Charts for speakers and readers

One feature of both The Schoolmate and The Student and Schoolmate were instructions on reading aloud and on making speeches.

The Reader’s Chart

The Schoolmate often printed a reader’s chart on the inside front cover; it not only showed proper body positions for reading aloud, but included detailed instructions for pronunciation.

The Speaker’s Chart

Both The Schoolmate and Student and Schoolmate printed excerpts from speeches in each issue; each was marked typographically with suggested emphases:

[DIRECTIONS.—Words in Italic should be emphasized; words in SMALL CAPITALS should be strongly emphasized; and words in LARGE CAPITALS should be very strongly emphasized. The numbers refer to the cuts illustrating gesture. The sign plus indicates that the gesture is to be continued to the next number. The gestures are marked to come upon emphatic words, and the motion of the hands should correspond with the stress laid upon the words.]

Numbers in the speeches referred speakers to a chart of appropriate gestures: the complete chart was printed inside the back cover of The Schoolmate, while only the included gestures appeared with the speech in Student and Schoolmate.

Below is the complete chart, with its text, as originally printed in The Schoolmate. The magazine’s instructions for speaking are transcribed below the image.

speaker's chart

The speeches in this Magazine are marked with numbers, which refer to the above gestures. The principal gestures only are marked, and the pupils can make others as they see fit.



1. A selected speech should be perfectly learned before any attempt is made to speak it.

2. Before speaking in public, the pupil should practice by himself the emphasis, tone, inflection, gesture, &c., of the piece, and endeavor to make them as perfect as possible.

3. Never fail to find out who was the author of the speech; also on what occasion, and for what purpose it was spoken, that you may understand and feel the sentiments expressed in it.

4. The dress should be very neat and plain; for soiled and awkward clothes spoil the appearance of the most graceful person, while very showy clothes make a ridiculous appearance.

5. Walk up to the platform in a firm, but graceful manner, and be sure to stand in the right place near the front of it, before bowing to the audience.

6. Bow quite slowly, before commencing, and after finishing the speech, by bending the body and neck as represented in Figure 2 in the above gestures. The right foot is sometimes drawn back a little toward the instep of the left, but it should not scrape harshly on the floor.

7. When commencing to speak, the tone should be moderate, unless the speech begins with some sudden excitement of feeling. As the subject increases in interest the tone should become more earnest; and if the most forcible part is the close, there should the tone and manner be most effective.

8. All the rules given in the Reader’s Chart for Pauses, Inflections, Tones, Manner, Emphasis, &c., of Reading, are just as important in Speaking, and should be carefully studied and observed.

9. While speaking, try to imagine yourself to be the original speaker or author of the piece, and to express the sentiments in an earnest and impressive manner.

10. Do not stand in one position through the whole speech, but change the posture as the subject of the piece changes. Do not, however, move about too much.

11. At first you should attempt such gestures only as you can understand the force and meaning of.

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