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How to Take Advantage of the Light
KEY WORDS: PLACE YOURSELF SO THAT THE LIGHT
Guide and control any conversation into which voir enter.
You will be best able to do this if you can at all times read the mind of the person to whom you speak.
Let the light fall upon his face, and observe the effect of your words. See in his face a reflection of his inner thoughts.
If you have an office and are accustomed to interview people, place your desk in such a way that all who approach you will have the light in their faces. Then,, from your point of vantage, study countenances whileyou hold interviews.
Look around you now and see what changes will be necessary in your office to give you the advantage of the light.
When I took the manuscript of this work to Mr. Karl Howland, the Business Manager of The Independent, he motioned me to a chair. There ivas no other place in the room where I could sit. The light from three big windows was full in my face. Mr. Howland sat at his desk, with the light behind him. He had arranged his room purposely and strategically for the purpose of talking well. There was no way \o avoid the position he had arranged, Unless I remained standing.
If you have not been in the habit of thus using the light .you will be astonished at the power over conversation that this little device will give you.
When you visit an office, perhaps as applicant for a favor, do all in your power to stand or sit in such a way that you will gain the advantage of the light. If you do :this you are far more likely to speak easily and convincingly, and to gain your point.
Consider the last interview you had with some man who was in some way your superior. How could you have gained the advantage of light?
It is just as important in social and business affairs as it is in military campaigns to gain a position of advantage.
Even in a friendly talk, where you and your friend meet as perfect equals, follow the rule of gaining the light, for it will help you to talk to advantage.
In public speaking you will find it far easier to speak in the light than in the dark, as when exhibiting stereopticon pictures. You will speak to best advantage if the hall is so well lighted that you can study the faces of .your hearers.
In all cases seek the advantage of the light and mould your speech accordingly.
1. Observe the eyes of some public speaker who has real power over his hearers. How does he take advantage of the light?
2. Repeat to yourself the principles of speech that have been given thus far concerning (a) The eyes, (b) The expression, (c) Leadership, (d) Point of contact, and (e) The light.
3. Consider how you can apply the principles to the following cases: (a) You appeal to a man for a position in his employ, (b) A man appeals to you for a position that you have advertised as open.
How to Master Unforeseen Circumstances in Speech
KEY WORDS: MASTER CIRCUMSTANCES BY MAINTAINING COMPOSURE AT ALL TIMES.
In talk of every sort you are certain to meet situations that you could not have foreseen.
There are two possible courses of action:
1. You may be so overwhelmed by the new and altogether unexpected situation that you will be confused and put to loss.
2. You will meet the situation as though you had fully expected it to arise.
The latter is, of course, the method you should follow.
The greatest mastery of circumstances in public speech was shown by Henry Ward Beecher in his address at Liverpool, October 16, 1863. Mr. Beecher had been sent to England to encourage sentiment in favor of the Union. The fate of the United States depended upon his success. At Liverpool he faced an almost entirely hostile audience. In spite of interruptions of all sorts of a kind that would have driven most speakers from the platform, he made an address that was all powerful. He met the situation by appealing to two things that every Englishman loves —courage and fair play. "One thing," said he, "is very certain, if you do permit me to speak here tonight you will hear very plain talking." Hooting, hisses, and cries interrupted him throughout the speech, but he kept his temper, held the platform, and put his thoughts before the audience.
Expect the unexpected, and meet conditions gladly.
It may be that the very unexpectedness of the conditions will be the stimulus you need in order to succeed.
Edwin Booth, the great actor, when on a tour with his company, once failed to receive his baggage containing the necessary costumes. Rather than abandon an important engagement, Mr. Booth and his company, wearing ordinary traveling clothes, presented one of Shakespeare's plays. Knowing that they had no appropriate costumes on which to rely, the company acted the parts with such zest that they made the performance an unequalled success. They met an unexpected situation, mastered it, and increased their reputation.
A diplomatic American tried to flee from a' foreign city in the midst of riots. His coachman drove into a street filled with rioters. They surrounded the carriage and entered into angry words with the coachman. There was grave danger. The American met the situation by stepping from the carriage, tipping his hat to the leaders of the mob, and saying: "Gentlemen, I don't like to drive on crowded streets. I think I'll go back." The crowd laughed and let him go. ,
In business life there are innumerable times when interruptions occur in the midst of most important talks, times when important matters seem to go contrary in every way, times when it is well nigh impossible to keep