A Speaker's Manifesto
© 6 Dec 2012 Luther Tychonievich
Licensed under Creative Commons: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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Reflections on the power of the voice.


Several recent interactions with drama voice coaches Kate Burke and Andrew Wade have helped me to crystallize some long-standing feelings about the power of well-spoken word. As I walked home from an evening with Kate Burke last night I found myself speaking, repeatedly, the following few words. I thought little of them; I often practice elocution in this way. But this morning they were fresh and clear in my mind, so I thought to share them.

I toyed with posting an audio recording of myself reading what follows, but on reflection feel it better to leave the speaking to the reader. I invite you to read what follows, read it aloud without rushing and with feeling, read it repeatedly until you hear in your own voice the life and meaning of the phrases. You can do this with any text, of course; I invite you to practice with this text.

A Speaker’s Manifesto

To speak true is more than to speak truth.

To speak joy is more than to speak of joy.

There is power in the tongue, a power denied the pen, mighty though the pen may be.

Speak, then, and in speaking, be.

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