Comprehensiveness rating: 4 read less
A very good textbook for an introduction to public speaking course. Contains fifteen chapters of reasonable length and has all of the topics one would expect for this course. Book has minimal pictures and graphics, so it is not "flashy" by any means. Has an excellent chapter on ethics. However, would like to see a bit more attention on speech anxiety and listening.
Accuracy rating: 4
Overall, very good. However, Chapter 5 (Research) is customized for Dalton State College in Georgia. As a result, anyone using this book will need to supplement their course with additional material on research.
Relevance/Longevity rating: 4
Most references are generic enough for this book to be used for several years without having to update editions.
Clarity rating: 4
Very "conversational" and clearly written. The book is obviously written for college students, using words, expressions, examples, and situations that are both real and relatable to a young college audience.
Only a few things are unclear. For example, General purposes needs a bit more explanation in Chapter 4 (perhaps with its own subheading); Appendix A could be moved into a chapter within the book; and Figure 4.1 is unclear.
Consistency rating: 5
Each chapter is laid out in a consistent manner with learning objectives and chapter preview coming first.
Modularity rating: 5
The length is good. Each of the fifteen chapters is approximately 20 pages long, which makes it quite manageable for most college students. The overall length (317 pages) is much better than another 622-page public speaking book which is also included in this open source library. One suggestion is to eliminate all of the "blank pages" found in the book. For example, the blank pages for "notes" found at the end of each chapter. It is very doubtful that students would actually print out the book and then use those pages for notes.
Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 4
Overall, the organization/flow of book is good. It is good that audience analysis and listening comes before the construction of the speech and helps emphasize that public speaking is audience centered.
Two suggestions for improvement. First, speech anxiety is only discussed on five pages in Chapter 1. It should have its own chapter and include some tips for overcoming speech anxiety. Second, listening is only discussed on four pages in Chapter 2. It requires a more extensive discussion.
Interface rating: 3
Grammatical Errors rating: 5
Very conversational. No issues with grammar.
Cultural Relevance rating: 3
Would rate this as "average" and suggest that the authors attempt to infuse the book with more cultural references, when possible. Book has limited pictures, but some do contain people from diverse backgrounds.