“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.
“I Made A Fool Of Myself”:
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.
G.B.Shaw’s First Success:
He learnt that committees of agitators were always unanimous in conviction that something must be done. Lesson in elocution helps public speakers when a phonetically competent teacher is available. Whatever society he joined, he was placed in the executive committee. He preserved doggedly and spoke at all places where a chance was awaiting him, be it for tens or thousands of people. He lasted as a platform artist till his final retirement from personal performances in 1941. Practice cured his nervousness and accustomed him to speak to multitudes and private persons. Thus be acquired perfect freedom of speech. In the third meeting of the society, he took the chair. His first success was when the society paid to art and arranged a meeting where Shaw gave his first successful speech. He extemporized in order to speak on socialism and other topics for more than one hour. He had many a time outwitted many professional agitators and intruders and had achieved success by preventing the meeting from being broken up abruptly.