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EVERY man seeks power. It may be social, financial, or political power, physical, mental, or spiritual power, according to the ideal he sets before him. The highest and most enduring power is that which comes from the development of personal character.
The purpose of this book is to give practical suggestions and exercises for building the body, the voice, and the vocabulary, for training the memory and imagination, and for the general development of power and personality in the speaker.
The author's work as instructor in public speaking has brought him into intimate touch with the needs of men of widely varied type and temperament. He has observed in many instances the lack of development in these two essentials to true success-power and personality—and it is his hope that this book will help many men to realize more fully their highest ideals.
In conjunction with this work the author has compiled, in ten small volumes, “The World's Great Sermons," which will be found useful in solving many problems of right living.
Appreciative acknowledgment is made to authors and publishers for kind permission to use copyrighted material.
New York City,
We have here an elucidation that is thoroughly sane of the art of expression by one who has made himself master of his task by careful study and training as a teacher of students of preaching. Professor Kleiser is quite right in his opinion that ministers have not yet come to realize to any appreciable extent the value of thorough training in the art of expression.” The writer is able to confirm this judgment by many years of experience as a teacher of homiletics. There is doubtless a well-grounded prejudice against certain methods of teaching “elocution” so called that have prevailed in time past. But intelligent preachers and students of the art of preaching should know, and in fact do know, that such methods are obsolescent and that modern methods of teaching the art of expression are rational and normal.
The task that every public speaker has to master is the task of handling himself. No man can accomplish that task without thorough training in the art of expression, and every student of his art should be eager to avail himself of the best that can be done for him in securing such thorough and facile handling of himself. “What we need," says Emerson, "is vent." But this depends on the kind of vent. Untrained vent, like that of a wild locomotive that has lost control of its forces and has left the rails, is of little avail. Training in a normal method of expression will not fail to have a reactionary effect upon the activities of the mind as well as upon the emotions, the imagination and the will. Such training enables one to coordinate the products of the mind with the emotional and ethical activities.
What a man says is not the speaker's entire problem, and in and for itself alone is after all not the supreme interest. The literary and artistic form of thought is part of its very life, and the form which speech takes in vocal utterance and in the manifestation of other forces of the physical personality is proportionately important. A preacher's delivery is the transmission of his message through the potencies of his personality. It is the expression of himself, and at its best it must be the trained self. It is the speaker's method of uttering to best advantage the physical, mental, emotional and moral forces of his personal being. The free normal expression and interpretation of great truth is a genuine inspiration which every preacher should know. It is not a credit to any man's intelligence, and much less to his moral purpose, that he treats with contempt so important an art as that which would train his personality as the organ of religion and would equip him for the expression of its great realities with dignity, grace and strength. The dramatist spares himself no toil in the culture of self-expression. His success depends upon it.