Lecturing is an art that requires command of many technical aspects. The novice tells all he knows, or worse — what he has read about a subject. He either bores or overwhelms the listeners with his flow of information. The master knows his audience and calls forth wonder and insight. How is it done?
In 1921, to provide prospective lecturers with some guidance, Rudolf Steiner gave two courses on the art of lecturing: one in Stuttgart and the one published here, in Dornach. The illustrative material — needed in all lecturing — was taken from the theme and purpose of these lectures: speaking on the need for a threefold social organism. The Swiss political and social situation at that time was relevant to the audience of about fifty Swiss members of the Anthroposophical Society.
These lectures were not intended for publication and were printed only fifty years later, in 1971. They were translated into English for the Newsletter of the Anthroposophical Society and serialized in nine issues, Autumn 1976 to Winter 1978.
To make this valuable text available at an affordable price, Mercury Press has printed 1,000 copies, using mostly the original pages of the Newsletter. The illustrative material of the Swiss scene of 1921 (in lectures three and four) omitted earlier, ahs been added for the sake of completion, thanks to Maria St. Goar who also translated most of the other text. A new paste-up, combining old and newly typeset material, resulted in some type variation, which the grateful reader — aware of the devotion that has gone into making this translation available — will surely forgive.
Gisela O'Neil, editor of the Newsletter of the Anthroposophical Society in America