Saturday, September 22, 2018

Mrs. Carmen Capone helps flustered speechmakers

Mrs. Carmen Capone is back.

We're traveling a bit further back in time for this visit, though.

The Sunday, September 10, 1961, edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette contains an article headlined: "Are You a Flustered Speechmaker?"

The article contains a whole lot of Mrs. Carmen Capone, and a list of her Rules for Good Speaking. Here is a long excerpt that lends us some more insight into her life:
IF THE THOUGHT of making a speech makes you green with fright — don't worry. You have plenty of company. It's the unusual person who can stand up, talk smoothly and coherently, and not be flustered.

Experts say the only way to learn to speak well is to speak as often as you can. The more often you do, the easier speaking becomes. Mrs. Carmen Capone of Woodwell St. is a good example of this philosophy.

Articulate and self assured, she can remember a time not to long ago when even walking into a crowded room made her almost sick with nerves.

"My husband is an attorney, and a wonderful speaker," she said. "He kept urging me to join clubs, to get into the swing of things. As a starter, he suggested that I get together with some other women who were forming a new Toastmistress Club patterned after the Toastmasters."

THAT WAS THE BEGINNING of the new Mrs. Capone. Each Toastmistress must speak at every meeting. Then other members give constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement. The progress is gradual but constant. Mrs. Capone commented:

"It's amazing how newcomers develop. At first most of them are terribly nervous. They either mumble or else talk too fast. They use 'uh' and 'and' too much and make other mistakes. We all recognize them because we can remember ourselves as new members of the club."

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