CorinnaMuntean and MernaSadikPerformance Communication (COM 307) Final Exam1. The word elocution originally referred to effective literary or oratorical style. Between1650 and 1750, however, a shift in connotation took place, and the term elocution was applied tothe manner of oral delivery rather than to the written style of a composition. Pronuntatio, whichhad meant primarily the management of voice and body, gradually took on our modern meaningof pronunciation as the correct phonation of individual words. These shifts in meaning had takenplace by 1750, and the term elocution had come to connote a considerable degree of emphasis ondelivery.Thomas Sheridan, father of the famous dramatist Richard Brinsley, Sheridan and himself anactor, published his Course of Lectures on Elocution in 1763. This book came out stronglyagainst artifialities and stressed the method of natural conversation in the oral presentation ofliterature. Sheridan thus became known as the leader of the ―natural school.‖ His thesis was thatelocution should follow the laws of nature. He held that body and voice are natural phenomenaand are therefore subject to the laws of nature. He pointed out that nature gives to the passionsand emotions certain tones, looks, and gestures that are perceived through the ear and the eye.Therefore, he contended, the elocutionist reproduce these tones, looks, and gestures as nearly aspossible in presenting literature orally to an audience.As often happens in the application of a theory, however, Sheridan became trapped in hisefforts to be specific, and he began to evolve a system of markings and cues for the discoveryand reproduction of these ―natural‖ tones and gestures. By the end of his career, he had becomethe exponent of a method that, judged by modern standards, was much more mechanical thannatural. Nevertheless, the term natural school has persisted to the present day.
The academic study of interpretation centered on the unique and powerful rewardsperformance offered the literary study of texts. We study oral interpretation/performancebecause we’re showcasing a person’s abilities to get inside the author’s head and be creative.We’re valuing literary works and recognizing that technical skills enhance and refine the act ofperformance both for audiences and interpreters themselves. This class allows the student tohave confidence and help them become disciplined and learn how to be persuasive in making theaudience believe they’re the characters in the scene. The audience can give a lot of feedback byclapping, laughing, and screaming. The reactions from the audience and feedback from theprofessors and teachers’ assistants will help the performer grow tremendously. Plus, the classinvolves a lot of memorization. Students are required to rehearse scripts and gain musclememory by doing so. This help students during job interviews because they can find out ifthey’re not moving enough or if they’re moving too much. The audience can learn a lot whentheir classmates perform, especially if people make the same mistakes as they do. Students canalso ask each other for advice. The variety of literary selections (prose, sonnet, humorous prose)can bring out different sides of the performer and help them find out what they’re passionateabout. The final performance can help the performer reflect on their mistakes and work ontrying to fix them, so they can own the piece.By the beginning of the twentieth century, a number of colleges were offering courses inelocution or expression, but most students did not include speech in their program of studiesunless they were preparing themselves for the ministry, politics, or law. Most of those whowished to do ―platform work‖ as ―readers‖ enrolled in private schools or studios. There theyworked under teachers often three or four times removed from the originators of basically sound
theories, receiving instruction that, having filtered through several personalities, was stronglyflavored by the individual teacher’s own taste and understanding.Professors teach: specific hand gestures, highly obtrusive vocal technique, and the use ofmaterials of questionable literary merit, thus perpetuating not only the more regrettable excessesand misconceptions in vogue in the early years of the century but also a confusion in terminologyand in standards of performance. According to WiseGeek’s website, ―Reading an excerpt from abook or poem out loud allows a speaker to make that excerpt as dramatic or banal as theychoose. The excerpt can take on new life depending on how the speaker interprets its meaning,nuances, and vocal patterns. Such a reading -- and the process of assigning ones own vocalperformance to the excerpt -- is called oral interpretation.An oral interpretation can apply to any type of writing, from poetry to prose,from fiction to non-fiction, from humorous to dramatic. The performer will interpret the lines oftext to deduce what key emotion they want to convey, and they will give their vocal deliverybased on that emotion. The idea of oral interpretation was borne from the desire to give textsmore character and emotion beyond a dry, flat, or monotone delivery.The style of an oral interpretation depends less on the actual text and more on the readersperformance, which allows the reader to transform the words into any mood they wish toachieve. It is not unheard of for a reader to take a dramatic excerpt and read it in a humorousmanner in order to play up the subtle melodrama in the subtext, or vice versa. While the actualtext of the excerpt certainly does matter, the manner in which the performer delivers the text canenhance or detract from whats written by stressing ideas or emotions of the readers choosing,rather than those of the author.
2. From earliest times, the spoken word has attracted audience and influenced theirthinking. The history of public speaking has been traced by numerous authorities, which haveshown that its thread has been unbroken from the fourth century B.C. to the present. Oralinterpretation, too, even though its genesis and growth as a distinct art may be less easy to define,has a long linage of its own.The art of interpretation probably had its beginnings with the rhapsodists of ancientGreeks, poets who gathered to read their works in public competitions. However, the emergenceof interpretation as a field of study in its own rights was delayed, because for a long time it wassubsumed in oratory and rhetoric. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, actors and ministerswere given extensive training in what was, in reality, interpretation.American colleges were already giving some attention to literature at the beginning of thenineteenth century. As early as 1806, when John Quincy Adams, assumed the chair of rhetoricand oratory, Harvard University, which from its founding had carried on the medieval traditionof ―declamations‖ and ―disputations,‖ was offering a few courses that included the interpretiveapproach to literary materials.In the nineteenth century, two names stand out above all others in the history ofinterpretation. The first is that of an American, James Rush (1768-1869), a medical doctor turnedspeech teacher and lecturer. Rush confined hiself almost entirely to the study of vocal projection.He believed that the management of the voice is in reality not an art but a science, and he wenton great lengths to develop an appropriate vocabulary for that science. Rush developed elaboratecharts and markings for pitch, force, abruptness, quality, and time. He was convinced that rulescould be developed to govern the analysis of vocal technique, although he was careful to point
out that the practice of these rules must be accompanied by concentration on the literature beingread. Rush’s use of appropriate scientific method and vocabulary and his studies of themechanisms of the human voice were valuable contributions to the field of speech.The second significant name in the nineteenth-century interpretation of Francois Delsarte(1811-1871). About the time Rush’s method was making its way in America, Delsarte wasdelivering lectures in France on elocution and calisthenics. He left no writings, but so strong washis influence that many of his students recorded his philosophy and system in great detail. TheDelsarte system concerned itself entirely with bodily action, and it became accepted complementof Dr. Rush’s treatises on vocal management. Delsarte based his system on a philosophy of theinterrelation of the human soul, mind, and body and on a complicated and highly mysticalconcept of a corresponding triune relationship throughout the entire universe. Despite thisphilosophical premise, the system became mechanical in the extreme. The people Rush andDelsarte influenced often concentrated on the application of techniques rather than on the reasonfor the techniques.Near the close of the nineteenth century, the natural school received new impetus underthe leadership of Samuel Silas Curry (1847-1921). His book, The Province of Expression,published in Boston in 1891, was based on the premise that the mind, to express an idea, mustactively hold that idea and thus dictate the appropriate means of expression. This theory hesummed up in the admonition ―Think the thought!‖ Many teachers began to assert that thetraining of voice and body were wholly artificial and mechanical procedures, and thatcomprehension of thought and active concentration on that thought will alone ensure adequateprojection of any material to an audience.
One of the most interesting and influential teachers in America at the close of the centurywas Charles Wesley Emerson (1837-1908), founder of the Emerson College of Oratory. HisEvolution of Expression (1905) stressed vocal technique and gymnastics for their therapeuticvalue as well as for their contribution to the techniques of communicating literature.By the end of the nineteenth century, then, three distinct groups had emerged. Onemilitantly carried on the traditions of the mechanical school. Another, distrustful of mechanics,relied on the natural method and developed in the direction of ―think the thought.‖ A third wascomposed of a few independents that found some values in each camp and attempted to blend thetwo approaches.During the same time period, Victorian interest in earnest self-improvement andedification gave rise to emporiums for the dispersal of culture – for example, the LyceumMovement, and more prominently, the Chautauqua Institution. At its most influential time,Chautauqua established nationwide book clubs and correspondence schools; great readers,speakers, and artists performed on its lecture platforms. From across the country came the callfor performers and a full complement of touring guest artists and readers, who covered thecountry with uplifting reading and speeches, lectures, and programs. Famous readers or lecturers– Charles Dickens and Wendell Phillips, for example – were paid considerably for their personalappearances.20THCentury:In the beginning of the twentieth century, a number of colleges were offering courses inelocution or expression, but most students did not include speech in their programs unless theywere preparing themselves for ministry, politics, or law. The material presented in speech classes
was filtered through several personalities and was strongly flavored by the individual teacher’sown taste and understanding. Each school had its own course of study and its own emphasis.And each prided itself on its independence and its difference from others. Each school onlyemphasized its own individuality rather than working with the others toward solidarity and unityof purpose among all teachers in the field.An important link between the theorists and teachers of the nineteenth century and thepresent is principals of vocal expression (1897) by William B. Chamberlain and Salomon H.Clark. This book, acknowledged a deep indebtedness to Curry, stressed the interaction of mindand body and of ―instincts‖ for a reason.With the advance of the twentieth century, departments of speech grew in stature incolleges and universities and became more fully accepted members of the academic society. Theperiod of the 1940’s was one of transition and stabilization. Interest in history and researchincreased, as described by Mary Margret Rob in Oral interpretation of Literature in AmericanColleges and Universities (1947) and as evidenced by the establishment of doctoral programs inthe field. In the 1950’s and the 1960’s, the academic study of interpretation centered on theunique and powerful rewards performance offered the literary study of texts. It followed, then,that during this period several analytical studies of individual texts, authors, and genresinfluenced the development of theory. Each of theses studies identified and analyzed the uniqueways performance helped discover, understand, or appreciate different kinds of information.During the 1970s changing ideas about the social responsibilities of literature andchanging perspectives on the nature of performance outside the academic establishment began toaffect the three prevalent theories of interpretation. Literary studies continued to influence
interpretation theory, but as literary theory began to reflect the insides obtained throughdeconstruction, post-structuralism, and the decentering of the literary text, contemporaryinterpretation theory had to confront new concepts of ―text.‖ If the definition of text wasexpanding, so too was the nature, variety, function, and extent of ―performance,‖ such asconsidering Marxist or Feminist perspectives.The last decade of the twentieth-century and the beginning of a new century sawscholars, studying performance in a number of venues and in a variety of ways. The field ofperformance studies still centered of performance of literature, but also included manyinterdisciplinary trajectories of both theory and practice. Among the many ways performanceexpanded were performance in everyday life, performance of popular culture, and performanceof traditionally unrepresented groups. Performance that interrogated issues of identity and theself, and performance that sought to make specific interventions in the world.As we move into an era of even more dynamic communication, we must recognize howsocial consciousness, political awareness, philosophical acumen, anthropological sensitivity, andresponsiveness to developing literary theory work together to make us all better global citizens.For most present-day interpreters, it doesn’t so much matter what the performance of literature iscalled as long as the literature is performed. Contemporary theatre itself is not confined to theperformance of plays. Novels are staged and performance art thrives. Today’s performancepractice celebrates multi-vocal texts that defy categorization and leave audiences to resolve whatthey are or what they mean. Students of oral interpretation and performance study performingany way they can, any place they find it, any way it’s done.
3. Sir Ken Robinson, a teacher and a professional speaker on creativity said that,"creativity is an original thought that has value." When performing, a performer must beinnovative and put his or her creative thoughts into action. They should uses different voices(tonecolor/onomatopeia and pitches) to set the mood and really own the piece. Furthermore, theperformer should also use bodily movements (face gestures, spacial relations, hand movements,and posture). Spacial relations refers to the distance from the performer to the audience. A goodperformer can be calm under pressure and use his or her creativity to improvise, so that everymovement seems natural. It shouldnt seem like the performer is thinking as she or he goes. Beyourself because no one wants to see an imitation of someone else. Just go with your impulsesand have fun! Get inside the characters mind to figure out his or her thought process. As aninterpreter, you have to use your creativity and think about how they would react to thissituation. If theyre cold, then they would shiver. The costume can also fit into the category ofcreativity. It should correlate with the scene(s) that youre performing.3. One touchstone of good writing is creativity – the writers own fresh approach to a universalsubject. This quality is revealed in choice of words, images, and method of organization. You cannotdecide whether the author has handled the subject with creativity unless you have some acquaintance witha wide variety of literature. After some time and experience, you will be able to recognize that creativityresults in large part from the author’s selectivity and control and is reflected in both content and structure.The creative process is important to the performance of literature because it is the process ofchange, of development, of evolution, in the organization of subjective life. Every creative act overpassesthe established order in some way and in some degree. C.G. Jung remarked “The work in processbecomes the poet’s fate and determines his physic development.”Creation begins typically with a vague excitement, yearning, a hunch, a generalization, anadventure, a sense of self-surrender. It may appear spontaneously and involuntarily, but far from being
complete. There is a real opposition between the conscious and the unconscious and the unconsciousactivity does subsist in the limitations, which the former imposes on the latter. What is needed is controland direction.The creative process in its unconscious action has often been compared to the growth of a child inthe womb. The creative and conclusion is never in full sight at the beginning and is brought into viewonly when the process is complete. It must crystalize for the artist with self-surrender and concentrationand patient understanding, discipline and hard work. Sir Ken Robinson, a teacher and a professionalspeaker on creativity said that, "creativity is an original thought that has value." When performing, aperformer must be innovative and put his or her creative thoughts into action. They should uses differentvoices (tone color/onomatopoeia and pitches) to set the mood and really own the piece. Furthermore, theperformer should also use bodily movements (face gestures, spacial relations, hand movements, andposture). A spacial relation refers to the distance from the performer to the audience. A good performercan be calm under pressure and use his or her creativity to improvise, so that every movement seemsnatural. It shouldnt seem like the performer is thinking as she or he goes. Be yourself because no onewants to see an imitation of someone else. Just go with your impulses and have fun! Get inside thecharacters mind to figure out his or her thought process. As an interpreter, you have to use yourcreativity and think about how they would react to this situation. If theyre cold, then they would shiver.The costume can also fit into the category of creativity. It should correlate with the scene(s) that youreperforming.4. The term technique does not imply artificially in the use of body and voice. In fact, thefiner the technique is, the less apparent it should be to the audience. Technique may be definedas style of performance. The interpreter develops and uses technique as a means communicatingthe text; the text is not used as a vehicle for displaying technique. You develop vocal and bodilyby practicing, so that your muscles will respond to the demands made on them without apparent
prompting or effort. Bodily action may be defined as any movement of the muscles of the body.This movement may be an elaborate gesture or merely a relaxing or tensing of the small musclesaround the eyes or mouth, across the shoulders and back, or in the legs. It may be a combinationof any or all of these movements. All aspects of the bodily action speak to an audience, whetherthe performer intends them or not. One common problem occurs when the performer’s gesturesor bodily habits override a character’s habits. We recognize that bodily action - like voice - isone part of creating character. The performer must take care that the audience sees the bodilyaction intended for the character, not some habitual (and easily overlooked) habit of theperformer.The basis of effective bodily action is good posture, which is primarily a matter ofcomfortable positional relations among the various parts of the body. Good posture is thearrangement of the bones and muscles so that each unit does its job of supporting and controllingthe bodily structure without unnecessary tension or strain. Kinesics offers a way to look at theinteraction between what the voice is saying and what the body is saying. Kinesics is the study offine and gross bodily movement, gesture, posture, and locomotion. Its also known as bodylanguage or nonverbal communication.A gesture may be defined as any movement that helps express or emphasize an idea oremotional response. Gesture includes both clearly discernable bodily movement and subtlechanges in posture and muscle tone. Many people still think of gesture in its narrowest sense - asan overt action of the hands and arms and occasionally the head and shoulders. these parts of thebody do not function as separate entities, however. Rather, they involve a ―follow-through‖ thatboth affects and is affected by the degree of muscular tension in every other part of the body. Aneffective gesture amplifies or enriches the meaning of the text; it does not simply repeat the
denotative information of the words. Gesture isn’t telling us anything more than the words tellus, and thus it is a mimetic gesture. Your use gesture normally depends on two considerations.The first is your material. You should use whatever bodily action is necessary to make themeaning clear to your audience and to convey the emotional quality effectively. The secondconsideration is the personality and capacity of the interpreter. Nevertheless, responsiveness issuch an important factor in the total process of communication that you would do well to workon gestures consciously during rehearsal.When you rehearse gestures, this big action, forms yourmuscle memory. Such personal mannerisms are called autistic gestures because they grow out ofyour own personality, divert attention away from what you’re saying and to you and prevent theaudience from concentrating on your materialMuscle tone refers to the degree of tension or relaxation present in the entire body.Muscle tone occurs as a result of muscle memory, complete response to the material, and theinterpreter’s concentration on sharing that material with the audience. Performance anxiety isthe muscle tone that is also affected by the performer’s mental and emotional state. The key is tochannel the tension into the performance so that it becomes an asset and not a hazard.Literature rich in universality and suggestion depends for much of its effectiveness on theskillful use of sense imagery. Images that appear predominantly to the sense of sight are calledvisual;to the sense of hearing, auditory; to the sense of taste, gustatory; and to the sense of smell,olfactory. the sense of touch is appealed to intactual (or tactile) imagery, which involves asensation of physical contact, pressure, or texture, and in thermal imagery which refers to thefeelings of heat and cold. the first is Kinetic imagery, which refers to large, overt actions of themuscles: running, jumping, sitting down, and walking away. The second type is Kinestheticimagery, which refers to muscle tension and relaxation. Kinesthetic imagery is closely related to
muscle memory and resultant muscle tone. you should identify fully with the how and the why ofthe actions performed by the personae or the characters in a selection. A kinesthetic response isalso involved in our reactions to height and distance. Imagery contributes strongly to theeffectiveness of the intrinsic factors. The interpreter must not allow variety to overshadow orviolate the essential unity but rather use this variety to fulfill its purpose of relief, in a sense toreinforce the unity. In the matter of balance and proportion, imagery is often used to weight aunit with this added vividness the section is comparable to a more detailed unit.One of the interpreters most powerful tools is the control and use of empathy, whichliterally means "feeling into" and it results from the ability and willingness to project yourselfintellectually and emotionally into a piece of literature or any other type of art. This emotionalassociation enables you to embody to mental and the emotional states of the speaker andcharacters in the selection. Such identification results in a corresponding physical response. Theinteraction of these emotional and physical responses, as they intensify each other, is the basis ofempathy as it concerns the interpreter. As an interpreter, you respond fully to these words andphrases. If you have not experienced precisely what the author is describing or creating, recallsome parallel or approximate situation that has evoked a comparable response in you. Empathyworks for the interpreter in three distinct steps: from the literature to the interpreter, from theinterpreter to the audience, and from the audience back to the interpreter. The participationcombined with intellect, emotions, and body is the first step to empathy. Thus, the first step inempathy is your own response to the stimulus provided by the literature. Without this response,the second step is impossible. The second step in empathy has to do with the audiences responseto the interpreters material. During your introduction, you can use this element to establish anemotional readiness in the audience. The third step in empathy is the interpreters ultimate
reward: the audience sends back an empathetic response through its concentration and itsalternating tension and relaxation. You will feel listeners respond, see them lean forward, hearthem laugh. Thus, the cycle is complete: from the printed page to the interpreter, out to theaudience, and back to the interpreter.Using your body in rehearsal will effectively help you during your performance. Everyperformance requires a careful rehearsal. Eye contact will allow your body to speak theliterature, just as your voice does. To do this, you must visualize whatever the speaker sees. If,as a performer, you see it before you describe it, your audience will see it with you; in a sense,the audience sees it ―reflected‖ in your eyes. Focus your attention on the character who is beingaddressed on the audience – your analysis has helped you to determine the focus of any giventime. It becomes apparent how useful locus can be in directing you to the most appropriatechoice.Once you know who is speaking, determine from what vantage points the persona speaks.Locus refers to the physical and psychological positions from which the speaker relates theevents to the audience. Locus encompasses both time and space. You already know some of itsrelated words: location, locale, and locate. In the most basic sense, then, the locus of the work isthe place where the action occurs. Locus also involves the relationship between the speaker of agiven line and the world that the speaker inhabits - not just the rooms or streets or buildings inthe story but the audience to whom the speaker addresses that line and the relationship thespeaker enjoys with that audience. Each time the locus changes is each time the relationshipbetween the speaker and audience changes. Finally, for some interpreters, locus has an evenlarger scope. A poem, short story, or play evokes an attitude toward the events it recounts. Thisattitude is not simply the same perspective as the point of view of the narrator, although the
narrative perspective obviously contributes to it.Use aesthetic entirety. Did you fix some of the problems from previous performances?Did you achieve the improvement that you were seeking? Any progress is something to beproud of, so don’t be upset if you don’t meet your expectations. Although the followingquestions relate directly to the chapters on voice development and the use of the body, they alsoapply to any performance you give. Why not ask a classmate to compare answers with you? 1.Could you be heard? Could you be understood? These are not always the same thing. Why? 2.Was your breath control satisfactory and comfortable? Did you find yourself running out ofbreath at places you previously had under control? What happened in the lines just precedingthese new problem areas? 3. Were you able to control and vary the pace to support the demandsof your selection? Remember, audiences listen at a much slower rate than you can speak. Givethem time to understand. 4. Were you careful to use pauses effectively, being sure that you didnot break the unity or destroy the harmony, but made use of variety and contrast to achievebalance and proportion, to bring out the climaxes, and to suggest the fulcrum? Was yourconcentration steady during the pauses? 5. Was there a regional dialect or melody pattern inyour selection – or in your performance – that interfered with the audience’s full enjoyment ofthe personae? Was monotone a problem? 6. Was your body communicating what your voicewas communicating? Did your body and your voice complement each other? Did youremember that your performance begins the instant you leave your seat and continues until youreturn to it? 7. Did your body respond to the imagery honestly without ignoring the intrinsicfactors? 8. Did you notice any physical mannerisms that inhibited what you were trying tocommunicate?These questions were also helpful in analyzing the performances of other readers.
Remember to be descriptive: (1) select one striking moment in another’s performance and see ifyou can describe precisely what the performer did to achieve such distinction. Take the time tosketch verbally exactly what the performer’s body was doing and exactly how the performer’svoice behaved at that moment. (2) Compare your responses with those of your classmates. (3)Now, together, compare all of these descriptions with the actual text of the selection. Did theperformance coincide with the selection? How? Did it veer away from what the authorintended? Where? How? Why?There are major aesthetic components. These intrinsic factors are unity and harmony,variety and contrast, balance and proportion, and rhythm; which are not separate entities. Unityis the combining and ordering of all the parts that make up the whole. It consists of elements ofcontent and form that hold the writing together and keep the readers and listeners minds focusedon the total effect. Connectives such as and, then, next, a few hours later, and after this areimportant because they hold the material together. Harmony is the appropriate adjustment ofparts to one another to form a satisfying whole, the concord between the idea and the way thatidea is expressed. Harmony is achieved in part through the authors choice of words, thesentence structure, and the relationship of phrases and clauses within sentences. Then, itdepends to a large extent on elements of style. In poetry, rhythmic elements serve to enhanceharmony. Next is variety and contrast. Literature lacks variety and contrast, which is not likelyto hold a readers attention for long. Variety is provided when two things of the same generalkind differ from each other in one or more details. Contrast is concerned with the opposition ordifferences between associated things; such as dark against light.Because proportion provides balance, the two factors should be considered together.Balance can be restored by an adjustment of proportions, either by moving the fulcrum toward
the end on which the heavier weight rests or by moving the heavier object closer to the fulcrum.When equal weights or quantities lie at equal distances from a central point (or fulcrum), thebalance is said to be symmetrical. For example, identical candlesticks placed equidistant fromthe center of a mantelpiece provide a symmetrical balance. Perfect balance is satisfying to thesenses, but sometimes the asymmetrical or unequal balance achieved by an adjustment ofdistance, weights, and masses may be more interesting and effective. Balance is brought aboutby the intensity or the proportion of content on either side of the point at which the entireselection seems to pivot and change direction. This point of balance occurs at the crisis in astory or a play. In a poem, as on a seesaw, it is called the fulcrum. The fulcrum, or point ofbalance, may or may not coincide with either the logical or emotional climax. In the literature,rhythm is usually thought of as an element of poetic structure, such as the relationship betweenstressed and unstressed syllables. Rhythm, however, is an important aspect of content as well.Rhythm of content evolves from the interaction of logical and emotional content. The briefer aselection is, the more important rhythm of content is likely to be. Rhythm of content isimportant to an interpreter because most people are able to concentrate fully and exclusively onan idea for only a brief time.There is no doubt that the manner in which we assume and command the platform has ahuge bearing on how well we are perceived as speakers, as communicators. And importantly,how well the audience takes in our message. Speaking to people is in some ways the same asleading them: it is essential to command attention and respect, not demand it. The manner inwhich we stand and deliver our presentation, quite apart from the words we use, will always havea significant bearing on the outcome. In the well-known 7/38/55 rule we learn how most of theimpression we make on our audience comes not from our words, but rather how we speak, and
how we physically conduct ourselves while presenting. With this in mind, lets take a look at afew things that can make or break a great presentation. Remembering that these same principlespretty much apply whether we are appearing in person before a small group, a 1000 people or forthat matter being videoed. Lets first take a quick look at some common distractions that besetspeakers. Actually, they distract the audience even more.Some speakers maintain a poise like a statue, whilst maintaining a vice like grip of thelectern like it was a matter of life or death. And keep that up for the duration of their speech. Thisconveys the impression that the speaker is delivering bad news. Really bad news. Or that they arereally terrified. I suppose I should add that the first few times I appeared before a significantaudience I felt like it was life or death! Now, there is nothing wrong with periodically restingour hands on the lectern, or the like, but just dont fasten onto it like a drowning man. Nor is it agreat idea to resemble a gymnast or a dancer by continually prancing around the stage. OK,unless you are one. It is trendy for speakers today to be continually mobile whilst on theplatform. Some mobility can be a good thing, depending on the event and the speakingenvironment. But it is not helpful to resemble a prowling lion in a cage: continually walkingback and forth from end to end of the platform. Like salt in food, a little bit goes a long way andmore doesnt always equal better. This can become little more than a distraction to the audience,and can be real a pain for the AV team if we are being videotaped, or the lighting team if they arecontinually trying to maintain lighting on us.Its always good if we have the time and ability to rehearse our stage manner with theevent team, no matter how large or small the event is. This will identify audio dead spots, ensurewe dont block out any visual screens and generally allow them to best perform their job.Remember, we as speakers are there to serve our hosts, not ourselves, and make their event a
success. Some speakers forget this. It is always best to try to be as natural as possible. Maintaingood eye contact with our audience. Use some whole of body gestures, our body language to talkto the audience. By example, I sometimes say that when speaking to an audience requiringtranslators, it should almost be possible to speak without the translators and have the differentlanguage groups understand us, if our voice tone and body language are working properly and insync. If we are reading our audience and listening to them, and they are doing the same with us.This means that physical gestures, our entire body movement should be as natural as if we weresimply speaking to two or three friends at a BBQ. As with most elements of great publicspeaking, an ounce of experience is better than a ton of theory once we have the rightunderstanding of it.5. The importance of an introduction is to inform your audience about the background of the piecethey are about to hear; not necessarily what the piece is about, but what they need to know beforehand inorder to understand the meaning of the piece. Providing information such as the title and the author of thepiece is needed unless the piece is common and your audience is familiar with it. Though many membersof the classroom audience are likely to be familiar with the selection that you’ve chosen, you can’t be surethat the entire audience knows its intricacies. Moreover, if you have excerpted a section from a largerwork, the audience needs to know what happened just before you join it.It is best to make sure that your introduction identifies the title and author of the selection. Also,the introduction should prepare the audience for the events that occur as you join the selection; if youhave excerpted your selection, you need to bring your audience up to the point you join work. Finally,you should establish the persona who will present the work: are you the narrator who describes whathappens to others? Are you the narrator/character who lives within the selection? You could introduce thepiece “New Words” by saying:
My son – who is a fully active two-year old – is learning words pretty rapidly these days. Becauselast night was so warm and clear, I took him outside to see the night sky, and though I wantedhim to learn, I think maybe I discovered more than he did. He was in my arms and we were in theback yard and of our house, and I said to him:You then begin the poem just as the author did. This introduction mentioned neither the title nor theauthor, but if your audience already knows the work, mentioning them may not be necessary.Alternatively, for your introduction you could select a sentence that features a key phrase, makebrief additional comments in your own words, and proceed directly to the performance. Don’t tell theaudience what they are about to hear; prepare them to listen and watch intelligently. For example, perhapsa literature class is reading American women’s fiction, ad you volunteer to perform Kate Chopin’s story.Your introduction might go something like this:Sometimes we think not much can happen to us in the space of an hour, but Kate Chopin tells thestory of a woman who in even less time came to understand what her life could be. Writing at theend of the nineteenth century Chopin’s subtle economic stories distinguished her among thewomen writing at the time. This is Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour.”In short, tailor your introduction to the work you have selected to perform, as well as to the audience thathas assembled to experience your performance.7. Plays are organized on the principles of unity and probability. We said their basic ingredientis conflict. The ways in which conflict is presented, developed, and resolved vary widely. Ingeneral, however, the opening scenes of a play are devoted to exposition through action anddialogue. Then comes the challenge that introduces the inciting or exciting force. Several suchunits may develop. The subsequent moves and countermoves among the characters produce atightening of conflict (the rising action). The rising action comes to a point of decision in the
crisis. The crisis is that moment of limitation that directs the action to its final outcome. Thecrisis makes inevitable and brings about the climax, and the culmination of all the elements ofthe conflict. The climax is followed by the denouement, or resolution, or, in tragedy, theinevitable catastrophe. Most dramas follow some variation of this general form; in the changesand alterations, each drama achieves its unique pattern. These events or occurrences should notbe confused with plot. Plot can’t be separated from the characters. We call plot all that thecharacters say and do, and we know about characters from what they say and do and from whatothers say about and do to them. A plot is not a play, and a play is not simply its plot. AntonChekhov’s the Three Sisters, some people say, is about three women who don’t go to Moscow.It is true that the sisters never reach that destination. Still, this description shows very littleunderstanding of what the sisters do reach, or how they get it, or what it costs, or what happensalong the way.Examining a scene will help you find explicit and hidden clues about characters. TheThree Sisters is a play about time filled with the minutiae of life. Much of the action seems notto get anybody anywhere. But Chekhov recognized what we all know: Only rarely do liveschange because of drastic or melodramatic events. Admittedly, characters must speak if anaudience is to achieve the fullest possible understanding of their lives. But in drama some of themost moving moments are silent ones. That is probably also true of your life. Don’t presumethat nothing happens during a pause. Chekhov uses pauses to describe the agony. Plays areinteractions of characters. Your preparation begins knowing how and where to look for the cluesto understanding these characters. We must analyze the play to understand the full story.Characters in drama, like people in life, represent at least the sum of past experiences.Careful reading can help the performer understand the work. Thus, they can move around and
work it. Dramatic literature presents several challenges to a student, making the readingexperience different than poetry or fiction. Here are some tips for students to make the most outof reading a play. The reader should jot down notes, reactions and questions directly onto thepage or in a journal. Students who record their reactions as they read are more likely toremember the characters and various subplots. Typically, a playwright will briefly describe acharacter as he or she enters the stage. After that point, the characters might never be describedagain. Therefore, it is up to the reader to create a lasting mental image. What does this personlook like? How do they sound? How do they deliver each line? Sometimes the setting of a playseems like a flexible backdrop. For example, A Midsummer Nights Dream takes place in themythological age of Athens, Greece. Yet most productions ignore this, choosing to set the play ina different era, usually Elizabethan England. In other cases, the setting of the play is vitallyimportant. If the time and place is an essential component, students should learn more aboutthe historic details. Some plays can only be understood when the context is evaluated.Interaction becomes fluent as the rhythm of the individuals’ speeches becomes moreobvious. At the same time, how the speeches work off each other will become more apparentand important, because the tempo of the interaction provides the foundation for rhythm. Theindividual speech rhythm of each character is revealed. The style includes what a characteromits as well as what he or she says. The languages a character uses reveals background andattitude. The arrangement of ideas gives a clue to the person’s clarity of thinking and is likely toreflect intensity of emotion. The length of the thought units also may reveal much about acharacter’s personality, forcefulness, and authority as well as the degree of physical tension.Scenography conveys period manners, social customs, and economic conditions to anaudience. All affect the characters. Writers of narratives remind the readers of physical and
psychological impact of surroundings on character. Place can establish a motive, motivate anaction, and describe a world. The scenography paints the picture and makes the character cometo life by using different pitches, tones, and pauses. Lastly, is putting the drama together. Thekey is not to take anything for granted. Take time for a thorough three minute segment ratherthan expect the same amount of rehearsal to prepare you for a five minute scene. Besides,having a thorough knowledge of each character, you should have a constant awareness ofrelationships and of progressions in these relationships. As the actor must learn to hear thespeeches of other characters, the interpreter must learn to have heard, to be sure each character isresponding to what has gone before. All the characters must stay ―in scene‖ and be ready to pickup the progression as they speak. Thus, the interpreter needs to select for each character enoughsignificant physical and vocal details so that the listeners can themselves fill in the outline andmake a three dimensional, believable person. Each personality in each play presents its ownslightly different problems. Some suggestions for handling mechanical details—and they aresuggestions only.6. The rate at which people speak is often habitual, a part of their personalities and their entirebackgrounds. Your customary rate probably serves you very well for ordinary conversation, but you mayneed to adjust this habitual rate to accommodate an author’s style and purpose. Audiences cannot listen asrapidly as a performer can speak. Interpreters must learn to hear themselves in rehearsal and inconversation. Rate is determined not only by the speed with which sounds are uttered in sequence, butalso by the length and frequency of pauses that separate the sequences of sounds. You must recognizephrasal pauses, which clarify the relationships of words in phrases to convey units of thought. The pausemay also become one of your most effective tools for building suspense and climaxes and for reinforcinga selection’s emotional content.
A pause motivated by real understanding may be sustained for a much longer time and withgreater effect than you might realize. You need only be sure that during the pause something relevant tothe material is going on in your own mind and consequently you convey it to the minds of your listeners.You should work not only to use pauses in the most effective places but also to vary and sustain thelengths of the pauses as the material demands.Emphasis can be described as a force or intensity of expression that gives a particular prominencegiven in reading or speaking to one or more syllables. Emphasis can be projected by aparticularstressofutterance,orforceofvoice,givenin reading andspeakingtooneormore wordswhosesignificationthespeaker intends toimpressspeciallyuponhisaudience.The pitch of a sound is its place on the musical scale. In terms of the scale range, pitch is high,medium, or low. It is important for the interpreters to become skillful in using pitch to suggest shades ofmeaning and build climaxes. Changes in pitch give variety and contrast to the material being read andhelp hold the audience’s attention. Because a change in pitch produces inflection, a speaker’s inflectionrange is the entire pitch span between the highest and lowest tones that he or she is capable of makingcomfortably.Any pattern in the variation of levels of pitch results in melody. When there are no discernablechanges of pitch, the result is a monotone. Although melody is an asset to the interpreter, it can alsobecome a problem. Most people have in their daily speech a characteristic pattern of inflections, which ispart of their own personalities. Some of that pattern will be carried over into their work before anaudience. Often, however, a reader’s pattern is so marked that it calls attention to itself and thus gets inthe way of re-creation of the material.The function of onomatopoeia in poetry is to create musicality in the spoken words, and reinforcethe overall theme of the poem. Onomatopoeia is the use of words whose sounds suggest or reinforce theirmeaning: for example, hiss, thud, crack, and bubble. The word "pop," for example, may be used to
describe the loud, jarring sound a cork makes when a bottle of champagne is opened. This literary devicemay be used in conjunction with other techniques to produce music through words alone. It can be used toforce the reader to speak the poem in the exact manner the writer intended to illustrate the completemeaning of his piece. The use of onomatopoeia in poetry may also be paired with other literary devices tocreate theme. The musical sounding words when spoken aloud can repeat the primary concepts addressedby the actual words of the poem.8. When it comes to prose, a reader might have trouble with style, which demonstrates character.How you dress and what you wear are always part of who you are. Style consists of: overallorganization of ideas, steps in developing the central idea, word choice and the relationshipbetween words in a sentence, and syntactical characteristics of a sentence. Then, paragraphsinvolve consideration of the major thought units. Paragraphs usualls suggest a moresophisticated approach and reflect on past experiences. Writers suggest relationships andimportance by what they put together into paragraphs, so make sure to pause between them. Themethods of constructing plots, of delineating characters, of employing settings, do not differappreciably whether a narrative be written in verse or in prose; and in either case the sameselection of point of view and variety of emphasis are possible. Therefore, in this volume, noattempt has hitherto been made to distinguish one type of fictitious narrative from another. Thesuggestion for character delineation is when a performer sketches out or depicts what is goingon. During all of your performances, its essential that you give a concise introduction with solidinformation that illustrates the whole story.8. Performers respond intellectually, emotionally and physically to the aesthetic entirety of the play.Interpreters must solve the technical problems of the play, and they must work in the rehearsals to perfectthe difficult scenes.
Technique means economical management of a performer’s resources. Technical mastery of boththe body and voice allows the interpreter to communicate to an audience all the discoveries made duringthe rehearsal process. Without internal commitment to the selection, technical mastery shows how emptythe interpreter really is. Present the selection not the performer.Some specific problems that the reader may encounter in suggestion of character in drama mayinclude loss of control, failing to memorize the lines, inadequately setting the scene, failing to followstage directions, falsely embodying characters, not showing physical contact, failing to pick up cues, andhaving a misguided angle of placement and physical focus.Control is the fullest possible life of the performance. Interpreters control a scene giving enoughresources so that an audience fully experiences the life of the drama. Failing to control the scene willresult in an inadequate embodiment of the character or scene that is being portrayed.Memorizing lines isnot absolutely necessary. To memorize a scene may be useful because it allows the pace of the scene tocontinue easily with full frontal placement. Creating eye contact with the audience allows you, theperformer, to more clearly share the emotion that the character or scene requires with the audience.Setting a scene suggests that you tell the audience what has happened prior to the first line of yourpresentation. Framing your performance suggests the characters are placed “out front” – “off stage” intothe realm of the audience. Failing to provide animproper introduction will cause the audience to loseinterest in the material that is about to be presented.Props can cause problems for performers. Performermust ensure that mimed props should be treated more carefully than physical props; once they areintroduced they must be concluded. It is always safe to not become too explicit with gestures.To properly embody the character you are trying to portray, you must feel in your muscles thephysical lives of the characters in the scene. Develop one character at a time. Allow the individualities ofthe characters to emerge-walk first-talk second as the characters in your rehearsals always striving to
create them their tempo, rhythm, inflection, range and quality. Embodying the character ties in withcontrol; it is crucial in order to bring the character or scene that is being presented to life.Physical contact is the reflexive physical activity that occurs with the interplay of characters.Characters need to listen to each other. Interpreters develop the ability to pick up a speech midway into atrain of thought to “have heard” that requires split-second response.Picking up cues is important so thatthere are no empty spaces between lines. The audience needs to constantly see the character. Theperformer is in a posture that is neutral enough to conclude one character and begin another.Angle of placement and physical focus occurs when the action of a scene moves along a linestretching from performer through the audience to the opposing character just above and beyond thelisteners’ heads, which places the audience in the center of the interaction. When a piece requires an off-stage focus, if the performer fails to provide the physical focus necessary for the piece, the embodiment ofthe characters will be less realistic.There are many problems the reader may encounter when trying to portray poetry or prose. Poetryand prose are a challenge to the interpreter simply because of its compactness. The reader must respond toits emotional weight of content patterns, meaning that the interpreter must read the content the way it’swritten; paraphrasing in unacceptable. It was written in that way specifically, and is to be presented basedon its content. Each word is important and is chosen carefully in poetry.For the reader to be successful they need to respond subjectively first, then with an objectiveanalysis of the poem. The reader must enjoy the selection in order to embody the poems and characters inprose performances characteristics’ successfully. Problems that may arise are a lack of understandingwhen it comes to the figurative images, words, and language of poetry; meaning that there may be a lackof knowledge in allusions, similes, metaphors, intellect, emotions, and imagination. Without properinvestigation of the piece, these figurative words, images, and languages can be presented without themeaning that the writer wanted to perceive.
Knowledge of the onomatopoeias, alliterations, and other sensory appeals and literal images isnecessary when presenting a piece of poetry. When reading poetry, understanding the prosody, or how thepoem works is key. Mastering the structure of the poem and noticing the small details will make thepresentation successful. A problem a reader may face with poetry is failing to stress the rhythmic base ofthe poem; which results in improper pronunciation, meaning, mood, and purpose. Not understandingwhether the poem is conventional or traditional could lead to problems in portraying the poem as well. Ageneral knowledge of poetry will not fix the problems faced with character delineation. Because of itscomplexity, a careful analysis the poem and its language, images, tone color, syntax, and titles will helpprovide a successful piece.When it comes to prose, a reader might have trouble with style, which demonstrates character.How you dress and what you wear are always part of who you are. Style consists of: overall organizationof ideas, steps in developing the central idea, word choice and the relationship between words in asentence, and syntactical characteristics of a sentence. Then, paragraphs involve consideration of themajor thought units. Paragraphs usually suggest a more sophisticated approach and reflect on pastexperiences. Writers suggest relationships and importance by what they put together into paragraphs; somake sure to pause between them.9. Before you get very far with a poem, you have to read it. In fact, you can learn quite a fewthings just by looking at it. The title may give you some image or association to start with.Looking at the poem’s shape, you can see whether the lines are continuous or broken into groups(called stanzas), or how long the lines are, and so how dense, on a physical level, the poem is.You can also see whether it looks like the last poem you read by the same poet or even a poemby another poet. All of these are good qualities to notice, and they may lead you to a betterunderstanding of the poem in the end.
But sooner or later, you’re going to have to read the poem, word by word. To begin, read thepoem aloud. Read it more than once. Listen to your voice, to the sounds the words make. Do younotice any special effects? Do any of the words rhyme? Is there a cluster of sounds that seem thesame or similar? Is there a section of the poem that seems to have a rhythm that’s distinct fromthe rest of the poem? Don’t worry about why the poem might use these effects. The first step isto hear what’s going on. If you find your own voice distracting, have a friend read the poem toyou.That said, it can still be uncomfortable to read aloud or to make more than one pass through apoem. Some of this attitude comes from the misconception that we should understand a poemafter we first read it, while some stems from sheer embarrassment. Where could I possibly go toread aloud? What if my friends hear me?But lineation introduces another variable that some poets use to their advantage. RobertCreeley is perhaps best known for breaking lines across expected grammatical pauses. Thistechnique often introduces secondary meaning, sometimes in ironic contrast with the actualmeaning of the complete grammatical phrase. Consider these lines from Creeley’s poem "TheLanguage": Locate I love you somewhere in teeth and eyes, bite it but‖. Reading the lines aswritten, as opposed to their grammatical relationship, yields some strange meanings. "Locate I"seems to indicate a search for identity, and indeed it may, but the next line, which continues with"love you some-," seems to make a diminishing statement about a relationship. On its own, "eyesbite" is very disturbing.Reading poetry is difficult because of the complex patterns and diagrams. Structure iscrucial and the condensation provides challenges to interpreters. Efficient management of the
vocal and physical resources and careful attention to communicating the intellectual, emotional,and aesthetic entirety of the work. But poetry brings more complex uses of sound and sense thannarration or drama. Writers of free verse may use a rhyme scheme. Make sure that you takeadvantage of sound patterns, have a clear voice and locus, use empathy, and let your audiencehear the poem as a totality.Whether in poetry or prose, the narrators voice is clearly the controlling voice,telling us what we need to know about background and plot progression. The narrator may evenbe a character in the story and involved directly in the events; in this case he or she speaks in hisor her own persona as that character. In lyrical poetry the persona is often the poet speaking. Ofcourse, poets change their minds and their moods. But we cannot simply say that a poemrepresents a poet’s point of view. Most good poets are a lot more complex than even their richestpoems.Once you know who is speaking, determine from what vantage points the persona speaks.Locus refers to the physical and psychological positions from which the speaker relates theevents to the audience. Locus encompasses both time and space. You already know some of itsrelated words: location, locale, and locate. In the most basic sense, then, the locus of the work isthe place where the action occurs. Locus also involves the relationship between the speaker of agiven line and the world that the speaker inhabits - not just the rooms or streets or buildings inthe story but the audience to whom the speaker addresses that line and the relationship thespeaker enjoys with that audience. Each time the locus changes is each time the relationshipbetween the speaker and audience changes. Finally, for some interpreters, locus has an evenlarger scope. A poem, short story, or play evokes an attitude toward the events it recounts. This
attitude is not simply the same perspective as the point of view of the narrator, although thenarrative perspective obviously contributes to it.Sometimes a detail becomes important only later in development of the plot or action.More often, however, a key detail indicates a high point of logical development or emotionalimpact and thus may be considered a climax. Sometimes several minor climaxes can lead up to,or follow, the major climax. A climax may be the culmination of the logical content, the highpoint of the emotional impact, or a combination of the two. In a story or play the logical climaxis often called the crisis. The crisis is the point at which the conflict becomes so intense that aresolution must occur and after which only one outcome is possible. The emotional climax is themoment if the highest emotional impact and involvement for the reader.Your selection depends on many subtle components to sustain its life as a work of art.These factors, which are called intrinsic factors, are found in varying degrees in all successfulwriting. The intrinsic factors are unity and harmony, variety and contrast, balance andproportion, and rhythm. We call them intrinsic because they are clearly discernable within theprinted selection and because all reasonably inquisitive readers recognize them. The intrinsicfactors are not separate entities. They bear on and are affected by the arrangement andorganization of the material and also by its logical meaning and emotive quality. No one factorcan be completely separated from the others. They would overlap and affect one another. Manyelements in the writing may contribute to more than one of these factors within a singleselection. Yet each makes its own subtle contribution to the whole.Unity is the combining and ordering of all the parts that make up the whole. it consists ofthose elements of content and form that hold the writing together and keep the readers’ andlisteners’ minds focused on the total effect. Harmony is the appropriate adjustment of parts to
one another to form a satisfying whole, the concord between the idea and the way that idea isexpressed. Harmony is achieved in part through the author’s choice of words, the sentencestructure, and the relationship of phrases and clauses within the sentences.10. You can derive considerable pleasure from presenting a program or lecture recital toaudiences outside the classroom. What follows can also be used for longer class performances orfor the increasingly popular reading hours. After all, the techniques used in performance aredictated by the demands of the material rather than by the length or circumstances of thepresentation. The difference between a program and a lecture recital is primarily one ofproportion and degree. A program uses a minimum of transitional material and focuses almostentirely on the literature. A lecture recital, by contrast, has a strong central unity and can featurecritics’ opinions, historical data, and even video and audio clips as transitions. The selectionsillustrate whatever theme the speaker has chosen. The lecture recital emphasizes evaluation asmuch as appreciation. You may, of course, perform a range of material, but works with whichyou disagree deserve the same respect in performance that you bestow on your favorites.Because the lecture recital appeals to a more specialized audience and is much lesspractical for the beginning interpreter. The first consideration in selecting the material you willpresent its literary worth. Do not read inferior material because you think your audience will notaccept anything more difficult. The second consideration is permission to use the material. Anytopic of human interest can become a focal point of a program. The range of responsibilities islimited only by the interpreter’s skill and imagination. Your program should have a unifyingthem dictated in part by what you know about your audience and in part by which the purpose ofthe group for whom you are performing. The program should demonstrate the intrinsic factors ofunity and harmony, variety and contrast, balance and proportion, rhythm of emotional impact,
and focus of interest. Plan what you would like to read and prepare for it. Consider the rhythmsof emotional impact to make the entire performance move smoothly and without monotony.Use multiple readers, different types of literature, and multimedia. When you usemultiple readers, it helps solve the problems of short preparation time and inexperience. It alsoincreases the audience’s appeal. They need to rehearse together, so that the transactions are clearand the material is arranged to provide a variety of contrast, rhythm of emotional impact, andeffective use of climatic selections. It increases opportunities for experimentation (includingmusic and dance). The New York Times uses staging. The performance analogue for suchfrankness is an equally frank frontal placement and focus – bodies and voices creating thepresentational equivalent to the newspaper. Such placement frees the bodies and voices tosuggest the pictures, drawings, and graphics. There is no need to limit oneself to any single issueof the paper. Select from among the finest of the editorials, op-ed articles, obituaries, sportstories, fashion, news reports, lifestyle and social information, the television-film-theater-dance-music reviews, and etc. Look at the visual responsibilities and think about how your group cancapture their essence by using different voices and bodily movements.Other Options include the New Yorker. Programs can respond to important socialproblems by featuring texts (literary, visual, and aural) that lead to action. Consider the anguishand anger surroundings AIDs. Poets, novelists, essayists, painters, composers, choreographers,and playwrights have all contributed to the growing canon of works. The program should haveboth unity and variety. It should have an introductory unit, a climax (usually the longestselection and the one that most clearly exemplifies your theme), and a conclusion. When youhave selected and arranged your material, look at the whole program and check to see that itincludes each of the intrinsic factors. Keep the introduction short. The audience came to hear
the program, not a long preamble. Your introductory remarks establish the mood and prepareyour audience for what follows. The transitions between selections should allow the listeners afew seconds to complete their emotional response to the preceding selection and should leadthem economically into the mood of the one that follows.Next, the performer must adapt to his or her audience. It’s impossible to know whatinterests your audience unless the group has a special purpose. Make generalizations about theaudiences’ age, gender, economic status, and other factors that are included in demographics.Age is the most important thing to keep in mind. Usually, a younger audience is more open toexperimental material and to a wider range of subject matter. An elderly audience wants to seeand hear traditional and familiar material. Children like anything with people, animals, andnature, so they can visualize it by using their creativity and imagination. They like poetry with aclear rhythm and a rhyme. Also, they enjoy stories where they can picture the character and hearthe enthusiasm.Lastly, keep your program to an allotted time. Listeners will become distracted if it’s toolong. Leave your audience wanting more. Slow the pace in your final performance. Wheneveryou do a program, remember that in your role of interpreter, you share a text with your audience.Your art and your technique should serve the material. Planning and preparing a performancetakes time and energy. In some instances, applause is inappropriate. It’s okay to clap during apause. Do not pause so long that your audience thinks you’re awaiting an applause. A programof varied selections is particularly difficult to time because it may be lengthened by laughterwithin or applause between selections.
1. (True) Complete speech involves a situation, which is followed by a response, which ispreceded an un urge to communicate all or a part of it.2. (True) It is the task of the interpretative reader to re-create ―complete speech‖ from thesymbols of writing.3. (True) When a speaker is using language prepared in advance of the actual speakingsituation, he/she is actually reading.4. (True) Silent reading may involve both physical and emotional reactions from the reader.5. (True) The primary difference between interpretative reading and acting is in mentalperspective.6. (False) In acting the actors impersonate the characters, but in interpretative reading, thereader merely represents the characters. In order to make this statement true, it shouldsay ―presents or suggestion/manifestation‖ instead of ―represents‖.7. (False) In interpretative reading the scene is said to be ―up stage.‖ In order to make thisstatement true, it should say ―off-stage focus‖ instead of ―up stage‖.8. (True) When a reader’s tones convey the feeling of the words, he/she may be said to havetone color.9. (True) Punctuation is for grammatical construction which is to be observed with the eye,and inflection is for the ear.10. (False) Tone copying may be defined as the modulation of the voice from one pitch toanother within thought groups. In order to make this statement true, then you shouldreplace ―tone copying‖ with the term ―melody‖.