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The Art of Public Speaking

CHAPTER XV
86
speech, page 36? Be specific.
11. Describe some particularly appropriate gesture that you have observed. Why was it appropriate?
12. Cite at least three movements in nature that might well be imitated in gesture.
13. What would you gather from the expressions: descriptive gesture, suggestive gesture, and typical gesture?
14. Select any elemental emotion, such as fear, and try, by picturing in your mind at least five different
situations that might call forth this emotion, to express its several phases by gesture--including posture,
movement, and facial expression.
15. Do the same thing for such other emotions as you may select.
16. Select three passages from any source, only being sure that they are suitable for public delivery, memorize
each, and then devise gestures suitable for each. Say why.
17. Criticise the gestures in any speech you have heard recently.
18. Practise flexible movement of the hand. What exercises did you find useful?
19. Carefully observe some animal; then devise several typical gestures.
20. Write a brief dialogue between any two animals; read it aloud and invent expressive gestures.
21. Deliver, with appropriate gestures, the quotation that heads this chapter.
22. Read aloud the following incident, using dramatic gestures:
When Voltaire was preparing a young actress to appear in one of his tragedies, he tied her hands to her sides
with pack thread in order to check her tendency toward exuberant gesticulation. Under this condition of
compulsory immobility she commenced to rehearse, and for some time she bore herself calmly enough; but at
last, completely carried away by her feelings, she burst her bonds and flung up her arms. Alarmed at her
supposed neglect of his instructions, she began to apologize to the poet; he smilingly reassured her, however;
the gesture was then admirable, because it was irrepressible.
--REDWAY, The Actor's Art.
23. Render the following with suitable gestures:
One day, while preaching, Whitefield "suddenly assumed a nautical air and manner that were irresistible with
him," and broke forth in these words: "Well, my boys, we have a clear sky, and are making fine headway over
a smooth sea before a light breeze, and we shall soon lose sight of land. But what means this sudden lowering
of the heavens, and that dark cloud arising from beneath the western horizon? Hark! Don't you hear distant
thunder? Don't you see those flashes of lightning? There is a storm gathering! Every man to his duty! The air
is dark!--the tempest rages!--our masts are gone!--the ship is on her beam ends! What next?" At this a number
of sailors in the congregation, utterly swept away by the dramatic description, leaped to their feet and cried:
"The longboat!--take to the longboat!"
--NATHAN SHEPPARD, Before an Audience.
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