So, I just finished reading, The Art of Public Speaking.
Have taken interest in learning to speak better in public, I had heard of this book a lot from many people who kept on quoting from it. So I bought it from Amazon one day and delved into it. Here are some of the things I felt after reading this book.
This book is indeed a classic, published in 1915, it has all the information, tips and tricks to be a better speaker. Of course, being written over a 100 years ago, some parts are a bit drag in terms of millennial-attention-span. Also, at some places, some shortcomings people might have with being able to communicate more effectively can be called as slightly obsolete with the advent of visual aids like PowerPoint.
However, the core message still holds. All the basics mentioned in the book about how to make your content better, and the ways to articulate more effectively, the methods to enhance voice and tone, the importance of rhetorics, etc are all explained in great detail. The book was written for the time when there was no or nominal usage of microphones and speakers, so, in a way this is really good for a novice speaker to follow. Using mic, one can cheat a bit with vocal variety but unless one use the inflections and volume in the ideal way, the difference can be easily noticed.
For new people who want to enhance their craft, this book will help as it gives ample explanation and importance to all the skills needs. I guess, once you start speaking in a group, you may start referring from this book and then you can measure yourself as to how are you doing. It also has some case studies sort of examples which are from good speakers from that era to learn from.
All in all, I found a majority of this book useful. So could you!
Some of my Favorite Quotes from this book:
Concentration is a process of distraction from less important matters.
The first sign of greatness is when a man does not attempt to look and act great.
If you believe you will fail, there is no hope for you. You will.
The worst punishment that human ingenuity has ever been able to invent is extreme monotony, solitary confinement.
Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice.
Charles Dana, the famous editor of The New York Sun, told one of his reporters that if he went up the street and saw a dog bite a man, to pay no attention to it. The Sun could not afford to waste the time and attention of its readers on such unimportant happenings. “But,” said Mr. Dana, “if you see a man bite a dog, hurry back to the office and write the story.” Of course that is news; that is unusual.
It is not work that kills men; it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more upon a man than he can bear. Worry is rust upon the blade. It is not the revolution that destroys the machinery but the friction.
Speech is silvern, Silence is golden; Speech is human, Silence is divine.
Wilkie Collins’ formula for fiction writing well applies to public speech: “Make ’em laugh; make ’em weep; make ’em wait.
Yesterday is already a dream and tomorrow is only a vision; but today, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. – Kalidas
Also, why stop at this and why not watch this too?http://www.theonion.com/video/how-conquer-fear-public-speaking-55392
You may get this book from below link: