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How to Hold an Audience
A COLLECTION OF SHORT
COPYRIGHT 1908 BY
FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY
wahr 9-4-30 22290
In preparing this volume the author has been guided by his own platform experience extending over twelve years. During that time he has given hundreds of public recitals before audiences of almost every description, and in all parts of the country. It may not be considered presumptuous, therefore, for him to offer some practical suggestions on the art of entertaining and holding an audience, and to indicate certain selections which he has found have in themselves the elements of success.
The "encore fiend," as he is sometimes called, is so ubiquitous and insistent that no speaker or reader can afford to ignore him, and, indeed, must prepare for him in advance. To find material that will satisfy him in one or in a dozen of the ordinary books of selections is an almost impossible task. It is only too obvious that many compilations of the kind are put together by persons who have had little or no practical platform experience. In an attempt to remedy this defect this volume has been prepared.
It is believed that the book will be valuable not only to the amateur and the professional reader, speaker, elocutionist, and entertainer, but also to the after-dinner and impromptu speaker, the politician who wants to make a "hit," the business man who wishes to tell a good story and tell it effectively, the school-teacher in arranging her "Friday Afternoon" programs, as well as for reading aloud in the family circle, and for many other occasions.
Providing, as this work does, helpful hints on how to hold an audience, it is hoped that the additional suggestions offered regarding the use of the voice and its modulation, the art of pausing, the development of feeling and energy, the use of gesture and action, the cultivation of the imagination, the committing of selections to memory, and the standing before an audience, while not as elaborate and detailed as found in a regular manual of elocution, will be of practical benefit to those who can not conveniently command the services of a personal instructor.
The author has been greatly assisted in this undertaking not only by the kind permission of publishers and authors to use their copyrighted work, but also by the hearty cooperation of many distinguished platform speakers and readers who have generously contributed successful selections not hitherto published.
The author gratefully acknowledges the special permission granted him by the publishers to print the following copyright selections: "Keep A-goin'!" the Bobbs-Merrill Company; "A Modern Romance," the Publishers of The Smart Set; "The Fool's Prayer," Houghton, Mifflin & Company; "Mammy's Li'l' Boy," and " 'Späcially Jim," the Century Company; "Counting One Hundred," the Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company; "At Five O'clock Tea,” the Publishers of Lippincott's Magazine.
New York City,