Notes on Speech-making

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Longmans, Green, 1901 - Oratory - 92 pages
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Page 74 - ... it with a jest, good and well. — if not, do not exert your serious authority, unless it is something very bad. The authority even of a chairman ought to be very cautiously exercised. With patience you will have the support of every one.
Page 47 - Blessed is he who hath nothing to say — and cannot be persuaded to say it.
Page 87 - When it is good, it is very, very good; and when it is bad, it is horrid...
Page 35 - Even a man who has no gift for oratory, no enthusiasm, no fervor, no magnetism, as it is called, can make a presentable figure on the platform if he rises knowing exactly what he wants to say, if he says that and no more, and if he sits down as soon as he has said it. But his failure will be total if he does not know what he wants to say, and if he talks forever in the vain hope of happening upon it by accident.
Page 61 - When the dinner was eaten, and Irving arose to propose the health of Dickens, he began pleasantly and smoothly in two or three sentences ; then hesitated, stammered, smiled, and stopped ; tried in vain to begin again ; then gracefully gave it up, announced the toast, "Charles Dickens, the guest of the nation," and sank into his chair amid immense applause, whispering to his neighbor, "There! I told you I should break down, and I've done it.
Page 53 - He a wit ! Hang him; he's only an adopter of straggling jests and fatherless lampoons : by the credit of which he eats at good tables, and so, like the barren beggar-woman, lives by borrowed children.
Page 90 - What is the object of this speech? What end is it to serve? What verdict is it to win? What result is it to accomplish? (2) Central thought. What thought lodged in the mind of an auditor will best accomplish the desired result? (3) Analysis of this central thought into three or four propositions, the enforcement and illustration of which will serve to fasten in the minds of the hearers the central thought, and so to secure the desired result.
Page 74 - Punch says. Do not think of saying fine things — nobody cares for them any more than for fine music, which is often too liberally bestowed on such occasions. Speak at all ventures, and attempt the mot pour rire. You will find people satisfied with wonderfully indifferent jokes if you can but hit the taste of the company, which depends much on its character. Even a very high party, primed with all the cold irony and non...
Page 70 - I think I have been told often enough to remember that my countrymen are apt to think that they are in the right, that they are always in the right ; that they are apt to look at their side of the question only. Now, this conduces certainly to peace of mind and imperturbability of judgment, whatever other merits it may have. I am sure I do not know where we got it. Do you...
Page 91 - should pray to be delivered from the ambition to be eloquent by an ambition to win a result ; be careless of admiration and covetous of practical fruits in his auditors' lives. Without this moral preparation he will be a mere declaimer ; with it he may be an effective speaker. And whether he is what men call an orator or not is a matter of no consequence.

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