Excerpt from The Model 20th Century Speaker: A Book of Entertainment for Home, School and Church; Recitations, Readings, Plays, Drills, Tableaux, Etc., Together With Rules for Physical Culture and for the Training of the Voice and the Use of Gesture, According to the Delsarte System
Too much stress cannot be laid upon physical development when one begins to study Elocution.
To begin with, the first requirement for public speaking is physical strength.
Because in order to become a successful public speaker one must be strong enough to withstand not only the nervous strain nu der which such an one is constantly labor ing, but also the physical strain which of necessity must come to the body from long standing and constant activity in changing from one character to another during an evening's program.
Besides, one cannot possibly lose himself in a selection unless the body is free from pain, and perfectly at ease.
The least pain or awkwardness in any part of the body, the mind concentrates itself upon that one part to the exclusion of all else, and, instead of decreasing, the pain or awkwardness increases by much thinking on, until the infection spreads over the whole body and finally takes entire possession of the mind as well.
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