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The first point to be noted with reference to the speaker's attitude toward his audience is alertness, constant watchfulness to detect the effect of his words, and as far as possible to anticipate the probable reactions to what he has planned to say, in order that modifications may be made if necessary. This ability to profit by the varying responses of an audience is one of the distinguishing differences between a good speaker and a mediocre or poor one. The mediocre speaker plans exactly what he intends to say and goes through it whether his listeners understand or not, whether they approve or disapprove. The good speaker, on the contrary, seeing a puzzled look here and there, proceeds to elaborate, or to express the unclear idea in a more simple manner, or to furnish an illuminating example. He catches a glimpse of frowning faces, and he endeavors to strengthen his position, or justly to qualify an

assertion until the frowns have disappeared. If he sees indications of listlessness, he freshens his discourse with a bit of humor, a narrative, a striking concrete example, or a marked change in his voice modulations. Noticing pleased faces and nods of approval, he follows up his advantage by driving home with extra force a point that especially enlists the support of his audience.

If ever there was a time when speakers could afford to take into consideration only the subjectmatter and their own views in interpreting it to others, that time is past. To-day, the attitude of the audience is a factor to be reckoned with. It is not alone what the man on the platform thinks and feels that counts, but also the interplay between that and the thoughts and feelings of the auditors. For this reason, the practical speaker in action needs, in addition to all that he can learn beforehand about an audience, a seeing eye and flexibility in handling his subject-matter.


We may next consider friendliness as a desirable characteristic of the speaker's attitude toward his audience. Some men appear to consider their listeners in the light of tacit opponents or, what is quite as inapt, school-children. The chief errors underlying these attitudes may be

pointed out in order to help the student avoid them. The first, and most difficult to overcome, is a habitually disputatious nature; the second is a mistaken idea that an audience can be driven or coerced into an acceptance of the speaker's views; the third is an unfortunate delusion that timidity can be concealed by a great display of aggressiveness. The speaker should earnestly combat these errors if he is guilty of any of them, for their resultant attitudes, as noted above, are very undesirable. Occasionally a person knows that he is to address those who are hostile. In such an event, instead of avoiding the friendly attitude, especial pains should ordinarily be taken to observe it. An angry audience, like an angry man, is not appeased or mollified by a show of fists, literal or figurative. However, most audiences are inclined to be well-disposed toward a speaker unless he, himself, arouses a spirit of opposition.

To make the most of this favorable disposition, how ought the speaker to act? Nothing could be more simple. He should speak in the quiet, sincere manner of one who talks to equals, thoughtful persons like himself, all desiring to enter into a friendly discussion of which he happens to be the leader. No threats, no denunciations, no implications of ignorance, no insinuations of ulterior motives on the part of the auditors-just the open

expression of one well-wishing person to others whose reciprocal good wishes he takes for granted. The majority of addresses will proceed on such a basis, but occasionally the task of speaking involves more severe aspects. Well, when an audience is won in the early phases by friendly treatment, the speaker is in a position to carry his listeners with him in viewing even their own shortcomings without asperity, because they feel assured that the criticism comes from a friendly person and not a hostile detractor. Observe the note of friendliness in the following passage from a speech of Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., before the employees of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company.

"This is a red-letter day in my life. It is the first time I have ever had the good fortune to meet the representatives of the employees of this great company, its officers and mine superintendents, together, and I can assure you that I am proud to be here, and that I shall remember this gathering as long as I live. Had this meeting been held two weeks ago, I should have stood here as a stranger to many of you, recognizing few faces. Having had the opportunity last week of visiting all of the camps in the southern coal fields and of talking individually with practically all of the representatives, except those who were away; having visited in your homes, met many

of your wives and children, we meet here not as strangers but as friends, and it is in that spirit of mutual friendship that I am glad to have this opportunity to discuss with you men our common interests. Since this is a meeting of the officers of the company and the representatives of the employees, it is only by your courtesy that I am here, for I am not so fortunate as to be either one or the other; and yet I feel that I am intimately associated with you men, for in a sense I represent both the stockholders and the directors. Before speaking of the plan of industrial representation to which our president has referred, I want to say just a few words outlining my views as to what different interests constitute a company or corporation."


The third feature which should mark the speaker's attitude toward his audience is the will to convince and persuade. It is one thing to possess ideas and beliefs and to have perfect confidence in them; it is quite another thing to feel a determination to inspire others with these ideas and beliefs. Some people are wholly content to cherish their own convictions without even stating, to say nothing of propagating, them. Such an attitude will not do for the man who speaks in public. He cannot speak effectively if he says, in

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