The Art of Public Speaking
QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES
1. In the following, speak the words "long, long while" very slowly; the rest of the sentence is spoken in
moderately rapid tempo.
When you and I behind the Veil are past, Oh but the long, long while the world shall last, Which of our
coming and departure heeds, As the seven seas should heed a pebble cast.
Note: In the following selections the passages that should be given a fast tempo are in italics; those that should
be given in a slow tempo are in small capitals. Practise these selections, and then try others, changing from
fast to slow tempo on different parts, carefully noting the effect.
2. No MIRABEAU, NAPOLEON, BURNS, CROMWELL, NO man ADEQUATE to DO ANYTHING but is
first of all in RIGHT EARNEST about it--what I call A SINCERE man. I should say SINCERITY, a
GREAT, DEEP, GENUINE SINCERITY, is the first CHARACTERISTIC of a man in any way HEROIC.
Not the sincerity that CALLS itself sincere. Ah no. That is a very poor matter indeed--A SHALLOW,
BRAGGART, CONSCIOUS sincerity, oftenest SELF-CONCEIT mainly. The GREAT MAN'S SINCERITY
is of a kind he CANNOT SPEAK OF. Is NOT CONSCIOUS of.--THOMAS CARLYLE.
3. TRUE WORTH is in BEING--NOT SEEMING--in doing each day that goes by SOME LITTLE GOOD,
not in DREAMING of GREAT THINGS to do by and by. For whatever men say in their BLINDNESS, and in
spite of the FOLLIES of YOUTH, there is nothing so KINGLY as KINDNESS, and nothing so ROYAL as
4. To get a natural effect, where would you use slow and where fast tempo in the following?
See him there, cold and gray, Watch him as he tries to play; No, he doesn't know the way-- He began to learn
too late. She's a grim old hag, is Fate, For she let him have his pile, Smiling to herself the while, Knowing
what the cost would be, When he'd found the Golden Key. Multimillionaire is he, Many times more rich than
we; But at that I wouldn't trade With the bargain that he made. Came here many years ago, Not a person did
he know; Had the money-hunger bad-- Mad for money, piggish mad; Didn't let a joy divert him, Didn't let a
sorrow hurt him, Let his friends and kin desert him, While he planned and plugged and hurried On his quest
for gold and power. Every single wakeful hour With a money thought he'd dower; All the while as he grew
older, And grew bolder, he grew colder. And he thought that some day He would take the time to play; But,
say--he was wrong. Life's a song; In the spring Youth can sing and can fling; But joys wing When we're older,
Like birds when it's colder. The roses were red as he went rushing by, And glorious tapestries hung in the sky,
And the clover was waving 'Neath honey-bees' slaving; A bird over there Roundelayed a soft air; But the man
couldn't spare Time for gathering flowers, Or resting in bowers, Or gazing at skies That gladdened the eyes.
So he kept on and swept on Through mean, sordid years. Now he's up to his ears In the choicest of stocks. He
owns endless blocks Of houses and shops, And the stream never stops Pouring into his banks. I suppose that
he ranks Pretty near to the top. What I have wouldn't sop His ambition one tittle; And yet with my little I don't
care to trade With the bargain he made. Just watch him to-day-- See him trying to play. He's come back for
blue skies. But they're in a new guise-- Winter's here, all is gray, The birds are away, The meadows are brown,
The leaves lie aground, And the gay brook that wound With a swirling and whirling Of waters, is furling Its
bosom in ice. And he hasn't the price, With all of his gold, To buy what he sold. He knows now the cost Of
the spring-time he lost, Of the flowers he tossed From his way, And, say, He'd pay Any price if the day Could
be made not so gray. He can't play.
--HERBERT KAUFMAN. Used by permission of Everybody's Magazine.