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Gough's Dread Of An Audience

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In his new lecturo, "Platform expericnces," John B. Uough says : I nevei knew a time when I did not dread an audience. üften that fear has arnountcd to positive sufferiüg, and seldom am I ealled on to face an audience when I would nol rather by far run the other way, aud, as 1 gruw oldr, t.hia suffering is increasing. A very large asembly depressoe me at first sight. I luwe often btgged the chairman t makc au address to give me time to recover. There aro occasions when, without tUe relief of the ehainimi's remarks, 1 should coinmcnco my speech lakcrioglyand witk tcars. In my raffermg, trombling seiïe upon every nervo ; my throat and tongue tiecouio dry and fuverish ; my voice hc:irM or husky, untilthe first fèwmiuutes have pimai. At one time the paini'ul sen-iurions niay be much strongnr than at another, but the occasions are very rare when I am in any good degreo unemb.trraaaed, aml oever aio Í at perfect easu in siglit of an audience. There are som e persons ffho consider this affectatioa. I havo Leen told that it was imponible ÜÚX any mati who had faced over 8,000 aVidiences bhould be nervoua or apprebcasiTe or troubled at the sight of the people. Prora tho tirst speech I ever made, when my beart beat üke i trip-hamuur, and after uttering tli o half dozen MflMDOes, I sat down sliaking in every limb, to Ihe last, I have more or less suffered from this unaccouotable dread at every public addres". 1 (hink in my whole experience I have never volunteered a speech and never asked for an invitation (o address an audience. After the first nervousness has pfjwed, 1 havo but little seusation, oxeeut the desire to niuke my audienee feel as I feel, see aa I sev, tifi to gain dominion for the time being over thoir wills and alTectinns. It' 1 MOMed io this, or think that I liave their sympathy, and eapecialty should they be responsiva, tbc fear is all gone, (hen comes a conscious ness of power that exhilarate?, excites and produces a strange, ihrilling sensation of delight.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News