How I Became A Public Speaker” is an extract from George Bernard Shaw’s autobiography. He describes how he had trained himself to be a public speaker. It is interesting to know how a boy, who feared to speak in public, spoke exuberantly and attracted large crowds towards him. George Bernard Shaw is one of the most eminent speakers that the world has produced. Though not a very good speaker, G. B. Shaw always had a passion to express his views.
He had an air of impudence but was an arrant coward, nervous and self-conscious to a heart breaking degree. He spoke out in public but often got mixed up with his words and felt ashamed.
He thought of remembering important points while speaking but often forgot the best ones. He preserved doggedly and spoke at all places where a chance was awaiting him, be it for tens or thousands of people. Speeches In Various Societies: G. Shaw had spoken in the University College at the meeting of New Shakespeare Society, Bedford Society and the Radical Club.
Shaw: Public speaking brought him a necessary qualification for political work. Memorable Moments In Hyde Park: One among his best speeches was delivered in Hyde Park in torrents of rain to six policemen sent to watch him. He got no money for lecture invitations.
Every subject stuck to his mind at an angle that pronounced reflections were new to the audience. Thus, George Bernard Shaw beautifully portrays how he learnt to become a speaker. Shaw did not prefer speaking out written lectures. Shaw”tms Later Ages: At later ages, he orated only on special occasions to prevent himself from being called a windbag. He entertained them for more than hour and succeeded in winning their hearts. Q. 1 :- Describe the incident in St. James’ Hall. The essay ‘How I Became Public Speaker’ by G. B. Shaw is, in fact, a detailed account of the efforts that he made to become a good public speaker.
In this essay Shaw has described some of his interesting experiences as a public speaker. One of these experiences was the incident that happened when Shaw was addressing a meeting in favour of Women’s Suffrage. Just before Shaw spoke, a man of anti-Fabian persuasion, who was also socialist, entered the room with a hostile contingent. Shaw immediately sensed that he and his followers were outnumbered and there was a danger of an amendment being carried against them. So to prevent the opposing group from taking charge of the meeting and carrying an amendment, Shaw played a trick.
He made an extremely provocative speech that was too much for the leader of the opposing group to bear. As result the leader rushed to the platform to answer Shaw. His followers thought that he was leading a charge. So they stormed the platform, broke-up the meeting and reconstituted it, with their leader as the chairman. Shaw demanded a hearing which was granted him as a matter of fair play. Then Shaw spoke again with complete satisfaction to himself. All this happened without any violence or any harm to anybody. However, the newspapers next morning described the scene as one of violence and destruction.
Thus, Shaw was able to turn the tables around with the help of his curious trick and his public speaking skills and the whole blame of the incident was in a way laid on the leader of hostile contingent. Q. 2:- Describe how G. B. Shaw became a public speaker. The essay ‘How I Became a Public Speaker’ by G. B. Shaw is, in fact, an account of this attempts for becoming a good public speaker. Shaw begins by telling us about his first public speaking experience at the meeting of Zetetic Society. He describes himself as a nervous, self-conscious and arrantly coward person.
In spite of being so, he could not resist the urge to speak in the meeting of the Zetetical Society. This was his first public speech and as Shaw, himself has described, it was a complete failure. Then Shaw, disappointed by this failure, made a resolve that he would either become a good public speaker or perish in the attempt. He made several efforts to become a good public speaker. He followed a debater of the Zetetical Society, which he had already joined. He tried to speak in every debate. He was not afraid of failures. His first success came when the Zetetical Society discussed Art one evening. Shaw continued his efforts doggedly.
He joined many other societies like, the New Shakespeare Society, The Browning Society and the Bedford Society etc. He participated in all the debates of these societies. He also attended all the public meetings in London and missed no opportunity of speaking in public. Thus, gradually Shaw became famous as a Socialist orator. Now he was sought after. This began with an invitation from the Radical club at Woolwich. Here, Shaw lectured on Socialism (extemporarily) for an hour. After this, Shaw never looked back. Thus, he became a good public speaker. • Born: 26 July 1856 • Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland • Died: 2 November 1950 (natural causes) Best Known As: The author of Pygmalion George Bernard Shaw was a superstar playwright and tart-tongued literary personality of the early 20th century. He first gained fame as a music critic under the pen name ‘Corno di Bassetto,’ but by then had already begun writing essays, political pamphlets, books and (eventually) plays.
Among his most famous plays are Arms and the Man (1894), Major Barbara (1905), Saint Joan (1923), and Pygmalion (1914). The last was adapted 50 years later into the Broadway musical My Fair Lady. (Shaw also won an Oscar in 1938 for his screenplay for a non-musical movie version of Pygmalion. For all these successes, Shaw is still better known for his famously large ego and sometimes prickly personality: He was a vegetarian and teetotaler, a radical socialist and social reformer, and a noted caustic wit who remained active until his death at age 94. Shaw won the 1925 Nobel Prize for Literature. He remains the only person to win both an Oscar and a Nobel Prize. (American politician Al Gore won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize and also starred in the Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, but was not himself awarded an Oscar for the film)… Shaw’s ascerbic style is sometimes described with the adjective Shavian.
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