Monday, September 4, 2017

Book Review: MASTERY OF SPEECH

MASTERY OF SPEECH by FREDERICK HOUK LAW, Ph.D. (Book 3), 1918.
The author begins with a witty anecdote of a public speech, when he was greeted with a warning. "In the first two rows there’s a gang come to break up the lecture. Don’t try to start the lecture now". "I laughed, because I really liked the Situation. Here was an audience that wouldn't go to Sleep, whatever else it did." And that is followed by more gems. "A steady, direct look makes speech doubly effective, for it invariably carries the impression of manliness and of power". Or, "When you speak in public let your face light and change with all the emotions of what you say, and make a double appeal to your audience." 
How to Be a Leader in Speech, How to Make a Point of Contact in Speech (eg., by talking about things in which you and your hearers are alike interested), How to Take Advantage of the Light While Speaking,  How to Master Unforeseen Circumstances (eg. Expect the unexpected, and meet conditions gladly, Continue to speak as though you had expected the situation..), and How to Maintain Good Nature in Speech, and many other troublesome spots are cleared one after the other. Well, there can't be many situations one could face while giving a speech, other than those discussed here, that too with intelligent suggestions and adequate remedial measures. Like, when the discussion is about the necessity to Be a Good Listener, the book tells, while speaking, know that "In the first place, everybody likes to be heard". 
This is an excellent guide for daily reference, in addition to being a source of masterly advices on public speaking. I wish I came across this book earlier, that would have been saving much time and effort spent on clearing the misunderstanding I frequently happen to cause.

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