Gift of Speech
Gift of Speech a Great Blessing." The power of speech is a talent that should be diligently cultivated. Of all the gifts we have received from God, none is capable of being a greater blessing than this."—"Christ's Object Lessons," p. 338 (new edition).
Neglect of This Gift.—" The culture and right use of the voice are greatly neglected, even by persons of intelligence and Christian activity. There are many who read or speak in so low or so rapid a manner that they cannot be readily understood. Some have a thick, indistinct utterance, others speak in a high key, in sharp, shrill tones, that are painful to the hearers."—Id., p. 339.
Inefficiency Results.—" No man should regard himself as qualified to enter the ministry until by persevering effort he has overcome every defect in his utterance. If he attempts to speak to the people without knowing how to use the talent of speech, half his influence is lost, for he has little power to hold the attention of a congregation."—" Testimonies," Vol. VI, p. 381.
"Unless students who are preparing for work in the cause of God are trained to speak in a clear, straightforward manner, they will be shorn of half their influence for good."—" Counsels to Teachers," p. 217.
Defective Speech Can Be Corrected. —" By diligent effort all may acquire the power to read intelligently, and to speak in a full, clear, round tone, in a distinct and impressive manner. By doing this we may greatly increase our efficiency as workers for Christ."—"Christ's Object Lessons," p. 339.
" If those who have defects in their manner of utterance will submit to criticism and correction, they may overcome these defects. They should perseveringly practice speaking in a low, distinct tone, exercising the abdominal muscles in deep breathing, and making the throat the channel of communication."—" Counsels to Teachers," p. 239.
Classification in Voice Training
a. Ministers and Teachers.—" To those who are planning to enter God's work as ministers, I would say, Strive with determination to be perfect in speech. Ask God to help you to accomplish this great object."—" Testimonies," Vol. VI, p. 383.
"Ministers and teachers should give special attention to the cultivation of the voice. They should learn to speak, not in a nervous, hurried manner, but with a slow, distinct, clear utterance, preserving the music of the voice."—"Counsels to Teachers," p. 239.
b. Bible Workers.—" The one who gives Bible readings in the congregation or in the family should be able to read with a soft, musical cadence which will charm the hearers."—" Testimonies," Vol. VI, p. 381.
c. Canvassers and Colporteurs.— " The canvasser who can speak clearly and distinctly about the merits of the book he wishes to sell, will find this a great help in his work. He may have an opportunity to read a chapter of the book, and by the music of his voice and the emphasis placed on the words, he can make the scene presented stand out as clearly before the mind of the listener as if it could actually be seen."— Id., p. 380.
d. Workers of All Classes.—" The workman for God should make earnest efforts to become a representative of Christ, discarding all uncomely gestures and uncouth speech. He should endeavor to use correct language. There is a large class who are careless in the way they speak, yet by careful, painstaking attention, these may become representatives of the truth. Every day they should make advancement. They should not detract from their usefulness and influence by cherishing defects of manner, tone, or language. Common, cheap expressions should be replaced by sound, pure words."—" Counsels to Teachers," p. 238.
" By earnest prayer and diligent effort we are to obtain a fitness for speaking. This fitness includes uttering every syllable clearly, placing the force and emphasis where it belongs. Speak slowly. Many speak rapidly, hurrying one word after another so fast that the effect of what they say is lost. Into what you say put the spirit and life of Christ."—Id., pp. 254, 255.
Voice Culture Promotes Health " The proper use of the vocal organs will bring benefit to the physical health, and increase the usefulness and influence.. .. By giving heed to proper ' instruction, by following health principles in regard to the expansion of the lungs and the culture of the voice, our young men and women may become speakers who can be heard; and the exercise necessary for this accomplishment will prolong life."— Id., p. 247.
" Many speak in a rapid way, and in a high, unnatural key. Such a practice will injure the throat and lungs. As a result of continual abuse, the weak, inflamed organs will become diseased, and consumption may result." —Id., p. 239.