How did the “Prince of Preachers” master the art of public speaking? Here are ten tips from Spurgeon’s lecture “On the Voice” (Lectures to My Students 11:117-135).
1. Posture Up!
“Do not speak with your hands in your waistcoat pockets so as to contract your lungs, but throw the shoulders back, as public singers do.”
“Do not lean over a desk while speaking, and never hold the head down on the breast while preaching. Upward rather than downward let the body bend.”
2. Speak with Your Mouth, Not Your Throat or Nose.
“Open wide the doors from which such godly truth is to march forth.”
“One of the surest ways to kill yourself is to speak from the throat instead of the mouth.”
“Evangelists have written of our Lord, ‘He opened his mouth and taught them.’”
“Avoid the use of the nose as an organ of speech, for the best authorities are agreed that it is intended to smell with.”
3. “R” ticulate.
“Abhor the practice of some men, who will not bring out the letter “r” such a habit is ‘vewy wuinous and wediculous, vewy wetched and wepwehensible.’”
“Excessively rapid speaking, tearing and raving into utter rant, is quite as inexcusable; it is not, and never can be powerful, except with idiots, for it turns what should be an army of words into a mob, and most effectually drowns the sense in floods of sound.”
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