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MASTERY OF SPEECH
How to Assume a Proper Attitude
LEY WORDS: ACCUSTOM YOURSELF TO ERECT AND
Consider two pictures of men who are speaking.
One is an Indian' chief come to deliver defiance. He stands erect, his shoulders thrown back, his head held ligh, his chest expanded, his muscles alert and ready to ict.
The other is a slave cringing before his master, to whom le has come begging for forgiveness. His body is bent, lis head is low, his shoulders droop, his lungs hold hardly jnough air for speech, and his muscles are lax and inert.
You also may speak like a conqueror or like a slave.
If you form a habit of speaking with inert body and mexpanded chest that position will react upon what you iay. Your position affects your mental attitude. You vill speak weakly, your thoughts will lack point, your vhole effect will be that of one who is not a conqueror.
Sit at your usual desk, with both feet upon the floor. Throw your shoulders back, straighten your spinal collmn, and take three deep breaths. Hold that position, ceeping the chest well thrown out, whether you lean forward, sit erect, or lean backward. You are now in tl best position for talking on a business matter.
Do you remember the long-legged boy at school who used to recite while he stood on one foot, with the other foot and leg extended as though he wished he had left them at home?
Do you remember the politician who put his hands into his pockets and talked about himself? And the visitor who leaned on the reading desk as if he were tired? Anf the stiff, jointless man who never moved while he talked'1
Of course you remember them. They have spoken it every school. Don't imitate any of them.
Be yourself, easy and natural, but be dignified.
Stand erect, resting your weight almost equally on both feet, but with one foot slightly advanced, the arms held loosely, the shoulders well thrown back, the heat well held, and the stomach kept in. Let the position tx easy and in no sense stiff. You are now in the best position for speaking to an audience.
Always assume the proper attitude. Sit or stand erect Fill your chest. Hold your head high. Speak with muscles quick and ready. That position will help you vc think clearly and to speak forcefully.
If you stand, rest your weight almost equally on both feet, with one foot slightly advanced. Don't stand, like a stork, on one leg, and don't lean on or against anything Assume the position of a soldier at attention.
It is never proper to put either hand in a pocket.
Above all, do not sit or stand stiffly. Be strong, forceil, masterly, but be natural.
Do not hold one position too long. Move about somehat as you would do^ if you were alone.
Stand erect, as directed above, take a manuscript or a ?ht book in the left hand only. If you hold a book ace the first, second, and third fingers under the book, id the little finger and the thumb on the open pages wards you. You are now in the proper position for ading to an audience.
Adapt your position to the circumstances, but always i like the Indian chief, dignified, strong, and manly in )ur attitude. That alone will make you a convincing leaker.
Imagine that you are speaking to an audience. Asime the proper attitude.
How to Use the Hands in Speech
KEY WORDS: MAKE YOUR HANDS SERVE YOU1 THOUGHT WHILE SPEAKING.
The hand, like the voice, is a medium of expression.
You should by no means neglect training your hand for the service of your thought.
You should also forbid your hands to interfere wit thought.
Loosen all muscular tension in your hands, and let th hands rest lightly on your thighs, or on your desk, i you are sitting, or swing easily at your side if you ar standing. Your hands should be in those positions whe you speak, unless you use them to emphasize thought.
Nine-tenths of the men> not well trained for publi speaking, who go before audiences, put one or both hand into their pockets. Sometimes they jingle coins or keys Sometimes they take firm hold of a table or desk am hang on for dear life during an entire address, or the; hold the arms stiffly behind them. Sometimes they pas the hands nervously over the face, or run their finger through their hair. All this detracts from the dignit) of position, and tends to make the speaker stand in i one-sided way.
Worse than that,' the attention of the audience if turned to the speaker's hands,* and away from the speak er's thought.