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title, describe the method of planting tobacco. If you desired to include one of these items, you would necessarily have to change your title so as to cover the additional matter. But even then your attempt to cover so much ground would make your composition hazy and incomplete in the development of necessary details.
49. The Order of Arranging Material.-After you have thought about what you are to include, your next step is to determine where you are to put the different topics, or divisions, in your talk. The following orders of arranging material will be of service to you. Decide which order best suits your talkhave a reason for that order, and follow it consistently, unless some other plan appears more satisfactory. Sometimes a combination of orders may be desirable.
(a) The time order. The time order is no doubt the simplest to follow. It is merely taking up things in your talk in the order in which they would take place in actual life. If you were telling of a trip you took, you would perhaps employ this order. Or if you were explaining how to run an automobile, you would tell in the first of your talk the first thing a learner would have to know or begin doing. Then you would continue with what should be done next.
(b) The physical relationship order. The physical relationship order means that you discuss things according to their physical relationship to one another. It often involves the idea of the nearness of one object to another. Your book of physiology that describes the human hand may begin with the thumb. The next thing discussed is that which is physically nearest, the first finger,-and so on with the remainder of the fingers, each one described as it stands nearest to the previous one. Sometimes, however, the items which should be discussed together may not be near each other, but may have some other physical relation. If, in explaining the mechanism of an engine, you speak of a lever at one end that operates a valve at the opposite end, you are using the physical relationship order.
(c) The mental relationship order. This order is similar to the one just discussed. It says that things closely related in thought should be put close to one another. The author of a grammar, when he comes to the chapter on the parts of speech, first defines and discusses the noun. He does not then take up the preposition or the participle, but he very logically next deals with that part of speech which in our minds is most related to the noun, namely, the pronoun. Then follows the adjective and other parts, accordingly as they are related to those that immediately preceded.
(d) The order of going from the simple to the complex. Most of our books of science are built on this plan,--books of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and so on. The first few propositions in geometry are very simple as compared with those some twenty pages farther on. Not only are many of our science
texts written in this order, but the whole of our educational system is quite logically based on this principle of beginning with what is simple and advancing to what is more difficult. You should employ this method in dealing with topics that are not well understood by your hearers.
(e) The climax order. This order consists in arranging your material so that there will be a gradual advance in the importance of topics, the most important coming last. It is a kind of persuasive order, one appealing to our feelings. Do not employ it too frequently, or let it be shown in a noticeable that your arrangement is climax, because it is some what exclamatory and emotional.
(f) The interest or prejudice order. Here you tell at the first of your talk what will most likely catch the attention of your hearers, or remove any prejudice they may have against you or your subject. Suppose you wished to talk on “How the Social Life of Ants Resembles the Social Life of Man.' If you believe your hearers are not especially interested in this topic, you had better give at the first of your talk some point that will appeal to them immediately. You might do this by bringing in an unusual, unexpected statement about a certain species of ant in South Africa, the fact that these ants have what is known as "milch cows.' Or, perhaps your hearers are prejudiced against what you have to say. In this case you should present at the beginning of your talk the point you think they will have the least objection to, the one they will come the nearest to believing. This point itself may be worth little or nothing, so far as the development of your subject is concerned; but indirectly it is of immense value if your hearers accept it. For when they accept one statement from you, they will be more inclined to accept another; they get into the habit of agreeing with you.
50. Some Things You Should Avoid Doing.–You may feel inclined to employ some of the following methods, because you have found them helpful in public speaking, and because you think they ought to aid you in giving a better oral composition. But remember that public speaking is more formal, more lengthy and more detailed, and supposed to be more accurate than oral composition. At first these things may seem to aid you in giving longer and more accurate talks, but you will not, at the same time, be improving your informal oral speech.
(a) Do not memorize what you are to say. (See Sec. 27.)
(b) Do not write out what you are to say. If you write out your talk, you will have a tendency to try to recall how you expressed yourself in writing. Writing out your talk beforehand destroys that spontaneity and freedom so desirable in oral expression.
(c) Do not talk from notes. (See Sec. 28.)
(d) Do not take notes on what you expect to give as an oral composition. Note-taking here applies to your culling of facts from magazines, books, and other sources from which you may obtain information. You will be tempted to jot down points from your readings and from other sources, with the idea of looking over them later, preparatory to giving your talk. One of the aims of oral composition is to get you into the habit of reading or observing important things in different places and of assimilating and digesting these facts so that you will be able to retain and re-tell them in an orderly fashion.
(e) Do not make a written outline. You should, it is true, know what points to talk on and in what order they come, but the outline should be the simple mental outline previously discussed. This kind of outline will prove to be much more workable than you think, and when you have once accustomed yourself to using it, you will not care to employ the written outline as an aid to oral work.
(f) Do not make yourself too prominent in your talk. This advice applies to compositions in which you are an actor or play some part. Other people do not like to hear us talk too much of ourselves; to offend your hearer is to lose him.
51. How to Begin Your Talk.-State at the first of your composition what you are to talk on, and give such brief introductory matter as will set your hearers at ease and cause them to be interested. Then enter at once into your real subject. Do not indulge in unnecessary preliminaries, finicky exactness and commonplace details about weather conditions, unimportant names, and irrelevant dates. If these things have no bearing on what you are saying, omit them.