Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

1921 Yearbook

1921 Yearbook


1921 Yearbook


Public Speaking
The public speaking class of previous years was reorganized at the
beginning of the first semester of the past term, and all inducements
were offered to the college men to join it. Many responded to the
call, and by the time of the first meeting a goodly number had been
The aim of the class is to equip its members adequately to express
themselves when occasion demands. As a general rule, students beginning their college course are unable to command that clear and
coherent expression which at once conveys to an audience a speaker's
meaning. This is noticed in practically every student body. However, the defect is not a hopeless one; it can be remedied, the ailment
must not be allowed to reach a grown-up, chronic stage; it must be
diagnosed and prescribed for while the mind is yet in its formation
period. Hence the need of a class in Public Speaking, supervised by a
competent teacher.
Such a teacher was found in the person of Mrs. Helena B.
Churchill, B. L. L., instructor of Dramatic Art at the College and a
graduate of the Emerson College of Oratory at Boston. She began
instruction by demanding impromptu speeches, so that the members
might overcome that self-consciousness so characteristic of beginners.
Personal mannerisms and slight defects were pointed out to each individual in order that he might strive to overcome them. After a
thorough drilling in the basic principles of elocution she undertook the
more difficult work. Simple narration of current public topics was
supplanted by the argumentation of them. This phase of the work
excited great interest, for arguing is a natural trait and everyone
enjoys at times a factional dispute with his neighbor. Consequently,
hot and furious discussions were many. The more polished and
laborious work of debating was lastly taken up.
Every member of the class feels that the time given to this work
has been well spent. However, perfection is still far from being attained; so, undoubtedly, the class will continue next year. In fact,
there appears to be no such thing as perfection in this line of endeavor, for the natural faculties seem incapable of perfecting themselves to such a degree that further improvement is impossible.
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St. Ambrose University, 518 W. Locust St., Davenport, IA 52803