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The Art of Lecturing

Schmidt Number: S-4634

On-line since: 23rd April, 2010


I have tried to characterize how one can formulate a lecture on the threefold order from out of one thought, and then arrange it in sections. What one can generally say concerning the whole social organism, as well as references to what can occur in the first two realms — namely that of the spiritual life and that of the judicial, the body politic-was contained in what I said. [Note 1] You will have understood from that, how:preparing oneself for the content of such a lecture, one can proceed.

Now, one can also prepare oneself for the form of delivery by immersing oneself into the thoughts and feelings. We shall perhaps understand each other best if I say that the preparation should be such that we try hard first to sense and then to utter what is related to the spiritual life in a more lyrical language (without, of course, resorting to singing, recitation, or some such thing), — in a lyrical manner of speech, with quiet enthusiasm, so that one demonstrates through the way of delivering the matters that everything one has to say concerning the spiritual life comes from out of oneself. One should by all means call forth the impression that one is enthusiastic about what one envisions for the spiritual part of the social organism. Naturally, it must not be false, mystical, sentimental enthusiasm; a made-up enthusiasm. We achieve the right impression if we prepare ourselves first in imagination, in inner experience — even so far as to modulation — how, approximately, something like that could be said. I say specifically, “how, approximately, something like that could be said,” for the reason that we should never commit ourselves word for word; rather what we prepare is, in a sense, a speech taking its course only in inward thoughts; and we are certainly ready to re-formulate what we finally come out and say.

But when we speak about rights-relationships, we should make the attempt to speak dramatically. That implies: when we lecture about the equality of men, discussing it by means of examples, we should try as much as possible to put ourselves into the other person's position with our thinking. For instance, we should call to mind the image of how a person who seeks work, asserts his right to work in the sense of Kernpunkte der sozialen Frage (the threefold social order). By making it evident that on one hand we are speaking from the other person's position, from out of his assertion of rights, we should then make it evident how through a slight change in the tone of voice we pass on to the topic of how one ought to meet such an assertion out of general humanitarian reasons. So it is dramatic speaking, very strongly modulated, dramatic lecturing, that calls forth the impression in listeners that one could think one's way into the souls of other persons; that is the manner we should employ in speaking about the rights-relationships.

When lecturing on economic conditions, the main point is that we speak directly from experience. If, in the spirit of the threefold social organism, one speaks about economic relationships, one should not permit the belief to arise that there even could be such a thing as a theoretical political economy. Instead, one should limit the main discussion to describing cases taken from the economic life itself; either cases that one repeats, or cases that one construes as to how they should be or could be. But with the latter cases — saying how they should or could be — one must never neglect to speak out of economic experience. Actually, when lecturing on the economic life, one should speak in an epic style. Particularly, when presenting what is written in the Kernpunkte, one should speak as if one had no preconceived ideas at all concerning the economic life, and had no notions that this should be thus and so; instead, one should speak as if one were informed on all and everything by the facts themselves.

One can evoke a certain feeling, for example, that it is correct to permit the transfer of the administratioa of monetary funds from one who is not involved in it himself anymore, to somebody who once again can participate in it. But one can only speak about something like that if one presents it to people by means of descriptions of what takes place if there are legacies merely due to blood-relationships, or what can take place when such a transfer is occasioned in the way it is described in the Kernpunkte. Only by placing such a matter before people in a living way, as if one were copying reality, can one speak in such a way that the speech truly stands within the economic life. And just in this way, one can make the idea of “associations” [Note 2] comprehensible and plausible. One will make it plausible that an individual person really knows nothing about the economic life; that if he wants to arrive at a judgement as to what must be done in the life of the economy, he is basically completely dependent on communicating with others. A sound economic view can only emerge from groups of people and one is therefore dependent on associations.

Then, one will perhaps meet with comprehension if one calls attention to the fact that much of what exists today actually came out of ancient, instinctive associations. Just consider for a moment how today's abstract market brings things together, whose combination and redistribution to the consumer cannot be surveyed at all. But how has one arrived at this market-relationship in the first place? Bascially, from the instinctive association of a number of villages located around a larger township, at a distance that one could travel back and forth on foot in one day, where people exchanged their products. One did not call that an association. One did not coin any word for it, but in reality it was an instinctive association. Those people who here came together for the market were associated with all of those who lived in the surrounding villages. They could count on a set circulation of goods that resulted from experience. Therefore they could regulate production according to consumption in truly alive relationships. There certainly existed such associative conditions in such primitive economies; they just didn't call themselves that.

All this has become impossible to over-see, with the enlargement of the economic territories. In particular, it has become senseless in regard to the world economy. The world economy which has come into being only in the last third of the 19th century, has reduced everything into an abstract realm; that is, it has reduced everything in the economic life to the turn-over of money or its monetary value, until this reduction has proven its own absurdity.

Indeed, when Japan fought a war with China and Japan won the war, one could very simply pay the war reparations by way of the Chinese Minister's handing a check to the Japanese Delegate, which the latter then deposited in a bank in Japan. This is an actual course of events. There were values contained in this check, which is money and has monetary value. It represented values. If you imagine how at that time everything should have been transported from one territory into the other this would have been a difficult process under modern-day conditions. But owing to the manner in which Japan and China were placed within the whole world economy, it could be done this way. However, all this has led itself to a point of absurdity. In the dealings between Germany and France, it has proven itself to be impossible. [Note 3] I am therefore of the opinion that the state of affairs can best be explained out of the economic relationships themselves, and then one can explain the necessity for the associative principle.

Once again, one should have to divide this subject matter regarding the economic life in a certain way, and one would have to pass on to several concluding sentences of which I have already said that they again should be conceived verbatim or at least almost word for word.

So, how will the preparation for a speech appear, in fact? Well, one should try one's best to get into the situation or the subject that the audience is prepared for, by formulating the opening sentences in a way one considers necessary. One will have greater difficulty in the case of completely unprepared listeners; less difficulty, if one addresses a group that one finds already involved in the matter, at least possessing the corresponding feelings concerning the assertions one makes. Then, one will neither write down the rest of the speech nor jot down mere catch-words. Experience shows that neither the verbatim composition nor the mere noting down of catch-words leads to a good speech. The reason for not writing down the speech is because it ties one down and easily causes embarrassment when the memory falters; this is most frequently the case when the speech is written down word for word. Catch-words easily mislead one to formulate the whole preparation too abstractly. On the other hand, if one needs to have such a support, what one should best write down and bring along as notes are a number of correctly formulated sentences that serve as catch-phrases. They do not make the claim that one delivers them in the same way as a part of the speech; instead, they indicate: first, second, third, fourth, and so on; they are extracts, so to speak, so that from one sentence perhaps ten or eight or twelve will result. But one should write such sentences down. One should therefore not write down, “spiritual life conceived as independent”; instead, “the spiritual life can only thrive if it freely works independently out of itself.” (Catch-phrases, with other words.) If you do something like this, you will then have the experience yourself that owing to such catch-phrases, you can in a relatively short time most readily attain to a certain facility of speaking freely, a speaking that only contains the ladder of catch-phrases.

Concerning the conclusion, it is often very good if, in a certain sense, at least gently, one leads back to,the beginning; if therefore the end, in a sense, contains something that, as a theme, was also contained in the beginning.

And then, such catch-phrases readily give one the opportinity to really prepare oneself in the way indicated above by having noted these sentences down on one's piece of paper. So, let us say, one ponders the following: what you have to say for the spiritual life must have a sort of lyrical nature within you; what you have to say concerning the rights-relationships must have a kind of dramatic character in your mind; and what concerns the economic life must live in your mind in a narrative, epic form; a quiet, narrative, epic character. Then, the desire, as well as the skill, to word the catch- phrases in the formulation that I have indicated, will indeed begin to arise instinctively. The preparation will result quite instinctively in such a way that the manner in which one speaks merges indeed into what one has to say concerning the subject. For this it is, however, necessary to have brought one's command of language to the level of instinct, so that one indeed experiences the speech-organs the way one would, for instance, feel the hammer, if one wanted to use the hammer for something. That can be achieved, if one practices a little speech-gymnastics.

It's true, isn't it, when one practices gymnastics, those are not movements that are later executed in real life; but they are movements that make one flexible and dextrous. Similarly, one should make the speech-organs pliable and adroit; but making the latter pliable and dextrous is something that must be accomplished so that it goes together with the inner soul life, and so that one learns to be aware of the sound in speaking. In the seminar courses that I held over two years ago in Stuttgart for the Waldorf school teachers, I put together a number of such speech exercises that I now want to pass on to you. They are mostly of a kind that, by their content, does not prevent one from learning to merge oneself purely into the element of speech; they are only designed for practicing speech-gymnastics. If one tries again and again to say these sentences aloud, but in such a way that one always probes: how does one best use his tongue, how does one best use his lips so as to produce this particular sequence of sounds? — then one makes oneself independent of speaking and, instead, places that much more value on mental preparation for lecturing.

I shall now read you a number of such sentences whose content is often senseless, but they are designed to make the speech-organs pliable and fit for public speaking. [Note 4]

Dass er dir log, uns darf es nicht loben.

(That he told lies, 'tis not to be lauded.)

is the easiest one.

Something a bit more complicated:

Nimm nicht Nonnen in nimmermuede Muehlen.

(Take not nuns in never-tired mills.)

One should increasingly try, along with the sequence of sounds, to make the organs of speech pliable; to bend, to hollow, to take possession of them [Note 5]

Another example:

Rate mir mehrere Raetsel nur richtig.

It is naturally not enough to say something like this once, or ten times; but again and again and again, because even if the speech-organs are already pliable, they can become still more so.

An example that I consider to be particularly useful is the following:

Redlich ratsam
Ruestet ruehmlich
Riesig raechend
Ruhig rollend
Reuige Rosse

With this, one has the opportunity to regulate the breath in the pauses, something one has to pay attention to and that can be particularly well done through such an exercise.

In a similar way, not all the letters, nor all the sounds, have the same value for this practicing. You make progress if you take the following, for example:

Protzig preist
Baeder bruenstig
Polternd putzig
Bieder bastelnd
Puder patzend
Bergig bruestend

If you succeed in finding your way into this sequence of sounds, you gain much from it.

When one has done such exercises, then one can also try to do those exercises that cannot but result in bringing a mood into the speaking of the sounds. I have tried to give an example of how the sounds can pour into the mood in the following:


Erfuellung geht

(Fulfillment goes)

Durch Hoffnung

(Through hope)

Geht durch Sehnen

(Goes through longing)

Durch Wollen

(Through willing)

and now it passes more into the sounds, through which, here in particular, the mood in the sound itself is held fast:

Wollen weht

(Willing wafts)

Im Webenden

(In weaving)

Weht im Bebenden

(Wafts in billowing)

Webt bebend

(Weaves billowing)

Webend bindend

(Weaves binding)

Im Finden

(In finding)

Findend windend

(Finding winding)



You will always discover, when you do these exercises in particular, how you are able, without letting the breath disturb you, to regulate the breathing by simply holding yourself onto the sounds. In recent times, one has thought up all kinds of more or less clever methods for breathing and for all kinds of accompanying aspects of speaking and singing, but actually, all of those are no good, because speech with everything that belongs with it, with the breath, too, should by all means be learned through actual speaking. This implies that one should learn to speak in such a way that, within the boundaries that result from the sound sequence and the word relationships, the breath also regulates itself as a matter of course. In other words, one should only learn breathing during speech — in speaking itself. Therefore, the exercises of speech should be so designed that, in correctly feeling them regarding their sounds, one is obliged — not by the content but by the sounds — to formulate the breath correctly because he experiences the sound correctly.

What the verse below represents, points once again to the content of the mood. It has four lines; these four lines are arranged so that they are an ascent, as it were. Each line causes an expectation, and the fifth line is the conclusion and brings fulfilment. Now one should really make an effort to execute this speech movement that I have just characterized. The verse goes like this:

In den unermesslich weiten Raeumen,
In den endenlosen Zeiten,
In der Menschenseele Tiefen,
In der Weltenoffenbarung:
Suche des grossen Raetsels Loesung.

(In the immeasurably wide realms,
in the never-ending ages,
in the human soul's depths
in the world's revelation:
seek the great riddle's answer.)

There you have the fifth line representing the fulfillment of that escalating expectation that is evoked in the first four lines.

One can also attempt to, well, let me say, bring the mood of the situation into the sounds, into the mode of speaking, the how of speech. And for that I have formulated the following exercise. One should picture a sizable green frog that sits in front of him with its mouth open. In other words, one should imagine that one confronts a giant frog with an open mouth. And now, one should picture what sort of reactions, effects, one can have regarding this frog. There will be humor in the emotion as well as all that should be evoked in the soul in a lively manner. Then, one should address this frog in the following way:

Lalle Lieder lieblich
Lipplicher Laffe
Lappiger lumpiger
Laichiger Lurch

Picture to yourself: that a horse is walking across a field. The content does not matter. Naturally, you must now imagine that horses whistle! Now you express the fact that you have here in the following manner:

Pfiffig pfeifen
Pfaeffische Pferde
Pflegend Pfluege
Pferchend Pfirsiche

and then you vary that by saying it this way:

Pfiffig pfeifen aus Naepfen
Pfaeffische Pferde schluepfend
Pflegend Pfluege huepfend
Pferchend Pfirsiche knuepfend

And then — but please, do learn it by heart, so that you can fluently repeat the one version after the other — there is a third version. Learn all three by heart, and try to say them so fluently that during the speaking of one version you will not be confused by the other. That is what counts. Take as the third form:

Kopfpfiffig pfeifen aus Naepfen
Napfpfaeffische Pferde schluepfend
Wipfend pflegend Pfluege huepfend
Tipfend pferchend Pfirsiche knuepfend

Learn one after the other, so that you can do the three versions by heart, and that one never interferes when you say the other.

Something similar can be done with the following two verses:

Ketzer petzten jetzt klaeglich
Letztlich leicht skeptisch

and now the other version:

Ketzerkraechzer petzten jetzt klaeglich
Letztlich ploetzlich leicht skeptisch

Again, learn it by heart and say one after the other!

One can achieve smooth speech if one practices something like the following:

Nur renn nimmer reuig
Gierig grinsend
Knoten knipsend
Pfaender knuepfend

One has to accustom oneself to say this sound sequence, ‘Nur renn ...’. You will see what you gain for your tongue, your organs of speech, if you do such exercises.

Now, such an exercise that lasts a bit longer, through which this flexibility of speech can be attained — I believe actors have already discovered atterwards that this was the best way to make their speech pliable:

Zuwider zwingen zwar
Zweizweckige Zwacker zu wenig
Zwanzig Zwerge
Die sehnige Krebse
Maher suchend schmausen
Dass schmatzende Schrnachter
Schmiegsam schnellstens
Schnurrig schnalzen

And then: one occasionally requires presence of mind in direct speech. One can acquire it by something like the following:

Klipp plapp plick glick
Klingt Klapperrichtig
Knatternd trappend

Then, for further acquisition of presence of mind in speaking, the following two examples can be placed together:

Schlinge Schlange geschwinde
Gewundene Fundewecken weg

The ‘Wecken weg’ is in there, too, but as a sound-motif, thus:

Gewundene Fundewecken
Geschwinde schlinge Schlange weg

The following example is useful for putting some muscle into speech, so that one is in a position, in speaking, to slap somebody down in a discussion sometimes (something that is quite necessary in speaking!):

Marsch schmachtender
Klappriger Racker
Krackle plappernd linkisch
Kink von vorne fort

Then, for somebody who stutters a little, the following two examples should still be mentioned:

Nimm mir nimmer
Was sich waesserig
Mit Teilen mitteilt

For everyone who stutters, this example is good. When stuttering, one can also say it in the way below:

Nimmer nimm mir
Waesserige Wickel
Was sich schlecht mitteilt
Mit Teilen deiner Rede

The point is, of course, that the person who stutters must make a real effort.

One should by no means believe that what I want to call speech-gymnastics, can or should only be practiced with sentences that are meaningful for the intellect. Because in those sentences that contain sense for the intellect, the attentiveness for the meaning instinctively outweighs anything else too much, so that we do not rely correctly on the sounds, the saying. And it is really necessary that, in a certain sense, we tear speaking loose from ourselves, actually manage to separate it from ourselves. In the same way as one can separate writing from one's self, one can also tear speaking loose from oneself.

There are two ways to write for the human being. One way consists of man's writing egotistically; he has the forms of the letters in his limbs, as it were, and lets them flow out of his limbs. One emphasized such a style of writing for a certain length of time — it is probably still the same today — when one gave lessons in penmanship for those who were to be employed in business offices or people like that. I have, for example, observed at one time how such a lesson in writing was conducted for employees of commercial establishments so that the persons in question had to develop every letter out of a kind of curve. They had to learn swinging motions with the hand; then they had to put these motions down on paper; this way, everything is in the hand, in the limbs; and one is not really present with anything but the hand in writing. Another form of writing is the one that is not egotistical; it is the unselfish style of writing. It consists of not really writing with the hand, as it were, but with the eye; one always looks at it and basically draws the letter. Thus, what is in the formation of the hand is of importance to a lesser degree: one really acts like one does when sketching, where one is not the slave of a handwriting. Instead, after a while, one has difficulty in even writing one's name the same way one has written it just the time before. For most people it is so terribly easy to write their name the way they have always written it. It flows out of their hand. But those persons who place something artistic into the script, they write with the eye. They follow the style of the lines with the eye. And there, the script indeed separates itself from the person. Then — while it is in a certain repect not desirable to practice that — a person can imitate scripts, vary scripts in different ways. I do not say that one should practice that especially, but I mean that it results as an extreme when one paints one's script, as it were. This is the more unselfish writing. Writing out of the limbs, on the other hand, is the more selfish, the egotistic way.

Speech is also selfish, in most people. It simply emerges out of the speech-organs. But you can gradually accustom yourselves to experience your speech in such a way that it seems as if it floated around you, as if the words flew around you. You can really have a sort of experience of your words. Then, speaking separates itself from the person. It becomes objective. Man hears himself speak quite instinctively. In speaking, his head becomes enlarged, as it were, and one feels the weaving of sounds and the words in one's surroundings. One gradually learns to listen to the sounds, the words. And one can achieve that particularly through such exercises. That way, there is in fact not just yelling into a room anymore — by yelling, I do not mean shouting out loud only; one can yell in whispering, too, if one actually speaks only for one's own sake, the way it emerges out of the speechorgans — instead one really lives, in speaking, with space. One feels the resonance in space, as it were. This has become a fumbling mischief in certain speech-theories — theories of speech-teaching or speech-study, if you will — of recent times. One has made people speak with body-resonance, with abdominal resonances, with nasal resonances, and so forth. But all these inner resonances are a vice. A true resonance can only be an experienced one. One experiences such a resonance not by the impact of the sound against the interior of the nose; instead one feels it only in front of the nose, outside. Thus, language in fact attains to abundance. And of course, the language of a speaker should be abundant. A speaker should swallow as little as possible.

Do not believe that this is unimportant for the speaker; it is rather of great significance for the speaker. Whether we present something in a correct way to people depends most certainly on what position we are able to take in regard to speech itself. One doesn't have to go quite so far as a certain actor who was acquainted with me, who never said “Freundrl” [Austrian dialect for “Friend” — note by translator] but always “Freunderl”, because he wanted to place himself into every syllable. He did that to the extreme. But one should develop the instinctive talent not to swallow syllables, syllable-forms, and syllable-formations. One can accomplish that if one tries to find one's way into rhythmic speech in such a way that, placing one's self into the whole sound-modulation, one recites to oneself:

Und es wallet und siedet und brauset und zischt,
Wie wenn Wasser mit Feuer sich mengt ...

                                   (Quote from Schiller's The Diver)

So: it is a matter of placing one's self not only into the sound as such but into the sound-modulation. into this “growing round” and the angularity of sound.

If somebody believes that he could become a speaker without putting any value on this, then he labors under the same misconception as a human soul that has arrived at the point between death and a new birth, when it once again will descend to the earth, and does not want to embody itself because it does not want to enter into the moulding of the stomach, the lungs, the kidney, and so forth. It is really a matter of having to draw on everything that makes a speech complete.

One should at least put some value on the organism of speech and the genius of language as well. One should not forget that valuing the organism of speech, the genius of language, is creative, in the sense of creating imagination. He who cannot occupy himself with language, listening inwardly, will not receive images, will not be the recipient of thoughts; he will remain clumsy in thinking, he will become one who is abstract in speaking, if not a pedant. Particularly, in experiencing the sounds, the imagery in speech-formation, in this itself lies something that entices the thoughts out of our souls that we need to carry before the listeners. In experiencing the word, something creative is implied in regard to the inner organization of the human being. This should never be forgotten. It is extremely important. In all cases, the feeling should pervade us how the word, the sequence of words, the word-formation, the sentence-construction, how these are related to our whole organism. Just as one can figure out a person from the physiognomy, one can even more readily — I don't mean from what he says but from the how of the speech — one can figure out the whole human being from his manner of speech.

But this how of his speech emerges out of the whole human being. And it is by all means a matter of focusing — delicately of course, not by treating ourselves like we were the patient — on the physical body. It is, for example, beneficial for somebody who, through education or perhaps even heredity, is predisposed to speaking pedantically; to try, with stimulating tea that he partakes of every so often, to wean himself from pedantry. As I have said, these things must be done with care. For one person, this tea is right; for another, the other tea is good. Ordinary tea, as I have repeatedly mentioned, is a very good diet for diplomats: diplomats have to be witty, which means having to chat at random about one thing after another, none of which must be pedantic, but instead has to exhibit the ease of switching from one sentence to another. This is why tea is indeed the drink of diplomats. Coffee, on the other hand, makes one logical. This is why, normally not being very logical by nature, reporters write their articles most frequently in coffee-houses. Now, since the advent of the typewriter, matters are a little different, but in earlier days, one could meet whole groups of journalists in coffee-houses, chewing on their pen and drinking coffee so that at last, one thought could align itself with the next one. Therefore, if one discovers that one has too much of what is of the tea-quality, then coffee is something that can have an equalizing effect. But, as was mentioned before, all this is not altogether meant, as a prescription, but pointing in that direction. And if somebody, for example, is predisposed to mix some annoying sound into his speech — let's say if somebody says, “he,” after every third syllable, or something like that — then I advise him to drink some weak senna-leaf-tea twice a week in the evening, and he will see what a beneficial effect that will have.

It is indeed so: since the matters that come to expression in a lecture, in a speech, must come out of the whole person, diet must by no means be overlooked. This is not only the case in an obvious sense. Of course, one can hear by the speech whether it comes from a person who has let endless amounts of beer flow down his gullet, or something like that. This is an obvious case. He who has an ear for speech knows very well whether a given speaker is a tea-drinker or a coffee-drinker, whether he suffers from constipation or its opposite. In speech, everything is expressed with absolute certainty, and all of that has to be taken into consideration. One will gradually develop an instinct for these matters if one becomes sensitive to language in one's surroundings the way I have described it.

However, the various languages lend themselves in different ways, and in varying degrees, to being heard in the surroundings. A language such as the Latin tongue is particularly suitable for the above purpose. The same with the Italian. I mean by this, to be heard objectively by the one who is speaking himself. The English language, for example, is little suited for this, because this language is very similar to the script that flows out of the limbs. The more abstract the languages are, the less suitable they are to be heard inwardly and to become objective. Oh, how in former times the German Nibelungen-song sounded:

Uns ist in alten maeren
von heleden lobebaeren,
von freude unt hôchgezîten,
von küener recken strîten


Wunders vil geseit
von grôzer arebeit;
von weinen unde klagen,
müget ir nu wunder hoeren sagen.

Ez wuohs in Buregonden
daz in allen landen
Kriemhilt geheizen;
Dar umbe muosen degene


ein vil edel magedîn,
niht schoeners mohte sîn,
diu wart ein schoene wîp,
vil Verliesen dën lîp.

That hears itself while one is speaking! Through such things one must learn to experience language. Naturally, languages become abstract in the course of their development. Then one must bring the concrete substance into it from within, permeate it with the obvious. Abstractly placed side by side, what a difference:

Uns ist in alten maeren
Uns wird in alten Märchen


wunders vil geseit
Wunderbares viel erzählt

and so forth!

But if one becomes accustomed to listening, this can certainly also be brought into the more modern language, and there, much can be done in speech towards the latter's becoming something that has its own genius. But for that, such exercises are required, so that listening in the spirit and speaking out of the spirit fit into one another. And so, I want to repeat the verse one more time:

Erfuellung geht
Durch Hoffnung
Geht durch Sehnen
Durch Wollen
Wollen weht
Im Webenden
Weht im Bebenden
Webend bindend
Im Finden
Findend windend

Only by placing the sound into various relationships, does one arrive at an experiencing of the sound, the metamorphosis of the sound, and the looking at the word, the seeing of the word.

Then, when something like what I have described today as creating a disposition through catch-sentences, as our inner soul-preparation, is united with what we can in the above way gain out of the language, then it all works toward public speaking.

One more thing is required besides all the others I have already mentioned: responsibility! This implies that one should be aware that one does not have the right to set all of one's ill-mannered speech-habits before an audience. One should learn to feel that for a public appearance one does require education of speech, a going-out of one's self, and plasticity in regard to speech. Responsibility towards speech! It is very comfortable to remain standing and to speak the way one normally does, and to swallow as much as one is used to swallow; to swallow (verschlucken), to squeeze (quetschen), and to bend (biegen) and break (brechen), and to pull (dehnen) at the words just the way it suits one. But one may not remain with this squeezing (Quetschen) and pushing (Druecken) and pulling (Dehnen) and cornering (Ecken) and similar speech-mannerisms. Instead, one must try to come to the aid of one's speaking even in regard to the form. If one supports one's speaking in this manner, one is quite simply also led to the point where one addresses an audience with a certain respect. One approaches public speaking with a certain reserve and speaks to an audience with respect. And this is absolutely necessary. One can accomplish this if, on the one side, one perfects the soul-aspect; and, on the other side, formulates the physical in the way I have demonstrated in the second part of the lecture. Even if one only has to give occasional talks, such matters still play an important part.

Say, for example, that one has to give discussions on the building, the Goetheanum. Since one naturally cannot make a separate preparation for each discussion, one should basically, in that case, properly prepare oneself, the way I have explained it, at least twice a week for the talk in question. One should actually only extemporize, if one practices the preparation, as it were, as a constant exercise.

Then one will also discover how, I should like to say, the outer form unites itself with the substance. And we shall have to speak about this point in particular one more time tomorrow: about the union of the form-technique with the soul-technique.

The course is brief, unfortunately; one can barely get past the introduction. But I would find it irresponsible not to have said what I did say in particular in the course of these lectures.



Note 1. The threefold social organism, as depicted by Rudolf Steiner, is composed of three parts: the two mentioned above and the economic realm.

Note 2. (See The Threefold Social Order [also know as, Basic Issues of the Social Question] for details on “Associations.”)

Note 3. Rudolf Steiner refers here to the war-reparations demanded of Germany by France.

Note 4. The speech-exercises are rendered in the original German, since the emphasis is on their sound, primarily; a translation is often useless as well as extremely difficult.

Note 5. In trying to illustrate how one must take hold of one's speech-organs via the exercises. Rudolf Steiner modifies the four words in a manner that is highly original and unusual, and untranslatable as well. But they thus indicate a living working, an active doing. “Gesehmeithgen,” to make pliable; “zu biegen,” to bend; “zu hohlen,” to make hollow; “zu erhabenen,” to have or possess by effort.

Last Modified: 15-Nov-2017
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