Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/236

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then very effectively introduce items that were before held in reserve. In every case, inasmuch as complete narration is impossible, it is desirable to select for it such items as form a reasonably connected story, dominated by a single line of interest; for in this way the attention of the hearers will be much better held than by a rambling recital of disconnected items. Even in so unambitious a method of presentation as the narrative, it is well to recognize that artistic form and graceful phrasing deserve careful attention. These matters should not be so much neglected as to give ground for the reproach, often directed against the work of scientists, that their style is awkward, involved and obscure, or that their interest in substance causes them to neglect form. It well repays a speaker's care in these subordinate matters, if his audience, often more by their manner than by their words, show that they have had pleasure as well as profit in listening to him. Similarly, such trifles as clear enunciation and easy gestures should be cultivated from the first, just as the ridiculous habit of talking to the blackboard or of. . . eh. . . eh. . . awkwardly pausing. . . eh. . . eh. . . when there is nothing. . . eh. . . eh. . . to pause for, should be avoided

Inductive Presentation.—The chief difference of inductive from narrative presentation is that it does not present facts and experiences in the sequence of time, but in a carefully selected order, so that a gradual progress shall be made from the simplest facts at the beginning, through gradually added complications, to safely establisbed generalizations at the end. Personal adventures and reflections here have relatively small place. The order in which the facts were observed and the generalizations were formed is here no guide; for some of the best examples of characteristic facts may have been latest found; and a very satisfactory generalization may have been reached, at least tentatively, at an early date. Their inductive presentation must in such cases be reversed from the order in which they were recognized.

The peculiar value of the inductive method lies largely in the directness with which the speaker leads his hearers from his observations to his conclusion. It is characteristically a linear method, like narration, but its items are presented in order of evidence, instead of in order of time. The inductive method is therefore most appropriate when one is reporting upon problems of no great complexity, when a full assortment of pertinent facts is accessible, and when the conclusion announced at the end is fully substantiated by the facts that lead to it. If the facts are so scanty that they must be supplemented by theory, if the conclusion appears to remain in doubt, or if no safe decision is made among several alternative generalizations, then the inductive method with its linear procedure, is less satisfactory than the analytical method, next to be considered.

The inductive method is moreover best adapted to audiences which sit in the attitude of docile learners, willing to follow patiently wherever