast, to signify, how heartily the favour is granted, and the benefactor's joy in conferring it.
Dependence. See Modesty.
Veneration, or worshipping, comprehends several arti∣cles, as ascription, confession, remorse, intercession, thanksgiv∣ing, deprecation, petition, &c. Ascription of honour and praise to the peerless and supreme Majesty of heaven, and confes∣sion and deprecation, are to be uttered with all that humility of looks and gesture, which can exhibit the most profound self-abasement and annihilation, before One, whose superior∣ity is infinite. The head is a little raised, but with the most apparent timidity, and dread; the eye is lifted; but immedi∣ately cast down again, or closed for a moment; the eyebrows are drawn down in the most respectful manner; the fea∣tures, and the whole body and limbs, are all composed to the most profound gravity; one posture continuing, without considerable change, during the whole performance of the duty. The knees bended, or the whole body prostrate, o • if the posture be standing, which scripture * does not dis∣allow, bending forward, as ready to prostrate itself. The arms spread out, but modestly, as high as the breast; the hands open. The tone of the voice will be submissive, tim∣id, equal, trembling, weak, suppliant. The words will be brought out with a visible anxiety and diffidence ap∣proaching to hesitation; few, and slow; nothing of vain repetition, † haranguing, flowers of rhetoric, or affected figures of speech; all simplicity, humility, and lowliness, such as becomes a reptile of the dust, when presuming to address Him, whose greatness is tremendous beyond all created conception. In intercession for our fellow-crea∣tures, which is prescribed in the scriptures, § and in Page 28 thanksgiving, the countenance will naturally assume a small degree of cheerfulness, beyond what it was clothed with in confession of sin, and deprecation of punishment. But all affected ornament of speech or gesture in devotion, deserves the severest censure, as being somewhat much worse than absurd.
Respect for a superior, puts on the looks and gesture of modesty. See Modesty.
Hope brightens the countenance; arches the eyebrows; gives the eyes an eager, wishful look; opens the mouth to half a smile; bends the body a little forward, the feet equal; spreads the arms, with the hands open, as to receive the object of its longings. The tone of the voice is eager and unevenly inclining to that of joy; but curbed by a degree of doubt and anxiety. Desire differs from hope, as to ex∣pression, in this particular, that there is more appear∣ance of doubt and anxiety in the former, than the latter. For it is one thing to desire what is agreeable, and anoth∣er to have a prospect of actually obtaining it.
Desire expresses itself by bending the body forward, and stretching the arms toward the object, as to grasp it. The countenance smiling, but eager and wishful; the eyes wide open, and eyebrows raised; the mouth open; the tone of voice suppliant, but lively and cheerful, unless there be distress as well as desire: the expressions fluent and copious; if no words are used, sighs instead of them; but this is chiefly in distress.
Love (successful) lights up the countenance into smiles. The forehead is smoothed, and enlarged; the eyebrows are arched; the mouth a little open, and smiling; the eyes languishing and half-shut, dote upon the beloved object. The countenance assumes the eager and wishful look of desire (see Desire above) but mixed with an air of satis∣faction, and repose. The accents are soft, and winning; the tone of voice persuasive, flattering, pathetic, various, musical, rapturous, as in joy. (See Joy. ) The attitude much the same with that of desire. Sometimes both hands pressed eagerly to the bosom. Love, unsuccessful, adds an Page 29 air of anxiety and melancholy. (See Perplexity and Me∣lancholy. )
Giving, inviting, soliciting, and such like actions, which suppose some degree of affection, real or pretended, are accompanied with much the same looks and gestures as express love; but more moderate.
Wonder, or amazement (without any other interesting passion, as love, esteem, &c.) opens the eyes, and makes them appear very prominent; sometimes raises them to the skies; but oftener, and more expressively, fixes them on the object; if the cause of the passion be a present and visible object, with the look, all except the wildness, of fear. (See Fear. ) If the hands hold any thing, at the time, when the object of wonder appears, they imme∣diately let it drop, unconscious; and the whole body fixes in the contracted, stooping posture of amazement; the mouth open; the hands held up open, nearly in the atti∣tude of fear. (See Fear. ) The first access of this passion stops all utterance. But it makes amends afterwards by a copious flow of words and exclamations.
Admiration, a mixed passion, consisting of wonder, with love or esteem, takes away the familiar gesture, and ex∣pression of simple love. (See Love. ) Keeps the respect∣ful look and attitude. (See Modesty and Veneration. ) The eyes are opened wide, and now and then raised toward hea∣ven. The mouth is opened. The hands are lifted up. The tone of the voice rapturous. This passion expresses itself copiously, making great use of the figure hyperbole.
Gratitude puts on an aspect full of complacenc • . (See Love. ) If the object of it is a character greatly superior, it expresses much submission. (See Modesty. ) The right hand pressed upon the breast accompanies, very properly, the expression of a sincere and hearty sensibility of obliga∣tion.
Curiosity, as of a busy-body, opens the eyes, and mouth, lengthens the neck, bends the body forward, and fixes it in one posture, with the hands nearly in that of admiration. Page 30 See Admiration. See also Desire, Attention, Hope, Enquiry, and Perplexity.
Persuasion puts on the looks of moderate love. (See Love. ) Its accents are soft, flattering, emphatical, and artic∣ulate.
Tempting, or wheedling, expresses itself much in the same way; only carrying the fawning part to excess.
Promising is expressed with benevolent looks, the nod of consent, and the open hands gently moved towards the per∣son, to whom the promise is made; the palms upwards. The sincerity of the promiser may be expressed by laying the right hand gently on the breast.
Affectation displays itself in a thousand different gestures, motions, airs, and looks, according to the character, which the person affects. Affectation of learning gives a stiff formality to the whole person. The words come stalking out with the pace of a funeral procession; and every sen∣tence has the solemnity of an oracle. Affectation of piety turns up the goggling whites of the eyes to heaven, as if the person were in a trance, and fixes them in that posture so long that the brain of the beholder grows giddy. Then comes up, deeb-grumbling, a holy groan from the lower parts of the thorax; but so tremendous in sound, and so long protracted, that you expect to see a goblin rise, like an exhalation through the solid earth. Then he begins to rock from side to side, or backward and forward, like an aged pine on the side of a hill, when a brisk wind blows. The hands are clasped together, and often lifted, and the head often shaken with foolish vehemence. The tone of the voice is canting, or sing-song lullaby, not much dis∣tant from an Irish howl; and the words godly doggerel. Affectation of beauty, and killing, puts a fine woman by turns into all sorts of forms, appearances, and attitude, but amiable ones. She undoes, by art, or rather by awkward∣ness (for true art conceals itself) all that nature had done for her. Nature formed her almost an angel, and she, with infinite pains, makes herself a monkey. There∣fore this species of Affectation is easily imitated, or taken Page 31 off. Make as many, and as ugly grimaces, motions, and gestures, as can be made; and take care that nature never peep out; and you represent coquetish affectation to the life.
Sloth, appears by yawning, dosing, snoring, the head dang∣ling sometimes to one side, sometimes to the other, the arms and legs stretched out, and every sinew of the body unstrung, the eyes heavy, or closed; the words, if any, crawl out of the mouth, but half-formed, scarce audible to any ear, and broken off in the middle by powerful sleep.
People, who walk in their sleep (of which our inimit∣able Shakespear has in his tragedy of MACBETH, drawn out a fine scene) are said to have their eyes open; though they are not, the more for that, conscious of any thing, but the dream, which has got possession of their imagina∣tion. I never saw one of those persons; therefore can∣not describe their manner from nature; but I suppose, their speech is pretty much like that of persons dream∣ing, inarticulate, incoherent, and very different, in its tone, from what it is, when waking.
Intoxication shews itself by the eyes half-shut, sleepy, stu∣pid, inflamed. An idiot smile, a ridiculous surliness or af∣fected bravado, disgraces the bloated countenance. The mouth open tumbles out nonsense in heaps, without articulation enough for any ear to take it in, and unworthy of attention, if it could be taken in. The head seems too heavy for the neck. The arms dangle from the shoulders, as if they were almost cut away, and hung by shreds. The legs totter and bend at the knees, as ready to sink under the weight of the reeling body. And a general incapacity, corporeal and mental, exhibits human nature sunk below the brutal.
Anger (violent) or rage, expresses itself with rapidity, interruption, noise, harshness, and trepidation. The neck stretched out; the head forward, often nodding and shaken in a menacing manner, against the object of the passion. The eyes red, inflamed, staring, rolling, and sparkling; the eyebrows drawn down over them; and the forehead wrink∣led Page 32 into clouds. The nostrils stretched wide; every vein swelled; every muscle strained; the breast heaving and the breath fetched hard. The mouth open, and drawn on each side toward the ears, shewing the teeth, in a gnashing posture. The face bloated, pale, red, or, sometimes almost black. The feet stamping; the right arm often thrown out, and menacing with the clenched fist shaken, and a general and violent agitation of the whole body.
Peevishness, or ill-nature, is a lower degree of anger; and is therefore expressed in the above manner, only more moderate; with half sentences, and broken speeches, uttered hastily; the upper lip drawn up disdainfully; the eyes asquint upon the object of displeasure.
Malice, or spite, sets the jaws, or gnashes with the teeth, sends blasting flashes from the eyes; draws the mouth to∣ward the ears; clenches both fists and bends the elbows in a straining manner. The tone of voice and expression, are much the same with that of anger; but the pitch not so loud.
Envy is a little more moderate in its gestures, than malice; but much the same in kind.
Revenge expresses itself as malice.
Cruelty. See Anger, Aversion, Malice, and the other irascible passions.
Complaining, as when one is under violent bodily pains, distorts the features; almost closes the eyes; sometimes raises them wishfully; opens the mouth; gnashes with the teeth; draws up the upper lip; draws down the head upon the breast, and the whole body together. The arms are violently bent at the elbows, and the fists strongly clench∣ed. The voice is uttered in groans, lamentations, and violent screams. Extreme torture produces fainting and death.
Fatigue, from severe labour, gives a general langour to the whole body. The countenance is dejected. (See Grief. ) The arms hang listless; the body, if sitting, or lying along be not the posture, stoops; as in old age. (See Dotage. ) The legs, if walking, are dragged heavi∣ly Page 33 along, and seem at every step ready to bend under the weight of the body. The voice is weak, and the words hardly enough articulated to be understood.
Aversion, or hatred, expressed to, or of any person, or thing, that is odious to the speaker, occasions his draw∣ing back as avoiding the approach of what he hates: the hands, at the same time, thrown out spread, as if to keep it off. The face turned away from that side toward which the hands are thrown out; the eyes looking angri∣ly and asquint the same way the hands are directed; the eyebrows drawn downward; the upper lip disdainfully drawn up; but the teeth set. The pitch of the voice loud; the tone chiding, unequal, surly, vehement. The sentences short, and abrupt.
Commendation, or approbation, from a superior, puts on the aspect of love, (excluding Desire, and Respect ) and expresses itself in a mild tone of voice; the arms gent∣ly spread, the palms of the hands toward the person ap∣proved. Exhorting, or encouraging, as of an army by a general, is expressed with some part of the looks and action of courage.
Jealousy would be likely to be well expressed by one, who had often seen prisoners tortured in the dungeons of the inquisition, or who had seen what the dungeons of the inquisition are the best earthly emblem of; I mean Hell. For next to being in the pope's, or in satan's prison, is the torture of him who is possessed with the spirit of jealousy. Being a mixture of passions directly contrary to one another, the person, whose foul is the seat of such confusion and tumult, must be in as much greater misery than Prometheus, with the vulture tearing his liver, as the pains of the mind are greater than those of the body. Jealousy is a ferment of love, hatred, hope, fear, shame, anxiety, suspicion, grief, pity, envy, pride, rage, cruelty, vengeance, madness, and if there be any other tormenting passion, which can agitate the human mind. Therefore to express jealousy well, requires that one know how to represent justly all these passions by turns (See Love, Ha∣tred, Page 34 &c.) and often several of them together. Jealousy shews itself by restlessness, peevishness, thoughtfulness, anx∣iety, absence of mind. Sometimes it bursts out in a pite∣ous complaint and weeping; then a gleam of hope, that all is yet well, lights up the countenance into a momentary smile. Immediately the face, clouded with a general gloom, shews the mind overcast again with horrid suspic∣ions and frightful imaginations. Then the arms are folded upon the b •• ast; the fists violently clenched; the rolling, bloody eyes dart fury. He hurries to and fro; he has no more rest, than a ship in a troubled sea, the sport of winds and waves. Again he composes himself a little to reflect on the charms of the suspected person. She appears to his imagination like the sweetness of the rising dawn. Then his monster-breeding fancy represents her as false, as she is fair. Then he roars out as one on the rack, when the cruel engine rends every joint, and every sinew bursts. Then he throws himself on the ground. He beats his head against the pavement. Then he springs up, and with the look and action of a fury, bursting hot from the abyss, he snatches the instrument of death, and, after ripping up the bosom, of the loved, suspected, hated, la∣mented, fair one, he stabs himself to the heart, and ex∣hibits a striking proof, how terrible a creature a puny mortal is, when agitated by an infernal passion.
Dotage, or infirm old age, shews itself by talkativeness, boasting of the past, hollowness of eyes and cheeks, dimness of sight, deafness, tremor of voice, the accents, through de∣fault of teeth, scarce intelligible; hams weak, knees tottering, head paralytic, hollow coughing, frequent expectoration, breathless wheezing, laborious groaning, the body stooping under the insupportable load of years, which soon will crush it into dust, from whence it had its origin.
Folly, that is, of a natural idiot, gives the face an hab∣itual thoughtless, brainless grin. The eyes dance from object to object, without ever fixing steadily upon any one. A thousand different and incoherent passions, looks, gestures, speeches and absurdities, are played off every moment.
Page 35 Distraction opens the eyes to a frightful wildness; rolls them hastily and wildly from object to object; distorts every feature; gnashes with the teeth; agitates all the parts of the body; rolls in the dust; foams at the mouth; utters, with hideous bellowings, execrations, blasphemies, and all that is fierce and outrageous; rushes furiously on all who approach; and, if not restrained, tears its own flesh, and destroys itself.
Sickness has infirmity and feebleness in every motion and utterance. The eyes dim, and almost closed; cheeks pale and hollow; the jaw fallen; the head hung down; as if too heavy to be supported by the neck. A general inertia prevails. The voice trembling; the utterance through the nose; every sentence accompanied with a groan; the hand shaking, and the knees tottering under the body; or the body stretched helpless on the bed.
Fainting, produces a sudden relaxation of all that holds the human frame together, every sinew and ligament unstrung. The colour flies from the vermillion cheek; the sparkling eye grows dim. Down the body drops, as help∣less, and senseless, as a mass of clay, to which, by its col∣our and appearance it seems hastening to resolve itself. Which leads me to conclude with
Death, the awful end of all flesh; which exhibits noth∣ing in appearance different from what I have been just describing; for fainting continued ends in death; a sub∣ject almost too serious to be made a matter of artificial imitation.
Lower degrees of every passion are to be expressed by more moderate exertions of voice and gesture, as every public speaker's discretion will suggest to him.
Mixed passions, or emotions of the mind, require a mixed expression. Pity, for example, is composed of grief and love. It is therefore evident, that a correct speaker must, by his looks and gestures, and by the tone and pitch of his voice, express both grief and love, in expressing pity, and so of the rest.
There may be other humours or passions, besides these, Page 36 which a reader, or speaker, may have occasion to ex∣press. But these are the principal. And, if there be any others, they will occur among the following examples for practice, taken from various authors, and rules will be given for expressing them. And though it may be al∣ledged, that some of these passions, or humours, are such, as hardly ever come in the way of the speaker at the bar, in the pulpit, or either house of parliament, it does not therefore follow, that the labour of studying and prac∣tising the proper ways of expressing them is useless. On the contrary, every speaker will find his account in en∣larging his sphere of practice. A gentleman may not have occasion every day, to dance a minuet: but he has occasion to go into company every day: and he will go into a room with much the better grace for his having learned to dance in the most elegant manner. The orator may not have actual occasion to express anger, jealousy, malice, and some few others of the more violent passions, for which I have here given rules. But he will, by ap∣plying his organs of elocution to express them, acquire a masterly ease and fluency, in expressing those he has ac∣tually occasion to express.
It is to be remembered, that the action, in expressing the various humours and passions, for which I have here given rules, is to be suited to the age, sex, condition, and circumstances of the character. Violent anger, or rage, for example, is to be expressed with great agitation (see Anger ) but the rage of an infirm old man, of a woman, and of a youth, are all different from one another, and from that of a man in the flower of his age, as every speaker's discretion will suggest.
A hero may shew fear, or sensibility of pain: but not in the same manner as a girl would express those sensations. Grief may be expressed by a person reading a melancholy story, or description, in a room. It may be acted upon the stage. It may be dwelt upon by the pleader at the bar; or it may have a place in a sermon. The passion is still grief. But the manner of expressing it will be Page 37 different in each of the speakers, if they have judgment.
A correct speaker does not make a movement of limb, or feature, for which he has not a reason. If he addresses heaven, he looks upward. If he speaks to his fellow-creatures, he looks round upon them. The spirit of what he says, or is said to him, appears in his look. If he ex∣presses amazement, or would excite it, he lifts up his hands and eyes. If he invites to virtue and happiness, he spreads his arms, and looks benevolence. If he threatens the vengeance of heaven against vice, he bends his eyebrow into wrath, and menaces with his arm and countenance. He does not needlessly saw the air with his arm, nor stab himself with his finger. He does not clap his right hand upon his breast unless he has occasion to speak of himself, or to introduce conscience, or somewhat sentimental. He does not start back, unless he wants to express horror or aversion. He does not come forward, but when he has occasion to solicit. He does not raise his voice, but to ex∣press somewhat peculiarly emphatical. He does not lower it, but to contrast the raising of it. His eyes, by turns, ac∣cording to the humour of the matter he has to express, sparkle fury; brighten into joy; glance disdain; melt into grief; frown disgust and hatred; languish into love; or glare distraction.
But to apply properly, and in a masterly manner, the almost endlessly various external expressions of the differ∣ent passions and emotions of the mind, for which nature has so curiously fitted the human frame—hic labor— here is the difficulty. Accordingly a consummate pub∣lic speaker is truly a phoenix. But much less than all this, is generally speaking, sufficient for most occasions.
There is an error, which is too inconsiderately receiv∣ed by many judicious, persons, viz. that a public speak∣er's shewing himself to be in earnest, will alone secure him of duly affecting his audience. Were this true, the enthusiastic rant of the fanatic, who is often very much in earnest, ought to please the judicious; in whom, on the contrary we know, it excites, only laughter, or pity. Page 38 It is granted, that nature is the rule by which we are to speak and to judge of propriety in speaking. And every public speaker, who faithfully, and in a masterly man∣ner, follows that universal guide, commands attention and approbation. But a speaker may, either through in∣curable natural deficiency, or by deviating into some in∣corrigible absurdity of manner, express the real and the warm sentiments of his heart, in such an awkward way as shall effectually defeat his whole design upon those who hear him, and render himself the object of their ri∣dicule. It is not enough, as Quintilian * says, to be a human creature, to make a good speaker. As, on one hand, it is not true, that a speaker's shewing himself in earnest is alone sufficient, so on the other, it is certain that if he does not seem to be in earnest, † he cannot but fail of his design.
There is a true sublime in dilivery, as in the other imi∣tative arts; in the manner as well as in the matter, of what an orator delivers. As in poetry, painting, sculpture, music, and the other elegancies, the true sublime consists in a set of masterly, large, and noble strokes of art, superior to florid littleness; so it is in delivery. The accents are to be clear and articulate; every syllable standing off from that which is next to it, so that they might be numbered as they proceed. The inflections of the voice are to be so distinct∣ly suited to the matter, that the humor or passions might be known by the sound of the voice only, where there could not be one word heard. And the variations are to be, like the full swelling folds of the drapery in a fine pic∣ture, or statue, bold and free, and forcible.
True eloquence does not wait for cool approbation. Like irresistible beauty, it transports, it ravishes, it com∣mands the admiration of all, who are within its reach. If it allows time to criticise, it is not genuine. It ought to hurry us out of ourselves, to engage and swallow up our Page 39 whole attention; to drive every thing out of our minds, besides the subject it would hold forth, and the point, it wants to carry. The hearer finds himself as unable to resist it, as to blow out a conflagration with the breath of his mouth, or to stop the stream of a river with his hand. His passions are no longer his own. The orator has taken possession of them; and with superior power, works them to whatever he pleases.
There is no earthly object capable of making such vari∣ous, and such forcible impressions upon the human mind, as a consummate speaker. In viewing the artificial cre∣ations, which flow from the pencil of a Raphael, the crit∣ical eye is indeed delighted to a high pitch, and the de∣light is rational, because it flows from sources, unknown to beings below the rational sphere. But the ear remains wholly unengaged and unentertained.
In listening to the raptures of Corelli, Geminiani, and Handel, the flood of pleasure which pours upon the ear, is almost too much for human nature. And music applied to express the sublimities of poetry, as in the ora∣torio of Samson, and the Allegro and Pensoroso, yields a pleasure so truly rational, that a Plato, or a Socrates, need not be ashamed to declare their sensibility of it. But here again, the eye has not its gratification. For the opera (in which action is joined with music, in order to entertain the eye at the same time with the ear ) I must beg leave, with all due submission to the taste of the great, to consider as a forced conjunction of two things, which na∣ture does not allow to go together. For it never will be other than unnatural, to see heroes fighting, commanding, threatening, lamenting, and making love in the warblings of an Italian song.
It is only the elegant speaker, who can at once regale the eye with the view of its most amiable object, the hu∣man form in all its glory; the ear with the original of all music, the understanding with its proper and natural food, the knowledge of important truth; and the imagi∣nation with all that, in nature, or in art, is beautiful, sub∣lime Page 40 or wonderful. For the orator's field is the universe, and his subjects are all that is known of God, and his works; of superior natures, good and evil, and their works; and of terrestrials, and their works.
In a consummate speaker, whatever there is of corpo∣real dignity, or beauty, the majesty of the human face divine, the grace of action, the piercing glance, or gentle languish, or fiery flash of the eye; whatever of lively pas∣sion, or striking emotion of mind, whatever of fine imag∣ination, of wise reflection, or irresistible reasoning; what∣ever of excellent in human nature, all that the hand of the Creator has impressed, of his own image upon the noblest creature we are acquainted with, all this appears in the consummate speaker to the highest advantage. And whoever is proof against such a display of all that is no∣ble in human nature, must have neither eye, nor ear, nor passion, nor imagination, nor taste, nor understanding.
Though it may be alledged, that a great deal of ges∣ture, or action, at the bar, or in the pulpit, especially the latter, is not wanted, nor is quite in character; it is yet certain, that there is no part of the man, that has not its proper attitude. The eyes are not to be rolled along the cicling, as if the speaker thought himself in duty bound to take care how the flies behave themselves. Nor are they to be constantly cast down upon the ground, as if he were before his judge, receiving sentence of death. Nor to be fixed upon one point, as if he saw a ghost. The arms of the preacher are not to be needlessly thrown out, as if he were drowning in the pulpit; or brandished, after the manner of the ancient pugiles, or boxers, exercising themselves by fighting with their own shadow, to pre∣pare them for the Olympic contests. Nor, on the contra∣ry, are his hands to be pocketed up, nor his arms to hang by his sides as lank as if they were both withered. The head is not to stand fixed, as if the speaker had a perpet∣ual crick in his neck. Nor is it to nod at every third Page 41 word, as if he were acting Jupiter, or his would-be-son Alexander. *
A judicious speaker is master of such a variety of de∣cent and natural motions, and has such command of at∣titude, that he will not be long enough in one posture to offend the eye of the spectator. The matter, he has to pronounce, will suggest the propriety of changing from time to time, his look, his posture, his motion, and tone of voice, which if they were to continue too long the same, would become tedious, and irksome to the beholders. Yet he is not to be every moment changing posture, like an harlequin, nor throwing his hands about, as if he were shewing legerdemain tricks.
Above all things, the public speaker is never to forget the great rule, ARS EST CELARE ARTEM. It would be infinitely more pleasing to see him deliver himself with as little motion, and no better attitude, than those of an Egyptian mummy, than distorting himself into all the vio∣lations of decorum, which affectation produces. Art, seen through, is execrable.
Modesty ought ever to be conspicuous in the behaviour of all, who are obliged to exhibit themselves before the eye of the public. Whatever of gesture, or exertion of voice, such persons use, they ought to appear plainly to be drawn into them by the importance, spirit or humor of the matter. If the speaker uses any arts of delivery, which appear, plainly to be studied; the effect will be, that his awkward attempt to work upon the passions of his hearers, by means, of which he is not master, will render him odious and contemptible to them. With what stiff and pedantic solemnity do some public speakers utter thoughts, so trifling, as to be hardly worth uttering at all? Page 42 And what unnatural and unsuitable tones of voice, and gest∣iculations, do others apply, in delivering what, by their manner of delivering, one would be apt to question, not only whether it is their own composition, but whether they really understand it.
The clergy have one considerable apology from the awkwardness of the place they speak from. A pulpit is, by its very make, necessarily destructive of all grace of at∣titude. What could even a Tully do in a tub, just big enough for him to stand in, immersed up to the arm-pits, pillowing his chin upon its cushion, as Milton describes the sun upon the orient wave? But it is hardly to be ex∣pected, that this, or any other impropriety in sacred mat∣ters, of which there are many greater, should be altered. Errors in them, become, by long establishment, sacred. * And I doubt not, but some of the narrower part of the clergy, as well as of the people, would think any other form of a pulpit, than the present, though much fitter for exhibiting the speaker to an advantage, an innovation likely to prove dangerous to religion, and which is worse, to the church.
Nor is it to be expected, that decorum of manner, in preaching, should be carried to any great perfection in England, while reading is thought to be preaching. If the Greek and Roman orators had read their sermons, the effect would have been, I suppose, pretty much the same as that which sermons produce among us. The hearers might have, many of them, dropped asleep. In some for∣eign countries, preachers are so much aware of the dis∣advantage of reading, that such, as have weak memories, have a prompter behind, in the pulpit, out of sight. However, it must be owned, that, if preachers would bestow a little pains in committing to the memory the substance of their discourses, so as not to be slaves to written notes, and endeavour to gain a tolerable readi∣ness at extemporary amplification (which at the bar is in∣dispensible ) Page 43 their discourses might have effect, though the eye should now and then be cast upon the notes, if not in a clumsy manner, and with hesitation. Quintilian * him∣self will not object to so much use of notes, as I have here allowed; though he absolutely requires his orator to be possessed of a memory. †
To hear a judicious and elegant discourse from the pulpit, which would, in print, make a noble figure, murdered by him, who had learning and taste to compose it, but having been neglected as to one important part of his education, knows not how to deliver it otherwise than with a tone between singing and saying, or with a nod of his head, to enforce, as with a hammer, every emphat∣ical word, or with the same unanimated monotony, in which he was used to repeat Quae genus, at Westmins∣ter school; what can be imagined more lamentable! Yet what more common! Were the educators of youth, intended for the ministry, of the opinion of the prince of orators, viz. that delivery is the first, second and third part of oratory, they would spare some time from the many less necessary parts of school learning, to apply it to one so very essential; without which the weight of the most sacred subject, the greatest depth of critical dis∣quisition, the most unexceptionable reasoning, the most accurate arrangement of matter, and the most striking energy of style, are all lost upon an audience; who sit unaffected, and depart unimproved. From hence it is, that while places of public worship are almost empty, the∣atres Page 44 are crowded. Yet in the former the most interesting subjects are treated. In the latter all is fiction. To the former all are invited without any expense. The charge and trouble of attending the latter are considerable. But it will not be otherwise, so long as the speakers in the former take no more pains to enforce their public in∣structions, than if they delivered fictions, and those in the latter bestow so much to make fictions seem true. It may be said, this observation has often been made before. The more is the pity. And it ought to be often made again, and to be dwelt upon, till the fault is amended.
Did preachers labour to acquire a masterly delivery, places of public instruction would be crowded, as places of public diversion are now. Rakes and infidels, merely to shew their taste, would frequent them. Could all frequent them and none profit?
It is common to hear complaints, from the clergy of the inattention of their hearers, even to dozing, and some∣times to profound sleep. But where does this complaint fall at last? Even upon the preachers themselves, who address their hearers with such coldness and indifference as to leave them nothing to do, but to go to sleep. Let the preacher but exert himself properly, and he may defy his hearers to go to sleep, or withdraw their attention for a moment.
The clergy are likewise very full of their complaints of the little effect their labours produce. Infidelity and vice, they cry, prevail more than ever. Churches are poorly filled. And those, who attend for fashion's sake, are not much better than their neighbours.
But what is the plain English of this lamentable out∣cry? Why, truly, that they find people loth to go to the places of public instruction to be disgusted or lulled to sleep. And, that, when they have them there, they can∣not persuade them to quit their vices and follies by loll∣ing twenty minutes upon a velvet cushion, and reading to them a learned discourse. That they cannot warm them to the love of virtue by a cold, ill-read, pulpit ha∣rangue. That they cannot win their affections whilst Page 45 they neglect all the natural means for working upon the human passions. That they cannot kindle in them that burning zeal which suits the most important of all inter∣ests, by talking to them with the coolness of a set of Stoic philosophers, of the terrors of the Lord, of the worm that never dies, and the fire that is not quenched, and of future glory, honor, and immortality, of everlasting kingdoms, and heavenly thrones.
I know it is common for preachers to plead, in excuse of the frigidity of their manner, in addressing their au∣diences, their modesty, and fear of being accused of af∣fectation. But are these any hinderance to the elocution of the actors, or even of the actresses; who, by study, and practice, come to get the better of timidity, and to attain an elegant and correct utterance (and are indeed, the only speakers we have in England) without any ap∣pearance of affectation; which would render them un∣sufferable. But do our preachers, in general, bestow any thought, or use any means, of any kind, for improv∣ing themselves in speaking? The younger part of the players rehearse, and practice over, and over, many a time, and are long under the tuition of the principal actors, be∣fore they appear in public. But there are, I believe, no other public speakers among us, who take such pains; though they bestow great pains in improving themselves in learning; which shews, that the neglect of this accom∣plishment is more owing to the want of a due sense of its usefulness, than to any other cause. And yet, of the two, learning is much less necessary to a preacher, than skill in persuading. Quintilian * makes this latter the supreme excellence in his orator.
Let the reader only consider, that a shoemaker, or a tay∣lor, is under a master seven years, at least, before he sets up for himself. But the preacher goes into the pulpit at once, without ever having had one lesson, or article of instruction in that part of his art, which is the chief and most weighty, and without which all his other ac∣complishments Page 46 are worth nothing, toward gaining the end of preaching
It may be alledged, that the clergy cannot be expected to be great orators for fifty or an hundred pounds a year, which poor pittance is as much as many hundreds, I may say thousands, of them, have to maintain them∣selves and their families. The more is the pity.
But there are many players who do not get more than the lower clergy. And yet they study hard, for no great∣er encouragement, and actually acquire such skill in working upon the passions of mankind, that, for my part, if I wanted to have a composition of mine well spoken, I would put it into the hands of a second-rate player, rather than of any preacher I ever heard.
What could be imagined more elegant, if entertainment alone were sought; what more useful, if the good of man∣kind were the object, than the sacred function of preach∣ing properly performed? Were the most interesting of sub∣jects treated with proper perspicuity and adequate judg∣ment, and well wrought discourses delivered to listening crowds with that dignity which becomes a teacher of di∣vine truth, and with that energy, which should shew, that the preacher spoke from his own heart, and meant to speak to the hearts of his hearers, what effects might not follow? Mankind are not wood or stone. They are undoubtedly capable of being roused and startled. They may be drawn, and allured. The voice of an able preacher, thundering out, the divine threatenings against vice, would be in the ear of the offender, as if he heared the sound of the last trumpet summoning the dead to judgment. And the gentle call of mercy encouraging the terrified, and almost despairing penitent to look up to his offended heavenly Father, would seem as the song of angels. A whole multitude might be lifted to the skies. The world of spirits might be • pened to the eyes of their minds. The terrors of that punishment, which awaits vice; the glories of that state, to which virtue will, through divine savour, raise the pious, might be, by a powerful preacher, rendered present to their understand∣ings, Page 47 with such conviction, as would make indelible im∣pressions upon their hearts, and work a substantial reform∣ation in their lives. *
The convincing and irrefragable proof, that real and important effects might be produced by preachers by a proper application of oratory to the purposes of instructing and amending mankind, is, That oratory has been in all times, known actually to produce great alterations in men's ways of thinking and acting. And there is no de∣nying facts. To bring instances of this in a copious manner, as the subject might deserve, would be to quote more history than could be comprehended in such a vol∣ume as this. Nor can any reader imagine, an art could have been, in all free governments, so laboriously cul∣tivated by statesmen, had they not found it useful in the state. Do we not, in our own times, see the effects produced by it in the British parliament? But if any one should alledge, that there is nothing in the power of preachers by means of oratory; does it not follow, that then the whole function of preaching may as well be laid aside? For, if good speaking will have no effect upon mankind, surely bad will have none.
Reasoning a priori, one would conclude, that we should see both the study, and the effects of oratory, carried to a pitch beyond what they reached in the ancient times of Heathenism. Have we not the advantage of those noble models, which the ancients struck out by the mere force of natural unassisted genius? Ought we not to exceed those models? But do we come up to them? Have we not incomparably clearer views of nature, and of all knowledge, than the ancients had? Have we not whole sciences of which they knew nothing? The Newtonion philosophy alone! to what sentiments does it lift the mind! How do the ideas, it gives us, of immensity filled with innumerable worlds revolving round innumerable sons; those worlds themselves the centres of others se∣condary Page 48 to them; all attracting; all attracted; enlight∣ening, or receiving light; at distances unmeasurable, but all under one law! —How do these ideas to •• to raise our conceptions of the Author of such a work? Caught not our productions to exceed theirs, who had no such helps to enrich and enliven their imaginations? But, a∣bove all, as much as the heavens are higher than the earth, so much ought the views which revelation pre∣sents us with, to ennoble all our productions above those of the ancients, on whom that glorious light never shone. What had a Demosthenes, or a Cicero, to inspire so di∣vine an ardor into their addresses to the people, com∣pared with those sublime doctrines, which angels desire earnestly to pry into? If the poetical description of Ju∣piter shaking heaven with his nod, warmed the imagina∣tion of a Phidias to such a pitch, as enabled him to pro∣duce the most majestic piece of statuary, that ever was be∣held; and if the imagination of the author * of that poeti∣cal description was exalted by the scenes he saw, and the learning he acquired by travelling into Egypt, and oth∣er parts; how ought the genius of the christian orator to be elevated, how ought both his compositions, and his manner of delivering them, to shine superior to all that antiquity ever saw; a • he enjoys superior advantages for ennobling all his sentiments and giving dignity and spirit to all he composes, and utters! If we find a Pla∣to, or a Cicero, whenever they touch upon the sublime doctrine of a future state, rise above themselves, warm∣ed with—shall I say the prospect? no—with the pos∣sibility, or at most, with the hope of immortality; how animate ought our descriptions to be, how forcible our manner of treating of what we pretend firmly to believe; of what we know the Author of our religion confirmed by actually rising from the grave, triumphing gloriously over death, and ascending visibly to heaven.
Poor were the motives, and cold the encouragements which they could offer, to excite their hearers to brave∣ry, Page 49 and to virtue, compared with those which we have to propose. For, if they put them in mind of their coun∣try, their wives, their children, their aged and helpless parents; if they called upon them to shew themselves worthy descendants of their illustrious ancestors; if they roused their shame, or their sense of honor; if they held forth the prize of deathless fame; all these are as co∣gent arguments now, as they were then. What advan∣tage our Christian orators have over them, toward gain∣ing their end of alarming, persuading, and reforming mankind, appears from considering how little chance we should have of producing any good effect upon a people strongly attached to pleasures, riches, and hon∣ors, by telling them, that if they continued to pursue these their beloved objects by unlawful means, they might expect, after their death, to be carried before Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Aeacus, who would con∣demn their souls to Tartarus, where the soul of Ixion was tied upon a whe • , and whirled about without rest; where Prometheus had his liver gnawed by a vulture, which grew again as fast as it was devoured; and where Danaus's fifty daughters had a set of barrels with holes in their bottoms to keep continually full to the top, and where all wicked souls would be condemned to some such punishment; but if, on the contrary, they would act the part of honest and worthy men, and exert themselves to the hazard, and, perhaps, loss of their lives, in defence of the liberties of their country, their souls would be ordered, by the judges of the dead, to be placed in the Elysian fields, where were pleasant greens, and lucid streams, and fragrant groves; and where they should amuse themselves with the innocent pleasures, which delighted them while here. Had our Christian orators no better motives to urge, than such as could be drawn from the consideration of certain imagin∣ary rewards and punishments to be distributed in a certain possible, but doubtful future state, in some unknow subter∣ranean region; it might be expected, that their zeal in Page 50 urging them would be but cold, and the effects of their addresses to the people, inconsiderable. But the ancient orators had no better motives, from futurity, than these which I have mentioned, and those they could draw from other considerations were the same, which we may use now. What accounts should we have had of the power with which they spoke, and of the effects of their speeches, if they had had the awful subjects to treat of, and the advantages for treating of them with effect, which our preachers have! O shame to modern times! A Pericles, or a Demosthenes, could shake all Greece, when they warned their countrymen against an invasion, or alarmed them about the danger of their liberties! Whilst we can hardly keep our hearers awake, when we stand forth to warn them, in the name of God, against the consequences of vice, ruinous to individuals, ruinous to nations; the cause not only of the subversion of states and kingdoms, when luxury, and corruption spread their fatal contagion and leave a people the unthinking prey of tyranny and oppression; but of utter irretrievable destruction of the souls and bodies of half a species * from the presence of God, and from the glory of his power, at that tremend∣ous day, when the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised, and when he shall sit upon the throne of judgment, from whose face heaven and earth shall fly a∣way; † whose voice shall pronounce on the wicked the dreadful sentence, "Depart, ye cursed;" and whose breath shall blow up the unquenchable flame, in which rebellious angels and men shall be irrecoverably swal∣lowed up and destroyed.
It may, perhaps, be objected here, that sacred truth needs no ornament to set it off, no art to enforce it. That the apostles were artless and illiterate men; and yet they gained the great end of their mission, the conviction of mul∣titudes, and the establishment of their religion. That Page 51 therefore, there is no necessity for this attention to deli∣very, in order to quality the preacher for his sacred office, or to render his labors successful.
To all this the answer is ready, viz. First, the apostles were not all artless and illiterate. St. Paul, the greatest and most general propagator of christianity, is an eminent exception. He could he no mean orator, who confounded the Jews at Damascus, * made a prince, before whom he stood to be judged, confess, that he had almost persuaded him to become a convert to a religion every where spo∣ken against; † threw another into a fit of trembling, as he sat upon his judgment-seat; ‡ made a defence be∣fore the learned court of Areopagus, which gained him for a convert a member of the court itself; § struck a whole people with such admiration, that they took him for the god of eloquence; ‖ and gained him a place in Longinus's ¶ list of famous orators. Would the cold-served-up monotony of our English sermon-readers have produced such effects as these? But farther, the apostles might very well spare human accomplishments; having what was worth them all, viz. the Divine gift of work∣ing miracles; which if our preachers had, I should not have much to say about their qualifying themselves in elocution. But, as it is, public instruction is the preach∣er's weapon, with which he is to combat infidelity and vice. And what avails a weapon without skill to wield it?
Medicines the most salutary to the body are taken with reluctance, if nauseous to the taste. However, they are taken. But the more necessary physic for the soul, if it be not rendered somewhat palatable, will be absolutely rejected. For we are much less prudent in our care Page 52 for the most valuable part of ourselves than for the least. Therefore the preacher, ought, above all other public speakers, to labor to enrich and adorn, in the most mas∣terly manner, his addresses to mankind; his views be∣ing the most important. What grand point has the play∣er to gain? Why, to draw an audience to the theatre. * The pleader at the bar, if he lays before the judges and jury, the true state of the case, so as they may be most likely to see where the right of it lies, and a just decision may be given, has done his duty; and the affair in agi∣tation is an estate, or at most, a life, which will soon, by course of nature, be extinct. And of the speaker in either house of parliament, the very utmost, that can be said, is, that the good of his country, may, in great measure, depen • upon his tongue. But the infinitely important object of preaching is, the reformation of mankind, upon which de∣pends their happiness in this world, and throughout the whole of their being. Of what consequence is it, then, that the art of preaching be carried to such perfection, that all may be drawn to places of public instruction, and that those, who attend them, may receive benefit! And if almost the whole of preaching be delivery, how necessary is the study of delivery! That delivery is incomparably the most important part in public instruction, is manifest from this, that very indifferent matter well delivered will make a considerable impression. † But bad utterance will de∣feat the whole effect of the noblest composition ever produced.
While exorbitant appetite, and unruly passion within, Page 53 while evil example, with alluring solicitation without (to say nothing of the craft and assaults of the grand enemy of mankind) while these invite and ensnare the frail and thoughtless into guilt; shall virtue and religion hold forth no charms to engage votaries? Pleasure decks herself out with rich attire. Soft are her looks, and melting is the sweetness of her voice. And must religion present herself with every disadvantage? Must she appear quite unadorn∣ed? What chance can she then have in competition with an enemy so much better furnished with every ne∣cessary invitation and allurement? Alas! our preachers do not address innocents in paradise; but thoughtless and often habituated sinners. Mere cold explaining will have but little effect on such. Weak is the hold, which rea∣son has on most men. Few of mankind have able heads. All have hearts; and all hearts may be touched, if the speaker is master of his art. The business is not so much, to open the understanding, as to warm the heart. There are few who do not know their duty. To allure them to the doing of it, is the difficulty. Nor is this to be effected by cold reasoning. Accordingly, the scripture-orators •• e none of them cold. Their addresses are such as hardly any man can utter without warmth. "Hear, O heavens! Give ear, O earth! To thee, O man, I call; my voice is to the sons of men: As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but rather that he turn from his wickedness, and live. Turn ye, turn ye, Why will ye die? O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them who are sent unto thee! How often would I have gathered thy children, as a hen gather∣eth her brood under her wings, and ye would not. Hadst thou, in this thy day, known the things which belong to thy peace!—But now they are hid • from thine eyes."
It is true, the preacher is carfully to avoid ostentation; he is not to preach himself; but Christ. But at the same time he is to "stir up every gift that is in him; to cry Page 54 aloud, and not to spare, to lift up his voice like a trumpet; to reprove, correct, and instruct; to be in∣stant in season and out of season; to become (innocent∣ly) all things to all men," consequently to become an orator, if men are not to be affected by simple unadorn∣ed truth, however weighty.
What can the people think of the sincerity of the preacher, who is cold and lauguid in his public instruc∣tions, while he is as warm and zealous, as other men, in the defence of an inconsiderable part of his property? Would he plead as calmly for his life, as he does with his people in the cause of virtue and religion. Coolness in a matter of the last importance, and about which one is really in earnest, is so unnatural, as to be hardly practicable. Therefore, Cicero * takes it for granted, that Calidius could not have addressed the senate in so indifferent, and unanimated a manner, if what he want∣ed to persuade them to believe had not been mere fic∣tion. And Demosthenes, when one came to him, beg∣ging, that he would plead his cause, against a person who had used him cruelly, of which usage he gave De∣mosthenes a very cold and unanimated account, could not believe, that he had been so injured; till, upon his sig∣nifying his suspicion, the man was roused to some warmth; and then the orator was convinced, that his com∣plaint was well founded, and immediately undertook his defence. †
If it should be said by preachers, "The people will be as much offended with us, if we overact our part, as they are now indifferent about attending our ministry; so that it will avail nothing to study a more lively delivery; " to this I must beg leave to answer, that there is no rea∣son to fear any thing from it. Because a manner of preaching may be used, which shall have ten times more life and vivacity in it, than the present, and yet (if it be Page 55 not unnatural or incorrect ) be very safe from all danger of exceeding due bounds as to vivacity and force. And, farther, we do in fact observe, that no preacher is ad∣mired (I do not mean by the mob, but by people of education) whose delivery is dull and unanimated; let his matter be what it will.
Lest any reader should think, I have been too severe upon the deficiencies of men of sacred characters, as to delivery, either in leading the devotions of the people, or in instructing them in their duty; I will add, by way of apology for what I have said, some passages, to the same purpose, from the SPECTATOR.
The well reading of the common prayers is of so great importance, and so much neglected, that I take the liberty to offer to your consideration some particulars on that subject. And what more worthy your observation, than this? A thing so public, and of so high consequence. It is indeed wonderful, that the frequent exercise of it should not make the performers of that duty more expert in it. This inability, as I conceive, proceeds from the little care, that is taken of their reading while at school, where, when they are got into Latin, they are looked upon as above English, the reading of which is wholly neglected, or, at least, read to very little purpose, with∣out any due observation made to them of the proper accent and manner of reading. By this means they have acquired such ill habits, as will not easily be removed."
The writer of the letter then goes on to mention the advantage he himself found from being led in his devo∣tions by an elegant performer of the service at St. James's Garlick-hill church.
"My eyes and my thoughts (says he) could not wan∣der as usual; but were confined to my prayers.—The confession was read with such a resigned humility, the ab∣solution with such a comfortable authority, the thanks∣givings with such a religious joy, as made me feel those affections of the mind in a manner I never did before. Page 56 To remedy, therefore, the grievance above complained of, I humbly propose, that this excellent reader, upon the text, and every annual assembly of the clergy at Sion College, and all other conventions, should read prayers before them. For then those, that are afraid of stretch∣ing their mouths, and spoiling their soft voices, will learn to read with clearness, loudness, and strength. Others, who affect a rakish negligent air, by folding their arms, and lolling upon their hook, will be taught a decent behaviour. Those who read so fast as if impatient of their work, may learn to speak deliberately. There is another sort, whom I call Pindaric readers, as being confined to no set mea∣sure. These pronounce five or six words with great de∣liberation, and the five or six subsequent ones with as great celerity; the first part of a sentence with a very ex∣alted voice, and the latter very low. Sometimes with one sort of tone, and immediately after with a different one. These gentlemen will learn of my admired reader an evenness of voice and delivery. And all, who are inno∣cent of these affectations, but read with such an indif∣ferency, as if they did not understand the language, may be informed of the art of reading movingly and fervently; how to place the emphasis, and give the proper accent to each word, and how to vary the voice, according to the nature of the sentence. There is certainly a differ∣ence between reading a prayer and a gazette. These are often pretty classical scholars, and would think it an unpardonable sin to read Virgil, or Martial, with as little taste, as they do divine service."
And the same standard author, in his 407th paper, complains as follows.
"Our preachers stand stock still in the pulpit; and will nof so much as move a finger to set off the best sermons in the world. We meet with the same speaking statues at our bars, and in all public places of debate. Our words flow from us in a smooth continued stream, with∣out those strainings of the voice, motions of the body, and majesty of the hand, which are so much celebrated in Page 57 the orators of Greece and Rome. We can talk of life and death in cold blood, and keep our temper in a dis∣course, which turns upon every thing that is dear to us.
"It is certain, that proper gestures, and vehement exertions of the voice, cannot be too much studied by a public orator. They are a kind of comment, upon what he utters, and enforce every thing he says, with weak hearers" [and surely the bulk of hearers are weak ] "bet∣ter than the strongest argument he can make use of. They keep the audience awake, and fix their attention to what is delivered to them; at the same time, that they shew, the speaker is in earnest, and affected himself with what he so passionately recommends to others —
"How cold and dead a figure in comparison of these two great men" [Demosthenes and Cicero] "does an orator often make at the British bar, holding up his head with the most insipid serenity, and stroking the sides of a long wig," &c.
Dean Swift (who was no friend to over-doing on the serious side) advises his young clergymen as follows:
"I take it for granted that you are already desirous to be seen in a pulpit. But, I hope, you think it pru∣dent to pass quarantine among the desolate churches five miles round this town, where you may at least learn to read and speak, before you venture to expose your parts in a city congregation. Not that these are better judges; but, because, if a man must needs expose his folly, it is more safe and discreet to do so before few witnesses, and in a scattered neighbourhood. And you will do well, if you can prevail with some intimate and judicious friend to be your constant hearer, and to beg of him to give you notice, with the utmost freedom, of whatever he finds amiss either in your voice or gesture. For want of such early warning, many clergymen continue defec∣tive, and sometimes rediculous, to the end of their lives. Neither is it rare to observe, among excellent and learn∣ed divines, a certain ungracious manner, or unhappy tone of voice, which they have never been able to shake off." LETTER TO A YOUNG CLERGYMAN.
Page 58 Are the faults complained of by these authors, who wrote almost fifty years ago, amended, or likely to be a∣mended? Let the answer to this question be collected from the following verses, by Dr. Byram, prefixed to Fordyce's ART OF PREACHING, published a few years ago.
And afterwards, In point of sermons, 'tis confest, Our English clergy make the best: But this appears we must confess, Not from the pulpit, but the press. They manage with disjointed skill, The matter well, the manner ill; And, what seems paradox at first, They make the best, and preach the worst.
If there is, as we have seen, so much room to lament the deficiences of those who are to lead the devotions of congregations, and to instruct them in their duty, and whose business it is to win them, by every engaging and powerful art, to the faithful performance of it; if there is so much reason to wish that those failures might be made up, and those errors amended, which are undoubt∣edly a great cause of the reluctance we observe, in many to attend, and their coldness and indifferency in, places of public worship and instruction; if the clergy are so deficient in their public performances, what is left for me to say of those devotion-confounding, ear-splitting pests of our churches, I mean the parish-clerks and parish-children? Page 59 I would only ask, whether, if we had declar∣ed a final and irreconcileable hostility against common decency, not to say propriety, and had set ourselves to find out the most effectual means possible for turning worship into burlesque; I would ask, I say, whether, if this was our design, there could be a more certain way to gain it, than to place a set of people in every church, who should come in between every two sentences spoken by the minister, with a squawl as loud as the sound of ten trumpets, and totally discordant from one another, and from the key in which the minister speaks. If the minister speaks properly, why do not the clerk and the charity-children speak in concord with him? If the clerk speaks properly, why do not the minister and the children speak in the same key with him? Or if the children are right, why do not the minister and clerk scream as high, or, at least, take a concordant key with theirs? They cannot be all right, and all different, from one another. How much more rational would it be to spend the time, which is now so ridiculously thrown away in teaching the poor children to set the ears of the whole parish on edge, in making them understand thoroughly what they so often repeat by rote, without understanding, I mean the answers to those useful questions in their catechism, "What is your duty to God?" and, "What is your duty to your neighbour?" This would be of service to them all their lives; whereas the other answers no end, that has the least connection with common-sense.
It is by keeping clear of every thing disagreeable or grating, and by consulting all that may please, entertain, and strike, that the sagacious Roman Catholics keep up in their people, a delight in the public services of their foolish religion. If we were wise, and as much in earnest as we ought, we should imitate them in this. But what avails it to attempt to oppose that which has power to make wrong right, and absurdity proper, I Page 60 mean, the irresistible tyrant, CUSTOM, whose do∣minion is in no nation, more absolute (where there are so many so capable of judging) than in this our dear coun∣try.
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The art of speaking.
Containing, i. an essay; in which are given rules for expressing properly the principal passions and humours, which occur in reading, or public speaking; and ii. lessons taken from the ancients and moderns (with additions and alterations where thought useful) exhibiting a variety of matter for practice; the emphatical words printed in italics; with notes of direction referring to the essay. : to which are added, a table of the lessons, and an index of the various passions and humours in the essay and lessons. : [three lines in latin from cicero], by james burgh.
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Printed at Boston
Attributed to James Burgh in the Dictionary of national biography
Errors in paging: p. 122 numerals inverted; p. 134 misnumbered 431
Digital image available in the Readex/Newsbank Digital Evans series
Microfiche. [New York : Readex Microprint, 1985] 11 x 15 cm. (Early American imprints. First series ; no. 28373)
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The Art of Public Speaking: Steve Jobs and His Messages Essay
What makes a public speech good, gesture: opening to others, delivery: excite, surprise, inspire, content: precision and accuracy, people go, the message stays: quality of the speech.
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Speaking in public often makes people anxious, and it does so for a good reason – getting a message across to a range of people without being misinterpreted is a challenging task. However, by using the techniques that help grasp people’s attention and introducing a product or an idea in an inspiring and intriguing manner is bound to help make the speech successful. The 2007 speech made by late Steve Jobs is a stellar example of how to capture the audience’s attention and introduce not only a product but an innovative idea so that it could remain impressively huge even a decade later (Lucas, 2008b).
In retrospect, clever use of rhetoric and the nonverbal elements of communication was what made Jobs’ speech so memorable. While one must give credit to the groundbreaking ideas that the innovator introduced to the audience, the delivery of the information also played a significant part in the success of the performance. Moreover, the sincerity of the speech and the lack of artificial elements contributed to the overall positive impression and made Jobs’ ideas stand out.
When considering the way in which Jobs used non-verbal elements of communication to render a specific idea or concept, one must give him credit for using “natural and spontaneous” (Lucas, 2008a, p. 257) gestures that created the impression of honesty and, therefore, made the audience trust the speaker. One might argue that, at some point, Jobs folded his hands on his chest, therefore, creating the impression that is typically viewed as uninviting. Indeed, the gesture of hands folded on one’s chest has been viewed as hostile and unwelcoming, especially when trying to reach out to the viewers and appeal to them emotionally.
However, further studies have shown that the identified idea is a myth that has nothing to do with reality. In fact, the realm of nonverbal communication used to have a plethora of theories that would, later on, prove to be completely detached from reality: “Over the years, more nonsense has been written about gesturing than any other aspect of speech delivery” (Lucas, 2008a, p. 257). Therefore, the fact that, at some point in his speech, Jobs folds his hands on his chest is not to be viewed as the factor that would make the audience feel alienated, and nor should he placed his hands behind his back be considered a positive communication technique. Instead, the amount of gesturing and the appropriateness thereof needs to be analyzed.
Although Jobs did use gestures quite a lot in his performance, the movement of his hands was always appropriate as it served a specific purpose. When he wanted to emphasize a particular aspect of the presentation, he would lift his hands or wave them slightly to mark that the on-coming piece of information is crucial to understanding his idea better. Therefore, he created the impression of a confident speaker who knows what he is talking about; as a result, the overall delivery of the speech could be viewed as of rather high quality. The gestures that Jobs used seemed to be spontaneous and natural, yet they also contribute to making his speech convincing and his ideas inspiring.
Addressing technology-related issues and at the same time keeping the general audience invested is not an easy task. Numerous problems also arise when the need to simplify the technology-related concepts, at the same time acknowledging the audience’s intelligence, appears.
When analyzing the speech delivered by Jobs and determining the goals that he pursued in his performance, one may believe that informing the audience was the primary goal of his and that Jobs’ main endeavor concerned shedding light on the nature and specifics of his invention. While there is an element of informative speaking in his delivery, it is also very clear that Jobs wanted to persuade the viewers that his idea was worth admiring as a groundbreaking concept in the world of informational technology.
On the one hand, Jobs tried to inform the audience about the ample amount of opportunities that the iPhone could offer. The identified delivery of information aligns with the key principles of the speeches about concepts as they are interpreted by Lucas (2008c). Indeed, there is an evident focus on the specific elements of the concept in question, i.e., the three components that constitute an iPhone (including an iPod, a phone, and the Internet). As soon as Jobs mentioned that the underlying idea of the three elements in question is the focus of his speech, it became clear that he was trying to introduce the members of the audience to a larger concept that was bound to herald a new era in the information technology development. In other words, three is a purpose, the central idea, and the main points that Jobs wanted to convey to the audience. The presence of the identified elements aligns with the framework for an informative speech suggested by Lucas (2008c).
However, there are also elements of a persuasive speech in Jobs’ performance. Apart from tricking people into paying attention, he also tried to convince them that the iPhone was going to become the future of the IT industry. Jobs mentions the concept of a breakthrough several times, saying at some point that the iPhone is “five years ahead of any other phone” (Jobs, 2007, 00:08:41). Thus, it could be argued that he tried to plant the idea of the iPhone being a crucial part of the IT development process into the audience’s minds. From the perspective of the persuasive speech framework, Jobs’ performance gains additional significance and weight.
At this point, one must mention that the concept of persuasion has not been defined accurately yet despite years of extensive studies (Lucas, 2008c). Furthermore, it could be argued that the difficulties associated with defining the phenomenon arise from numerous theories that strive to explain it: “There are a number of scientific models of the persuasive process and a wide range of respected theories about how persuasion works” (Lucas, 2008c, p. 324). As a result, assessing Jobs’ speech through the lens of the persuasive speech format is a rather tricky task.
Jobs managed to use the language that was understandable to an average viewer, also appealing to their sense of humor: “You can do multi-fingers gestures on it… And, boy, have we patented it” (Jobs, 2007, 00:07:31-00:07:37). As a result, the audience was amused, invested, and surprised at the drastic changes that the iPhone as an invention inflicted upon the industry. It should be noted that using humor as the means of reaching out to the audience is the approach that should be taken with a grain of salt. On the one hand, a joke that guarantees to get the audience to laugh or, at least, get a chuckle of most of the viewers, is likely to create a more comfortable environment both for the speaker and the audience. On the other hand, making a joke that is bound to work in any environment is a rather complicated task since it is impossible to produce the one that will appeal to all members of the population regardless of their age, culture, sense of humor, etc. In addition, there is always a possibility that a joke will hurt some of the vulnerable members of the population at whom it may be directed. In his performance, Jobs, however, managed to use humor in a most welcome and appropriate manner by directing it at himself and his company. As a result, the threat of offending some of the members of the audience was avoided, and the joke was made easily understandable by all viewers.
Even though Jobs did not overload his speech with engineering- and computer-related terminology, the essential information was represented to the audience in a very accurate and concise manner. The imagery described by him, e.g., the stylus and the associated problems, was vivid and memorable. The identified characteristic of Jobs’ presentation can be deemed as quite positive since “One sign of a good novelist is the ability to create word pictures that let you ‘see’” (Lucas, 2008a, p. 231). As a result, the audience was capable of memorizing the product and the innovative features that it had to offer.
Because of the use of gestures, a careful choice of words for framing the concept of an iPhone, and the elaborate presentation of the content, the speech made by Steve Jobs at MacWorld 2007 remains powerful even nowadays, when an iPhone seems to have become part and parcel of the communication process is not only the business environment but also in people’s personal life. When analyzing the performance to understand what made it so powerful and why its impact has an incredibly strong staying power, one must admit that the use of the elements of a persuasive and informative speech made Jobs’ delivery very efficient.
Furthermore, the use of gestures that could be observed during Jobs’ performance allowed subverting some of the most common myths about nonverbal communication. For instance, the supposition that, by folding one’s hands on one’s chest, one is likely to create an impression of hostility, was proven quite wrong given the levels of excitement and investment during Jobs’ speech, when he used the identified gesture. Furthermore, the theory about the appropriateness of gestures as the means of gaining the viewers’ trust and making them inclined to believe the speaker was proven after an analysis of the nonverbal communication used by Jobs.
Therefore, the performance under analysis can be viewed as a graphic representation of how a public speech can be made non-trivial and engaging. Despite the fact that Jobs did not resort to any unique speech techniques, the overall quality of his performance was very high because of the clarity of the message and the elaborate choice of tools for getting the message across to the target audience. Therefore, the performance can be deemed as exemplary.
Lucas, S. E. (2008a). Presenting the speech. In The art of public speaking (10th ed.) (pp. 222-297). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Lucas, S. E. (2008b). Speech preparation: Organizing and outlining. In The art of public speaking (10th ed.) (pp. 164-221). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Lucas, S. E. (2008c). Varieties of public speaking. In The art of public speaking (10th ed.) (pp. 298-410). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Jobs, S. (2007). Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone at MacWorld 2007. YouTube . Web.
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The Art of Speaking Concisely
The Art of public speaking
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Chapter 1: Speaking in public Power of Public Speaking
Greek Pericles: one who forms a judgment on any point but cannot explain it clearly might as well never had thought at all on the subject” Public speaking is consistently rated high on employers lists The Tradition of Public Speaking
Historical people who used speaking effectively Similarities and Differences in Public Speaking and Daily
Conversation Similarities Organizing your thoughts logically Tailoring your message to your audience Telling a story for maximum impact- building up your story Adapting to listener feedback
Differences Speaking to groups is very highly structured Strict time restrictions Most don’t allow for question interruptions (must plan for and anticipate questions that might arise in listeners mind) Public Speaking requires more formal language No slang jargon bad grammar or curse words
Highly structured Public Speaking requires a different method of delivery Proper posture, no vocalizing fillers for times ( uhh, urm, ehh) and avoid distracting mannerisms (hand talking) and verbal habits Developing confidence: In your speech class 40 % of people said public speaking was worst fear Everyone gets nervous at speaking, great speakers use this to help their speech
Focus on transforming nervousness to one of positive nervousness ( controlled nervousness that helps energize a speaker for their presentation)
Tricks to turn nervousness from negative to positive
Get experience in speaking- the more you do it the les scary it will be because its not new and threatening Be prepared- 1- hours for every minute spoken Pick topics that are close to you Think Positively: 5 positive thoughts for every negative one
Visualize you speaking well You don’t look as nervous as you think Public Speaking and Critical Thinking Critical Thinking- focused organized thinking about such things as the logical relationships among ideas, the soundness of evidence and the difference between fact and opinion
The Speech Communication Process
Speaker Be enthusiastic for people to be engaged in your speech Message Have and intended message that will be actually be communicated
Keep a narrowed topic Be aware of the message you are sending with your voice, appearance, gestures, facial expressions and eye contact. Don’t let your non verbal cues distract from your intended message
Channel- the means by which a message is communicated by
Listener-person receiving spoken messages Frame of reference- the total of the listeners knowledge, experience, goals, values, and attitudes Because the speaker and listener will never have the same meaning of a speech itll carry a different meaning for each of them Feedback- messages sent for listener to speaker
Interferencee- anything impeding the communication of the message
Extental- outside distracting noises or situations Internal- distractions cominmg from the inside of a listner Situation-time and place communication is going down Taioloring a speech to the context of the event (graduation, funeral, church)
Public Speaking in a Multicultural World Language is the biggest barrier betweent difference in cultures Enthocentrisim- belief that ones own culture is superior
Chapter 2: Ethics and Public Speaking The Importance of ethics Guidelines for ethical speaking Make sure goals are ethically sound Just because your ethical background makes you for an issue someoe who mamkes a descision against you based on their ethics doesn’t make them wrong Be fully prepared for a speech
Be prepared because you not only was your time if you speak badly but you waste the individuals in the audiences’ times as well.
Be Honest Hiding the truth to protect the vast community isn’t unethical but lying to protect yourself is Don’t juggle statistics, quote outa context, misrepresenting sources, painting tentative findings as finite, citing unique situations as normal representation or substitute innuendo and half-truths for proof
Avoid Name calling and abusive language
Name calling- the use of stereotypical labels meant to degrade and dehumanize and silence opposing sides. Using such language is a destructive social force and will also make your audience doubt you entire speech and message Plagiarism- passing off someone else’s work as your own without credit Global Plagiarism- copying an entire document or speech verbatim Patchwork Plagiarism- piecing together more than one document and passing of as your own. Can have some transitions but a vast majority is completely copied Incremental Plagiarism- failing to give credit to an author of a quotation or paraphrase of ideas
Ways to stop accidental plagiarism
Take note of title of document Group/person responsible for the document Date document was last updated Date site was accessed Guidelines for ethical listening Be courteous and attentive Avoid prejudging the speaker Maintain free and open expression of ideas Chapter 3: Listening Listening is Important Listening- pay close attention to and making sense of what we hear Good listening improves efficient, sales, customer satisfaction and employee morale Effective listening correlates to higher grades
Listening and Critical Thinking Types of listeners Appreciative listening- listening for pleasure or enjoyment Music movies comedy Empathic listening- listening to provide emotional support for a speaker
Friends, family, psychiatrist Comprehensive listening- listening to understand the message of a speaker
Class room lecture, listening to directions Critical listening- listening to evaluate a message for purposes of accepting or rejoicing it
Sales pitch, campaign speeches, sermons Four Causes of Poor Listening Not Concentrating Letting your mind wander and not focus on what is being said
Listening too hard Trying to remember insignificant amounts of information verses the speakers main points
Jumping to conclusions Instead of waiting for answers just assuming the worst and going with it
Marking a speakers message as unimportant before even giving them a chance Focusing on delivery and personal appearance How to become a better Listener Take Listening Seriously Be an Active Listener
Give your undivided attention to the speaker to genuinely try and understand their point of view
Resist distractions Try anticipate what the speaker might say Review what the speaker has already said Don’t be Diverted by Appearance or Delivery Suspend judgment Until you hear the entire speech Set aside your own prejudices, frames of reference and desires to fully appreciate what the speaker is trying to get across
A closed mind is an empty mind Focus your Listening Listen for Main Points Listen for evidence Matched up with the main points to support them Questions to ask about evidence Is it accurate? Is it taken from objective sources? Is it relevant to the speaker’s claims? Is it sufficient to support the speaker’s point? Listen for technique Take note of any speakers techniques of delivering the speech to better your own speech techniques
Developing good note taking skills Focus on important main points The key word outline- outline that briefly notes a speakers main points and supporting evidence in rough outline form
Chapter 4: Giving Your First Speech Preparing Your Speech Developing your Speech Focusing Your Topic Don’t try and cover everything Stick to the time limit Developing Your Topic Be creative Only use humor if it comes natural and doesn’t offend any one
Organizing the Speech Introduction Grab the interests of the audience Orient audience with subject matter of speech Body Organize either chronologically or topically Use effective transitions Limit and focus number of main points Conclusion Relate back to intro without restating Signal that you are concluding End strongly Delivering your Speech Speaking Extemporaneously (appears conversational) A hybrid between writing the whole speech and writing nothing Uses a brief structured outline but uses spontaneity to help fill in the gaps
Rehearsing the Speech Presenting the Speech Starting Relaxed natural posture Look confident Plant your feet keep natural small gestures Eye contact Very important and will impress audience Voice Use inflections; don’t go over bored; don’t sound monotone
Projection is key SLOW DOWN
Chapter 5: Selecting a Topic and a Purpose Choosing a Topic Topics you know a lot about Draws from your own experiences and knowledge Think unusual and unique to you Topics you want to know more about Something you are interested in but have little knowledge in without research
Something you have very strong opinions in Brain Storming Personal Inventory Write everything about you( hobbies, experiences, likes, opinions, everything) and decide where to go from there
Clustering Make nine lists of about 4-5 entries (people places things events processes concepts natural phemonoms problems and plans) From that big list pick 3-4 entries that interest you and free- associate those out until you get a unique interesting speech idea Internet Search
Scan an online web site based encyclopedia like thing for possible topics
Determining the General Purpose To inform Acting like a teacher giving a lecture To persuade Acting like a partisan or advocate Determining the Specific Purpose Narrow down into 1 sentence Tips for formulating the Specific purpose statement Write the Purpose as a complete sentence Express your purpose as a statement, not as a question Avoid Figurative Language Limit to one idea Make sure purpose isn’t vague/ general Phrasing the Central Idea
Chapter 6: Analyzing the Audience Audience-Centeredness Important questions Who am I speaking to What do I want them to know/believe/or do as a result of my speech
What is the most effective way to compose my speech to get this aim Your classmates as an audience The psychology of audiences People are egocentric and only care about what they are going to get from a speech Your audience will only grasp concepts in their frame of reference
Demographic audience analysis Age Each generation has similar general values and experience that shape them differently from the rest Gender Men and woman are not alike in their beliefs so take account of that Religion Sexual Orientation Be inclusive and avoid derogatory terms like lifestyle and homosexual Race, ethnic and cultural
Backgrounds Group Memberships BASICALLY BE GENERAL AF AND DON’T STEP ON ANYONES TOES EVER BCZ PEOPLE ARE SENSITIVE Don’t try to fully change their viewpoints just open their minds Situational audience analysis-audience analysis that focuses on situational factors such as size physical setting and the disposition of the audience to the speaker, topic, and occasion Size
Larger=more formal Size effects.. Language Choice of appeals Visual aids Physical setting Disposition toward the topic Things that effect the likelihood your audience will be captivated Interest Knowledge and interest goes hand in hand Knowledge Attitude Disposition toward the speaker Talk about things you are an expert on and definitely stay away from things you cant relate to
Disposition toward the occasion Don’t go against the norm of typical speeches recognized at such occasions
Getting information about the audience Adapting to the audience
Chapter 7: Gathering Materials Using your own knowledge and experience Doing library research Resources you should use Librarians Catalogue Reference books Encyclopedias Yearbooks Quotation books Biographical aids Newspaper and periodical databases Academic databases
- Public Speaking
- Public Speaking Self Reflection
- My Best Public Speaking Experience
- Public Speaking Self-Reflection
- The Importance of Public Speaking.
- Public speaking: A vital skill for teachers
- Principles of public Speaking
- Speech Analysis
- International students in English speaking universities
- Informative Speech: “The Causes of Homelessness”
- Critical Listening Paper
- Holidays in Vietnam Speaking topic
- Public Relations Campaign American Girl Brand
The Art of public speaking. (19 April 2016). Retrieved from https://studyscroll.com/%ef%bb%bfthe-art-of-public-speaking-essay
"The Art of public speaking" StudyScroll, 19 April 2016, https://studyscroll.com/%ef%bb%bfthe-art-of-public-speaking-essay
StudyScroll. (2016). The Art of public speaking [Online]. Available at: https://studyscroll.com/%ef%bb%bfthe-art-of-public-speaking-essay [Accessed: 14 September, 2023]
"The Art of public speaking" StudyScroll, Apr 19, 2016. Accessed Sep 14, 2023. https://studyscroll.com/%ef%bb%bfthe-art-of-public-speaking-essay
"The Art of public speaking" StudyScroll, Apr 19, 2016. https://studyscroll.com/%ef%bb%bfthe-art-of-public-speaking-essay
"The Art of public speaking" StudyScroll, 19-Apr-2016. [Online]. Available: https://studyscroll.com/%ef%bb%bfthe-art-of-public-speaking-essay. [Accessed: 14-Sep-2023]
StudyScroll. (2016). The Art of public speaking. [Online]. Available at: https://studyscroll.com/%ef%bb%bfthe-art-of-public-speaking-essay [Accessed: 14-Sep-2023]
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