Public Speaking—Good, Bad and Indifferent
Publication
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 20 Apr 1922, p. 144-148
Description
Creator
Newlands, Professor J.C., Speaker
Media Type
Text
Item Type
Speeches
Description
No such thing as indifferent speaking. The chief thing to remember in public speaking. Having something to say; knowing how to say it. The four main parts of good speaking: position, breathing, vocalization, articulation. The importance of standing steady. How to breathe, with demonstration. The problem of improper articulation, with examples of how to articulate some of the consonants. Good speaking largely a matter of good physique. The spirit necessary for good speaking. The power to sway an audience.
Date of Original
20 Apr 1922
Subject(s)
Language of Item
English
Copyright Statement
The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
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Empire Club of Canada
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Fairmont Royal York Hotel

100 Front Street West, Floor H

Toronto, ON, M5J 1E3

Full Text
PUBLIC SPEAKING--GOOD, BAD AND INDIFFERENT
Art ADDRESS BY PROFESSOR J. C. NEWLANDS.
Before the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto,
April 20, 1922.

SIR WILLIAM HEARST.

Gentlemen,--Perhaps nowhere in the wide dominions and territory over which the British Flag floats as the symbol of sovereignty and liberty, does the heart of Empire beat warmer and stronger than it does in this Province of Ontario and in the City of Toronto. (Applause) Perhaps in no city, not even in Great Britain itself, does greater sympathy and consideration go out to the Motherland today in the burdens she is bearing and the difficulties that confront her at the present time. Perhaps nowhere does greater sympathy go out to those over there who are faced with the gigantic task of trying to restore the country after the terrible devastations that have practically ruined Europe. Our hearts go out to them in the solving of their problems, and therefore it is with the greatest of pleasure that we have with us today a visitor from the Old Land who is going to talk to us today. We would ask him to take a message back to the people over there that they have the sympathy and support and co-operation of the people of this country. (Applause) It is with great pleasure indeed I introduce to the members of this Club the speaker of the day, Professor Newlands.

PROFESSOR J. C. NEWLANDS.

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Empire Club,--I can assure you I am very pleased indeed to have the opportunity to speak to such a gathering as this, and I can readily understand why there is an Empire Club in Toronto today. I have been specially asked, when I appeared before the TransAtlantic Club at Philadelphia, to send their greetings and good-will throughout Canada, and to any of the Clubs I may be addressing. I have great pleasure in conveying that message to you. As your chairman has said, nowhere does the heart of Empire beat me strongly or warmly than in the City of Toronto. I know, however, that you do not wish me to speak about your selves but of my subject.

When I was about to leave home some of my people, and especially my wife, thought I was undertaking a great venture in coming to Canada. One of our well-known professors in Edinburgh met me in the street and he said, "Newlands, they tell me you are going to America." I said, "Yes." He said, "Are you going to Canada?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Go to Canada then, and listen: When you go to Canada don't let them call you an Englishman!" (Laughter) "Remember," he said, "you are a Scotchman every time and it is worth five shillings for every minute you are in Canada to be a Scotchman." (Laughter)

Let me say at the outset that there is no such thing as indifferent speaking--it is either good or bad. In the first place when you rise to make a speech you must know what you are going to talk about. That is the chief thing to remember. The man who impresses his audience can safely conclude that he has at least interested them, and that is the most essential thing in good speaking-to have something to say. If you are sure you have something to say, then the next thing is to know how to say it.

Now, I should like to tell you the four main parts of good speaking: first, is position; second breathing; third, vocalization, and fourth, articulation.

One of the most difficult things in addressing an audience is to stand steady. If you have not got perfect balance, perfect equilibrium, if you cannot control yourself then you cannot control the interest of your audience. Some of you who were in the ranks may remember how your instructors told you to stand steady, and you remember how difficult it was.

The next thing to learn is to breathe properly. You think that is easy, but it is not so easy as it seems. Breathe through your nose. This requires a little practice but it is not so difficult as it may seem. The most difficult thing for a preacher in the pulpit or a speaker on the platform is to stop and fill his lungs, because he has to speak for a considerable period of time. He must know how to breathe. I should like to give you an illustration of breathing. Suppose I stand up on a chair. Now, I take this mirror and this paper. Watch how this light will go out--so. I am not filling my lungs with air. Just watch me. Now I exude it gently through my nose--so. You will see how perfectly natural it is. Watch a child lying asleep and breathing so quietly and easily through his nose. There is no undue effort on his part--it all comes naturally and that is the way we should all breathe. Breathing is a muscular effort coming from the base of the lungs. You can feel the act of inflation. You must learn how to inflate the diaphragm. Unless you do that you will send the wave sounds away. I will give you an example to show you what I mean.

(Professor Newlands, at this point, gave a series of examples of correct and incorrect methods of breathing and breath control, vibration, and voice production.)

The whole trouble is improper articulation; that is the whole root of the evil. Now, I will give you a few examples of how to articulate some of the consonants. Watch how I pronounce the letter "p"; how I articulate "sh" and "zh," "v," and "t." Watch how I pronounce "ch" and "sh" and "st" and "g" and "h." Notice the rise and fall. Now, if you will follow me closely you will observe when I make a mistake. '

(Professor Newlands, at this point, gave a series of examples to illustrate correct articulation.)

There are six explosives. Articulation in many instances is made up of hisses and puffs. You will notice how the "s" is sounded, then there is the "p." When you hear a great many people talking, if you are not looking directly at them, you have sometimes to exercise your imagination in trying to make out what they are saying, and in that respect I think that the Scotch are the worst sinners. Why, you talk about the Scotch being unimaginative; they are the most imaginative people in the world. They can carry on quite a conversation without using any of the consonants.

Supposing I take another consonant, "k." Did you notice how I pronounced it. That was not the correct way. Now, I will say it again. Did you notice the difference? Now, supposing I turn my back. Thank you.

Good speaking is largely a matter of good physique, and for that reason the people of Canada ought to be good speakers. To be a good speaker you must always have spirit. It is spirit that tells every time. What is the secret of Mr. Lloyd George's success? It is the spirit within him, the glamour he can throw over other men. He has the power of hypnotizing his audience; he has the power of swaying an audience. His enemies recognize that power and they fear him; they do not like to listen to him for that reason.

Now, there are men who in social life may be all that is desired, but on a platform they fail. There is Mr. Balfour, for instance. Some of you may have heard him in the House of Commons. It is a perfect treat to hear him there. He is at home in the House and quite at his ease, but put him in a pulpit or a platform and it is difficult to hear what he is talking about. He has a wonderful intellect but he has no power before a large audience. Then there is Mr. Winston Churchill, a man who has many defects, and a poor delivery until he gets well into his subject. He has courage; he has power; he has driving force; but there is in my humble opinion no man appearing before the public who can control an audience like Mr. Lloyd George.

Now, Gentlemen, before I sit down I must repeat myself; stand steady, use the diaphragm, articulate clearly, use spirit and don't be too long-winded. Stand up, speak up, and shut up. (Loud applause)

At the request of the President, the Reverend Doctor Geggie expressed the hearty thanks of the members to Professor Newlands for his instructive, practical and humorous address.

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Public Speaking—Good, Bad and Indifferent


No such thing as indifferent speaking. The chief thing to remember in public speaking. Having something to say; knowing how to say it. The four main parts of good speaking: position, breathing, vocalization, articulation. The importance of standing steady. How to breathe, with demonstration. The problem of improper articulation, with examples of how to articulate some of the consonants. Good speaking largely a matter of good physique. The spirit necessary for good speaking. The power to sway an audience.