|Previous||1 of 3||Next|
small (250x250 max)
medium (500x500 max)
large ( > 500x500)
Loading content ...
Edward Amherst Ott REDPATH Figure © Biedler, Chicago EDWARD AMHERST OTT, THE ART OF LIVING LECTURES Public Appreciation of the Lecture Platform IN EACH art there are only a few leaders and outstanding productions that live and influence human advance. Millions of pictures are painted, but the masterpieces can be placed in one gallery. Millions of books are produced, but a discriminating mind chooses only a few hundred. A few buildings only in each nation attest the genius of architects. The creative spirit of all arts is the same. The qualities that give value can be analyzed, but frequently only the effect is appreciated. The Redpath Bureau has had two generations of opportunity to observe and record the qualities that appeal and hold on the lecture platform, and to analyze the qualities in lectures that place a masterful production in the realm of high art. Redpath estimates a lecture, and the public approves, on the basis of whether or not a lecture possesses the same creative qualities that make a book, a picture, a building, an opera, or a song an event in human advance. The Redpath Estimate of Edward Amherst Ott We speak here of the lecture technique of Edward Amherst Ott, whose platform career has been under our management from the first presentation of Sour Grapes a quarter of a century ago, because his work so highly exemplifies the qualities that make audiences respond to and remember a lecture. We want Mr. Ott's great public to appreciate his methods. Why We Remember Lectures The Lyceum and Chautauqua public remembers the Ott Art of Living lectures because they are organized thought. There is creative logic in the design of each lecture. Colors are rightly laid; unimportant material is subordinated; the vital property emphasized and, above all, properly placed. We hear hundreds of speeches we cannot retain. An Ott lecture is remembered for life as an event. It stands in the imagination like a beautiful building. Clear-thinking, skillful use of words alone never secure this result. Many fluent speakers are not easy to follow or recall. It is the creative art-power of organizing ideas and thought-pictures that makes a lecture stay in the frame and leaves the whole creation in the hearer's vision after the lecturer has left the stage. It is this permanent effect on the hearer's mind that gives the platform its educational value. It is an economy of time and effort to have a conscientious student enter a complicated, chaotic field of social thought; gather the data and organize the material into easily-understood, condensed lecture-form. We remember lectures, primarily, because the material has been organized and dramatized into art-form and, second, because of the technical skill with which they are delivered. Why it is Easy to Listen to a Great Lecture Of course the material is interesting; the sequence of thought carries the mind on from point to point, and the passion appeal is not wanting; but technical skill explains much of the ease of listening. Making speeches is skilled labor. For fifteen years Mr. Ott spent at least one hour each day on voice training. No hall or Chautauqua tent has ever been too large or difficult to make his voice felt. It is easy to follow his organized thought, because he never stumbles over words, blurs them, rushes them, or rants them but lays them on the listening ear as a painter places his colors on a canvas with definite, accurate results, and the words are toned and colored with meaning. In books words are ordinarily printed in the same sized type. In an Ott lecture words have inflection and color qualities and emphasis and grouping by which the hearer can judge meaning and heart value. And so the emotional and ethical importance of words is felt by all. It is just this shading that makes the spoken word such a powerful vehicle for social advance. Any indifference or insincerity of speech is at once revealed in the inflection of the voice, as no man who is spiritually earnest ever rides down the inflection of his voice, or levels it out with forced vehemence. Our audiences believe in Edward Amherst Ott not only because he is logical and studies his themes for years before he presents them, but because his vocal technique is honest. Can You See a Thought? You can see a thought, even an abstract one, when Mr. Ott dramatizes it for you. A great painter of international fame said, I saw Mr. Ott's 'Victory' lecture before me vividly after he left the stage. It stayed in the frame and I could almost paint it on canvas. The art of gesturing and dramatizing thought offers as great an opportunity to a lecturer as the stage does to the actor. Mr. Ott has proved this in every lecture he has organized and every idea he has dramatized. He dramatizes ideas and thoughts, but he does not dramatize himself. He is as simple on the platform as he is in his home or library. He makes his arguments, facts, and pleas act as characters on the ample stage of the hearer's mind. Mr. Ott is a great dramatist, but he is not an actor. He never struts or rants. When most impassioned and sweeping his audience on from height to height, you never feel that he is seeking effects. But with skillful use of voice, of gesture, of body, and face expression he dramatizes thoughts and makes them march in ordered sequence across the screen of imagination. The great public—more than a million and a half—who have heard him believe in him and trust his method and applaud his lecture, arguments, and humor, and not the man. They know he is not acting. The Proof of Public Appreciation Mr. Ott says the public is interested in the lecture, not in the lecturer. He makes this true by being more interested in his lecture than in himself; more interested in the purpose, appeal, and argument than in his rewards. That he has succeeded is proved by the fact that among all the thousands of write-ups in newspapers only once in twenty years has an editor discussed his art or his technique. Always it is the plea, the argument, the urge. This is a high compliment. The great dramatist said, The play's the thing. This great lecturer says, The lecture is the thing I want people to remember. The Bureau's experience is, they do remember, for Mr. Ott cannot fill half the dates we could book for him. Redpath Lyceum Bureau BIOGRAPHICAL STATEMENTS Edward Amherst Ott was born in Youngstown, Ohio, Nov. 27, 1867. He was reared on a farm in Trumbull County, Ohio. He attended Hartford Academy a short time. Studied later under Dr. Tuckerman in Ashtabula County. He began teaching in Hartford, Trumbull County. Also he began speaking and giving public entertainments at the age of eighteen. He studied and taught at Hiram College two years. He went to New York City at the age of twenty-two, to study the speech arts. Here he had a brief career on the stage, studying the methods of great actors and playwrights. He went to Waukegan, Ill., in 1891; but seven months later accepted a call to Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa. He was Dean of the College of Oratory and English for eleven years. During this period he gave much time to the platform, making political speeches, lecturing much before teachers' institutes and associations. He now reaches about two hundred thousand people each year. No one has more return dates than Mr. Ott. He was elected president of the International Lyceum and Chautauqua Association on three successive occasions. He is the author of several text-books used in a number of colleges and high schools. Sour Grapes, his published lecture, has passed through many editions. He is deeply interested in municipal and Chamber of Commerce activities. He is Dean of the School of Chautauqua and Lyceum Arts, Ithaca Conservatory of Music, Ithaca, N. Y. EDWARD AMHERST OTT THE ART OF LIVING LECTURES I. SOUR GRAPES—A Popular Lecture on Heredity Prof. Edward Amherst Ott was a pioneer in popularizing biological ethics. Eugenics is not a fad with him. He correlates a knowledge of the laws of breeding with practical, social, and ethical problems. Sour Grapes has been delivered over 4,000 times and has been heard by over a million people. This lecture is always the first of the series. II. THE HAUNTED HOUSE The Haunted House is a study in sanity. It is a very practical and interesting lecture. It is especially valuable to the people with ambition to improve their own condition. Mr. Ott has a right to speak of creative imagination, as he is the author of several successful books and the inventor of many labor-saving devices. This lecture is always delivered on his second appearance. III. THE SPENDERS This third lecture, The Spenders, is Mr. Ott's contribution to the War on Poverty. It sounds a sane, clear, helpful note. It has many lessons for immediate use—and a farseeing vision. It is given on his third appearance, and many say it is his best lecture. There is uplift philosophy in all the Ott lectures. IV. COMMUNITY BUILDING Many people have municipal fads—Mr. Ott has a community building philosophy. He has organized many commercial clubs and municipal campaigns. His Community Building lecture is given on his fourth appearance. His lectures are a service. Each community should hear all of them. They should be booked in the order printed here. V. VICTORY The fifth lecture of The Art of Living series is often called the best and greatest. Here we see how little the world gained by the War, and how the Victory for Democracy or Representative government is still to be won. All of Mr. Ott's best forensic gifts come into play in this lecture. His humor and wit and, above all, his magnetic earnestness make the hearing of Victory an education in platform art. VI. THE MEASURE OF A MAN A plea for definiteness in character building and moral education, in which is emphasized practical methods of presenting ethics in modern schools and industries. NOTE—Each of the Ott lectures is complete in itself and may be booked as a separate number.
|Title||Edward Amherst Ott|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||
|Personal Name Subject||Ott, Edward Amherst|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
|Rights Management||Educational use only, no other permissions given. U.S. and international copyright laws may protect this digital image. Commercial use or distribution of the image is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder.|
|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||3|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|