379380430-Speech-Stage-Arts.docx - TO THE STUDENT OF SPEECH A Foreword\"As the man so is his speech \u2014 Strus Let your work in the speech arts be

379380430-Speech-Stage-Arts.docx - TO THE STUDENT OF SPEECH...

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TO THE STUDENT OF SPEECH A Foreword "As the man, so is his speech." — Strus Let your work in the speech arts be characterized by simplicity, sincerity, and directness. Seek and find your individuality. Take it for granted that you have, undeveloped or developed, all the desirable qualities of a good conversationalist, an effective speaker, or an interesting reader, — assurance, initiative, sympathy, originality, responsive- ness. Recognize no limitation. Then these qualities, so essential in every undertaking of today — commercial, political, social — will unfold as you seize every opportunity to express the best that is within you in the best way that you can command, — whether it be in the home, in the recitation room, upon the platform, or upon the school stage. Do not try to learn through imitating either your teacher or your fellow students. Listen attentively to the work of the other students — you will gain much thereby — but let your work be individual and original both in content and in the style of delivery.
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Keep your work so balanced that it will be neither too emo- tional nor too intellectual. Develop heart and head equally. Read both extensively and intensively and you will thereby give foundation to your work in the speech arts. But books are only a means to an end, and that end is real living. Experiences of the right sort are of inestimable value; therefore, seek interesting and varied experiences that will give you vital and absorbing subject matter for your talks. "Who seeks and loves the company of great Ideals, and moves among them, soon or late Will learn their ways and language, unaware Take on their likeness." Visit art galleries, hear speakers of note, talk with interesting conversationalists, see good plays, witness pageants, observe the wonders of nature, do your share in the production of things useful and beautiful, and you will find that your work in oral expression will be many times strengthened. Master the fundamentals of delivery and of speech composition
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as one masters the scales and arpeggios in music, or the strokes and good form in outdoor sports. The technique then becomes a part of yourself and leaves you free to express your ideas. Choose topics in which you are interested. You will always challenge the attention of an audience when you yourself are vitally concerned in your subject. If possible, choose topics based upon your experience, whether gained through observation, experimentation, or reflection. Respond immediately when you are called upon to give your first talk or reading from the platform. Overcome any feeling of timidity before it has opportunity or time to grow. Under no condition let yourself yield continually to this form of self-con- sciousness until it finally governs you and you refuse to talk altogether. It is a very poor automobile today that has not a self-starter !
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