The lecture given by Dr. Curry in Holden Chapel last evening was of interest to all and should have been more largely attended.
The speaker took for his subject the Development of Delivery.
Many think the power of delivery very simple; others think it only a physical or natural ability, and one that can not be cultivated.
The positions of man while speaking often tell us very much about the feeling and his interest in the subject. Whatever improves a man's susceptibility improves his delivery.
Man has really three modes of communication with his fellow man. Three languages: words, tones and actions. The first of the three tells a man's thoughts, the others tell us what he is. The more perfectly these languages are brought into harmony, the more perfect will be a man's delivery.
Oratory is the presentation of truth by personality. Men speak of oratory as a dying art, but the last campaign does not prove it. Liberty is always accomplished by persuasion, and any country to be free must be a country of speakers; for it is oratory that awakens the thought.
To improve delivery there must be training to improve spontaneity. This is what makes the cultivation of delivery so difficult. Tones and actions are the music of speech; words give you the idea, but tones and actions give the feeling. A man who presents bare facts without feeling makes no impression.
The cause of every fault in delivery is in the mind. If we have no interest in what we are saying, our voices become hard and unpleasant.
The principal object of the study of elocution is to give a man possession of himself, and to bring his whole body into subordination, so that when he stands before an audience he may not be obliged to put aside his personality, but may be able to show the best that is in him. This is one of the most important functions in a young man's education.
Surely, a training which gives a man command of himself, and power to awake enthusiasm in other men, is one of no small consequence.