Stand up, Speak out: The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking
Pub Date: 2016
ISBN 13: 978-1-9461352-5-4
Publisher: University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing
Conditions of Use
The book’s discussion is generally thorough, explaining concepts clearly, illustrating their importance to the speech development process, and read more
The book’s discussion is generally thorough, explaining concepts clearly, illustrating their importance to the speech development process, and providing concrete examples. Particularly excellent are the discussions of ethics (especially plagiarism issues), listening critically, and audience analysis. Also good are the sections on how to select a speech topic and purpose, research and citing sources, developing main points and supporting evidence, common organization patterns and outlining techniques, and constructing arguments. Practice, delivery, presentation aids--all of the topics common to college public speaking courses are included in sufficient detail to make this a very useful text. The section on communication anxiety and how to address it is unremarkable in that it covers similar terrain to most other public speaking texts without shedding new light on the subject. It will nevertheless be useful for many students. The text has no glossary or index; however the table of contents is interactive and easily accessible from any page, making it easy to hunt down topics of interest. There is an effective search tool as well.
The authors write with precision about all aspects of the public speaking process. They explain concepts clearly, and provide excellent historical and contemporary illustrations. They are meticulous about citing sources. Claims and supporting material appear to be accurate and carefully considered.
Although the text was originally published in 2011, at no time does the content seem to be out of date or irrelevant to our current political or social climate. Because many of the conceptual illustrations are drawn from history, they have a timeless quality. But even the more recent examples will remain useful to speech students for some time, such as a reference to the 2010 debate over the Affordable Care Act. Regardless of changes that may be made in our health care laws, the authors' point should still be relevant for the foreseeable future. In a number of instances, the authors make effective use of academic forecasts which should continue to have relevance for the foreseeable future. Following is one example, found in section 1.1: “Researcher Norman W. Edmund estimates that by 2020 the amount of knowledge in the world will double every seventy-three days (Edmund, 2005). Because we live in a world where we are overwhelmed with content, communicating information in a way that is accessible to others is more important today than ever before.”
The text is engaging because of the use of specific and highly relevant examples, word precision, and the use of direct language to draw in the reader (e.g., through the use of direct pronouns). The authors have a highly organized style, making frequent use of previews, transitions, and summaries to maintain reader focus. Terminology is explained clearly and rendered useful through the use of examples that the student reader should be able to relate to. Also, the authors appear to have many years of experience behind this, and to have given careful thought to some of areas that often can be quite confusing to inexperienced student speakers. For example, their discussion of speech purposes in section 6.1 includes a brief but illuminating analysis of why many people become confused about the difference between informing and persuading. To some, this may seem a minor point, but it can actually lead to significant problems in speech focus and preparation. The authors explain this and other many other issues with great clarity.
Key terms are used with consistency throughout the text. As explained below under Organization, the progression of ideas should make sense to the overwhelming majority of readers, moving from a general conceptual framework in the early chapters to more specific applications and “nuts and bolts” of speech preparation in the later chapters.
Chapter headings are clear, and so are subheadings. Most of the sections of this text can be used as standalone readings. The sequence of topics in the text, while logical, needn’t be followed. The sections are self-explanatory enough that it should be easy for an instructor to re-order the topics as needed. Students who have a particular need to know should be able to zero in on a topic of interest without reading everything that came before it. This text, without a doubt, will work in a modular fashion if that is needed. While the authors do make use of cross references to other sections of the text, these are primarily provided to make it easy to check back and forth using the hyperlinks which are included. Most readers will appreciate this feature.
The first five chapters address general principles of public speaking such as the overall speech process, ethics, audience analysis, and managing anxiety. Later chapters take these principles and apply them more specifically, zeroing in on how to identify an appropriate topic, how to develop an audience-appropriate focus (specific purpose), how to conduct research, etc. These later chapters furnish excellent examples from student speeches—of purpose and thesis statements, introductions, bodies, conclusions, etc. Many hyperlinks to videos and audios are also furnished for further illustration.
This was an easy-to-use online text. Finding terms using the search tool was a breeze; the sidebar table of contents, found on each page, is very helpful. Most—though not all—of the hyperlinks work. Illustrations are attractive and appropriate, though not particularly imaginative (many appear to be public domain clip art). One minor font issue concerns key words which are highlighted in blue—the same as hyperlinks. Another minor issue involves the subheadings. There are subheadings and there are what could be called “sub-sub-headings” where a large topic is broken into subtopics which occasionally are broken down still further. Because all the subheadings use the same font and point size, this can lead to confusion over what topic is being addressed, slowing down comprehension.
I found only two typos and one missing word. The grammar is not a problem in this text.
At no time does this text use any language that I would question. Numerous examples are given featuring different races, religions, ethnicities, etc. The authors’ discussion of audience analysis, in particular, is a good lesson on the diversity found in the typical college classroom—even one where most of the students appear to be from a similar ethnic or racial background. As they state in section 5.2: “Not all cultural membership is visibly obvious. For example, people in German American and Italian American families have widely different sets of values and practices, yet others may not be able to differentiate members of these groups. Differences are what make each group interesting and are important sources of knowledge, perspectives, and creativity.”
The authors include some excellent discussion questions at the end of each section, as well as chapter activities and short assessments. These should provide excellent opportunities for partner, small group, and whole class investigations and discussions. Also provided are frequent checklists to help students assess their own progress. One section I was particularly glad to see—section 6.3—is called “Drawing a Blank.” It does an excellent job of addressing one of the big issues that many inexperienced speakers face—the feeling that they have nothing of interest to talk about. This section offers numerous helpful strategies for getting these students on the right track.
The book covered all of the areas associated with the subject matter. This was a major strength of the book. I did not see a glossary. read more
The book covered all of the areas associated with the subject matter. This was a major strength of the book. I did not see a glossary.
I don't think that the book was biased as was accurate. I think other professional speakers may differ on a few points.
The book basically perpetuates the known facts and information regarding public speaking. The information is straight forward and user friendly.
This book is very clear. It presents information, provides practical examples, and provides good reviews. The writing is easy to follow.
For the most part the is consistent with the information it provides. There was, what I consider, some differentiation regarding the topic of memorizing speeches.
This book did an excellent job dividing topics into sections and sub sections. It was divided appropriately and systematically.
The flow of the book and the structure are very good. The organization likely works well with students, however some of the information seemed to fall later in the book than I would have anticipated.
There were no significant interface issues. The images and other displays were simplistic and colorful.
I noticed no grammatical errors. However, I did find it interesting that there was not a space between paragraphs. I also noticed a few other spacing issues.
There were no issues with cultural relevance. All examples were appropriate an non offensive.
This was a very comprehensive book that covered all of the necessary components of public speaking. There were ample opportunities for review and reinforcement. The book was somewhat long and I wonder how it was used along with classroom teaching and if everything gets covered thoroughly.
This text is a comprehensive guide to the many aspects of public speaking. So often to save money for the students, Instructors have relied on a read more
This text is a comprehensive guide to the many aspects of public speaking. So often to save money for the students, Instructors have relied on a pocket guide style of public speaking book. This is a nice option if you want to include the thorough information found in the first 140 pages of the book, which is centered on more general communication theories and principles that aren’t exclusive to Public Speaking, but rather the communication discipline as a whole.
Information presented in the book is accurate for the most part. A more accurate section on outlining should be included with full sentence, properly formatted sample outlines. This is an area where beginning students typically struggle and seeing the formatting be incomplete on the included outlines in this text is a cause for concern as students will often simply “copy” what they see in the text.
Public speaking principles haven’t changed much over the years, so the longevity of the information is solid. That being said, some of the examples are already showing their age – the text included references from 2006, 2010, etc. - that doesn’t seem like that long ago for some of us, but I would prefer to see examples, especially in an online text, that are less than 10 years old. I would imagine that it will take some work to make sure the links are all up-to-date throughout the text because they are so numerous.
Concepts were clearly defined using clear examples for the reader. The text was easily digestible for a student in a 100 level speech course.
The layout of the book was extremely consistent. Each chapter begins with learning objectives and ends with review activities. The sections were arranged in a logical order.
The clear division of the chapters makes it easy for the reader to know where concepts begin and end. It is set up in a way that allows instructors to pick and choose the content in a different order than it is presented. It is also organized in a way that would work if an instructor wanted to work through the material in a sequential order.
A table of contents would provide a roadmap for the reader, which is extremely helpful in a text that is 600+ pages. The parallelism in the chapters is beneficial for the reader as they know when each chapter starts and stops, as well as being able to view outcomes and practice those outcomes at the end of each chapter.
Most of the text was nicely presented. The lack of a reference section as well as the lack of a clickable table of contents in the PDF version made it difficult to navigate – that may have simply been a feature of the PDF version.
There are multiple instances of spacing issues throughout the text. There were also issues in which excerpts from speeches weren’t separated appropriately from the larger text. There are a few places where outlines are referenced, but formatted completely incorrectly (such as the “outline” on page 617).
The text has a section devoted to considering the audience’s diversity which discusses respecting diversity and avoiding stereotypes in your speeches in the ethical speaking section. I thought the speeches referenced by the text were culturally relevant and diverse.
This book would be a great substitute to a traditional public speaking textbook. Although many instructors tend to use the pocket style guides to teach public speaking to keep costs down, those often aren't extensive enough. The few things that are irksome about this book, such as a lack of clickable navigation on the PDF version and the failure to incude any reasonable outline examples can easily be remedied with supplemental material.
This text was very comprehensive. read more
This text was very comprehensive.
This textbook was mostly accurate, except that it did not practice what it preached by being overly wordy, rather than concise, which was ironic since brevity is a foundational trait of effective public speaking.
The book was relevant to today's students.
The wordiness and unnecessary length of the text detracted from its clarity.
The text was internally consistent.
Again, this text was unnecessarily long and cumbersome to use.
As I was reading through the text, I considered whether it effectively complemented my lesson plans - and altogether, I feel it succeeded. The book read more
As I was reading through the text, I considered whether it effectively complemented my lesson plans - and altogether, I feel it succeeded. The book goes into great depth in each of its major chapters, and offers students tips on how to tackle particular challenges. I can use the text as a general framework for introducing content and terminology, but ultimately the in-class exercises I’ve developed over time will be necessary to move students towards next steps. The PDF version lacks a glossary and easily navigable Table of Contents, which is to its detriment. I’d encourage students to use the GitHub site if possible - though introducing the navigation aspects might take up valuable class time.
Altogether, I found the content to be straightforward and sensitive to a range of audiences. The authors are extremely thorough in their use of citations in the online version, but unfortunately some of these do not translate directly into the PDF. I find that they are consistently strong in attributions, offer objective examples, outline strong ethical behaviors and pose interesting questions for the reader.
Most of the text will be useful for the long-run. For instance, tips on how to grapple with anxiety or brainstorm original topics are fairly timeless. However, the authors will have to regularly add modern examples of political speech (e.g. updating for who’s in office) and cultural touchstones. The writers must be vigilant in maintaining active links - I found several “dead URLs” throughout the text, most of which direct to individually-maintained academic websites. It’s critical to keep these fresh to maintain the text’s credibility in the eyes of students and faculty.
The text is written in a clear and accessible style for students. At times, the authors overelaborate on certain points, but on the overall they do a nice job explaining topics. I feel the “Key Takeaways” are strong and straightforward - my opinion is that they could be used as models to retroactively edit several chapters in the interest of brevity.
The authors methodically define terms and explain concepts. In addition, they regularly signal what’s coming next, and do a nice job walking students through the transition from ideation to execution. The text has an even-keeled, encouraging and conversational tone, which helps keep the reader consistently engaged.
The authors do a nice job utilizing headings, subheadings and chapter designations. This was far more evident in the “online” version, where I was able to quickly jump within chapters via the Table of Contents and “Next Section” buttons. As per other textbooks I’ve used in the past, I will choose to present topics in an order I find most meaningful to my classroom. This book is organized in a way that makes this possible.
The book is capably modeled to tackle many of the fundamental topics in public speaking. I had little trouble following the authors’ arguments and ideas, and they effectively preview and review. I would prefer to see the outlining chapter introduced earlier, as this is a fundamental skill that we practice before thinking about major speech construction (often through reverse outlining). I believe that thinking broadly about speech framework before content creation is key - but that’s a personal teaching preference.
Because the text is 622 pages, I found the PDF version to be difficult to navigate on a personal computer - especially if I wanted to backtrack to a particular section. Nevertheless, the type is sufficiently large, and I can assign students chapters accordingly. Unfortunately, I cannot readily convert this to a printed text for students who prefer their readings in book form. I believe the “online” version is far more usable. I could readily jump throughout the table of contents, and the authors did a nice job adding intra-text links. However, the plain text occasionally has formatting issues with citations. I’d suggest making the two versions consistent.
I did not find any significant grammatical errors in the book. There were some formatting issues with spacing, but I did not find these to be too distracting.
Given that the subject is Public Speaking, I feel the authors do a solid job clinically distinguishing between inclusionary and exclusionary language. However, I’d like to see more culturally engaging examples. For example, the “Presentation Aids” chapter could have used visuals representing arts and humanities in addition to the primarily scientific examples. I feel the authors could have included more examples of speech along the lines of Paulette Kelly’s “I Got Flowers Today” (page 367). It would be wonderful to use a compelling poem to demonstrate an assortment of rhetorical devices… One section I found off-putting was the example of the “entertainment speech” in Chapter 6. The speech uses an obscene acronym to create a “fictional university” that is insulting to residents of Harlem - an inappropriate and decidedly unamusing attempt at a joke. I believe the authors should choose a different speech and delete this one from the text.
I appreciate how the authors emphasized how to work with and correspond with librarians in the chapter on research. I often encourage students to begin building relationships with librarians - whether in person or virtually. It’s clear that they’ve done their due diligence in surveying experts, and I plan to reinforce this message of engagement. While I found the research section to be authoritative, at times it turned into a bit of an information dump. It’s wonderful to see plenty of resources listed, but mentioning 9 different databases in one paragraph can be a bit excessive. Odds are my students don’t need a list of 11 major publishers in the Communication field. However, I will say that I welcome the authors’ inclusion of full tables of citations in both MLA and APA style. I often send my students to Purdue’s “The OWL” website, and these tables serve as a strong counterpart. Altogether, I can see myself using this book in the classroom. I was glad to see references to thinkers like Bakhtin, but I would also like to see greater attention paid to rhetorical theory. I feel that Richard Toye’s “Rhetoric: A Very Short Introduction” would be a good complement to this textbook for an additional scholarly perspective.
I love how thoroughly this textbook covers thesis statements. I think the Chapter Exercises and Key Takeaways are especially useful for this element read more
I love how thoroughly this textbook covers thesis statements. I think the Chapter Exercises and Key Takeaways are especially useful for this element of a speech's introduction. I find students are often stymied by the differences between thesis statements and specific purposes, and consequently develop one or the other, but never develop very strong statements. I think it might be more comprehensive to directly deal with the five elements of orienting material rather than simply referring to five or six things that should happen within the introduction. I did not see either an index or a glossary. Both of these features would be a benefit to this book. Many students rely heavily upon these features with the traditional textbook, most notably when they have not set aside time to complete the assigned readings. I think students' reading habits will transfer to open textbooks, and without an index or glossary, many students will be frustrated and deem the open textbook less helpful, even less user friendly.
There is no index or bibliography, so there is no way to determine research accuracy other than your personal knowledge base. Students do not usually have a very extensive knowledge base. Students might also think because the text does not offer a reference list or bibliography that they do not have to offer one with their work products. Also the chapter on Outlining does not accurately cover outlining principles. The three major sections (introduction, body, conclusion) are not covered with the four levels (Roman numerals, capital letters, Arabic numerals, lowercase letters) working within. Neither does the significance of indentations to the flow and consistency of information that constitutes the message seem to be apparent.
I believe the content of the text is up-to-date and will remain so for a while. The fundamentals of public speaking do not readily change. Perhaps rearrangement of chapter order to that more similar to the speech making process might increase relevance. Clarifications of formatting might make technological updates easier to implement, thereby increasing longevity.
The text is understandably written. There is no restricted code that is not defined or explained. All explanations provide clarification suitable for the typical undergraduate.
The text does not consistently use APA's style format. When explaining oral as well as written documentation of sources for student use there seems to be adherence to APA's 6th edition. However the authors' citation of sources does not consistently or correctly offer direct in-text quotations. The citations offered in text are more appropriate for bibliographies and reference pages than chapter content. The in-text citations also misuse punctuation and provide some information that does not belong and leaves out other information that does belong. Additionally some citations provide redundant information. Then there is inconsistency with labeling. For example, Elspeth Tilley's Ethics Pyramid is also labeled and occasionally referred to as the Ethical Pyramid.
I found the modularity effective. It seems as though customization would be effortless, particularly with the subheadings provided for each chapter. Plus if I decided to reincorporate some reading I did not assign, it appears as though that would be a naturally easy adaptation.
For the most part the layout of the text follows the speech making process. It is an easily understandable guide to being effective throughout the process. If the desire is to have the text's information flow as logically as the speech making process does rearranging the chapters so that Outlining follows Finding a Purpose and Selecting a Topic, and Creating the Body of a Speech follows Supporting Ideas and Building Arguments would set up a structure that is more similar to effective design, research, development, and practice of a speech.
Navigation is straightforward. Navigation could be more fluid with the addition of a glossary, index, and bibliography. It is refreshing that the embedded Internet links actually work and without additional navigation at a site. You are taken directly to the video, web page, blog entry, etc. referenced without needing to figure out how to access the referred resource.
More proofreading is needed. There are spacing, typographical, outlining, and grammatical errors. There needs to be some revising and editing in the formatting of the examples, citations, and outlines. Additional proofreading could easily eliminate aspects that instructors will see as distractions and clarify aspects that students may find confusing.
I think this text is culturally relevant in ways that matter to both students and instructors. Students like examples that connect to their personal lives, media, current events, and entertainment. Offering links to celebrities, politicians, professional athletes, and other news makers engaging in public speaking episodes helps students see how the skills and strategies they are learning are relevant and useful. For instructors I believe the chapter on The Importance of Language will be appreciated. It can be challenging to assist students in using and acknowledging the impact of inclusive language. Instructors' use of this chapter can meaningfully encourage students to say what they mean in ways that engage audience members and have listeners feel included in the message.
This is a solid textbook. My current institution has just implemented a prescribed traditional textbook for all of its public speaking courses. In our next review of the public speaking course, if the few issues I noted are remedied, I plan on recommending this open textbook for adoption.
Stand up, Speak--The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking is a relatively comprehensive textbook, although it’s longer than many commercial read more
Stand up, Speak--The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking is a relatively comprehensive textbook, although it’s longer than many commercial textbooks which accounts for some of its breadth of coverage. It is highly suitable for an introductory course in public speaking that is taught from a communication theory/sciences perspective. It combines the best features of an introductory workbook such as interactive checklists and extended examples with strong features of a textbook. Among the most thorough treatments in this textbook are the ethics features (Chapter 2) which are woven throughout the book and concrete suggestions for the implementation of ethical choices in speaking. The weakest topics which might be supplemented, depending on the course emphasis, are: * The several stress management techniques (Chapter 3), such as systematic desensitization and cognitive restructure, which are described but not in enough detail to offer viable alternatives to students. In addition, such techniques are not usually undertaken without professional guidance. * Students are not provided with practical, immediate suggestions for anxiety reduction. * Argumentation, its development and critique, is also very rudimentary. * Persuasion is introduced but not well developed. * Critical analysis of argumentation and persuasion are also very limited with no mention of fallacious reasoning etc.
There is strong treatment of contemporary behavioral theories such as cognitive dissonance, consistency theory, elaboration likelihood model, etc., but very limited recognition of rhetorical theory. If you are looking for a textbook that is well grounded in rhetorical principles, this is not it. In some cases, new language such as “temporal dimension” (p. 13) could be recognized as the traditional rhetorical “kairos” although there is no clear link. In at least one instance (p. 73), the interpretation of Aristotelian categories of speaking as three types of listeners is misleading, or at best, confusing. The historical claim that citizenship was determined by property ownership and that all property owners were prosperous is not credible (p. 73). The use of interpersonal research and models as they are adapted to public speaking is useful. Some of this informs the development of purposes for public speaking, models of dialogic communication and principles of critical listening (p. 91). Description of various types of “noise” in listening is particularly good (p. 80) and well rooted in strong research in interpersonal communication and listening. Why is there no permission included for Monroe’s Motivated Sequence (pp. 572+)? To my knowledge this is copyrighted information and the authors are incorrect when they write that it is included in most textbooks. It is featured only in the Monroe, Ehninger, et al. textbooks because it was developed by Alan Monroe as part of his original army officer’s training manual. Permission must be obtained from Routlege to use this model.
There are many examples, especially in the last 2/3s of the textbook. These examples are derived from contemporary issues and many of these issues such as the military “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on sexual orientation will eventually become dated. Other examples and check sheets that ask students to review their hobbies, favorite books, classes, etc. for speech topic ideas etc. will remain viable for much longer. As always with examples from contemporary political and business speaking (Obama’s speech citations, for example) will become quickly dated. Within another 4-8 years, the typical college student will not likely remember events/leaders from their elementary and middle school years.
This textbook has an average concept load of approximately 4-6 ideas/chapter. There are many lists which appear to expand the load, but these are usually just checklists of options such as types of introductions or conclusions rather than new ideas. Often, practices such as informative speaking or types of transition are illustrated in multiple ways which is especially effective for students. The reading level for the textbook is quite low. Most high school and college level students will have very little difficulty with it–sentences are relatively short, vocabulary is not challenging, and sentence structure is straightforward. One difficulty in the textbook is that new vocabulary/concepts are not consistently defined clearly or in the context of the discussion. For example, “transactional” and “interactional” are used interchangeably at one point although they were established as separate concepts. The problem is further complicated as “dialogic” is introduced into the discussion. At other times, however, such as in the discussion of primary and secondary research (p. 190), the definitions are outstanding.
This textbook is both consistent with most other commercial textbooks on the market and internally consistent in its approach to teaching public speaking. The topics replicate topics covered in most other public speaking textbooks except perhaps if you are looking for more fully developed treatment of argumentation or persuasion or you want to present outlining or demonstration speaking to students.
Instructors and students will find this textbook very easy to use as distinct units or as it is presented from beginning to end. It appears to be very easy to rearrange the chapters without confusing students. In fact, I would personally use several of the later chapters much earlier in the semester and perhaps not use the extensive, although excellent, discussion of special occasion speaking at all. This textbook seems designed for such rearrangement.
The template for each chapter is consistent throughout the textbook. There are clearly delineated learning objectives, take-aways, and assessment questions for each chapter. Headings for chapters and subheadings are clear and easy to navigate. Overall, the chronology of the chapters follows the development of most public speaking courses from “why should we learn public speaking” to the steps for your first speech, to more advanced forms of speaking such as informative, persuasive, and special occasion speaking. Most commercial textbooks follow a similar formula. Several minor problems interrupt the flow of an otherwise well-organized textbook. For example, the list of librarians and the etiquette for interacting with them is both odd and strangely placed at the beginning of the research chapter (p. 185). I’m also wondering why “Speech Preparation Time” is included in the midst of a discussion of research (p. 197) and why the statistics oriented website information is included in Chapter 8 on argumentation rather than in the previous chapter on supporting material.
Students are invited to interact with the textbook through checklists and student-friendly examples. These are well integrated into the development of stages of speech development. Infrequent diagrams and models provide additional support for concept development. Occasionally, summaries describing how lists of topics such as temporal, spatial etc. elements (Chapter 1) relate to the transaction diagram might be helpful for students who will have difficulty making these connections on their own. The small units with key objectives listed after each one is probably helpful for students.
Occasionally words are run together such as “inlistening” (p. 73) or “shoulddo” (p. 523) although this may be the result of formatting issues while downloading. Minor stylistic problems occur occasionally such as “hearer, that”–“hearer who” is more grammatically correct. Most of my students probably wouldn’t notice.
Many public speaking textbooks achieve the appearance of inclusion through illustrations that feature various ethnic groups, individuals using wheelchairs etc. This textbook does not have that luxury because there are no photographs other than the cover image. There is an attempt to create the facade of inclusion through the use of names such as “Jose,” “Pablo,” “Ursula,” “Fatima,” “Yukhi,” and “Juanita.” This is rather superficial. There are several examples that also use Native American culture and others. This helps recognize the potential diversity of readers and audiences. However, the most genuine attempt to stress inclusiveness occurs in the discussion of language and audience analysis. This is quite good.
This is a solid, low-level textbook that would be appropriate for either advanced high school students or entry-level college students. It represents a communication theory/sciences perspective and, although there are a few references to Aristotle, it does not represent a rhetorical approach to teaching public speaking.
All the topics one would expect in a public speaking course are included. They reflect the standard topics found in almost all mainstream public read more
All the topics one would expect in a public speaking course are included. They reflect the standard topics found in almost all mainstream public speaking textbooks. There are no topics missing.
No inaccuracies found in book, although a couple of the links did not work. No bias found, and it appears the authors are careful to work diversity into the book, both in the names, examples, and samples included.
Book is very up-to-date, which means it would likely need to be updated just as frequently as a printed version for several reasons. Many of the examples and samples provided are current topics or well-known people. In a few years, those will be out-of-date and will need to be updated. One suggestion is to use the word "summary" instead of "key takeaways" at the end of each section/chapter. "Key takeaways" is really a current buzzword in the business world, which will likely not be known by students and won't be used after the "freshness of the term" has worn off.
Book is written using simple, down-to-earth, language. It is very conversational and easy to understand. Public speaking is not an overly-difficult subject to understand, so this really reflects the simplicity of the subject matter.
Book is consistent in terms of terminology and framework (which I am assuming refers to the "look" or layout of the book). Each chapter begins with objectives and ends with a summary and some sample exercises/questions. When chapters have subdivisions, those subdivisions also are consistently laid out.
Text is divided into appropriate chapters and sub-divisions of chapters. However, the book is simply way too long (622 pages!!!) and each page is quite difficult to read due to the fact that each paragraph is NOT separated by a space. This gives each page the appearance of one gigantic paragraph. This makes it a daunting task to read through a page, much less a full chapter (which is very long). This is the reason I wouldn't use this text in my course, although I might use parts of some chapters as supplements to what I currently use.
While all of the chapters seem appropriate, I'd suggest moving a couple of them. First, chapter 4 and chapter 14 should be switched with each other. Chapter 4 deals with delivery and needs to be discussed before the construction of a speech, not after. Second, chapter 15 should come right after chapter 8. Chapter 15 deals with visual aids, which should be discussed at the end of the support chapter (since visual aids are a form of support). While it's true that an instructor can order the chapters in any way he/she wants, I think these two changes will be the most logical order.
Didn't see any interface issues or navigation problems except for a few links that didn't work. To be honest, there were not very many pictures, graphics, or features. Tables were frequently used, perhaps too much as it doesn't look much different than the rest of the block paragraphs of text. Perhaps, more visual variety needed in book.
Grammar is fine, but an important note about mechanics is mentioned above and will be repeated here. The book is simply way too long (622 pages!!!) and each page is quite difficult to read due to the fact that each paragraph is NOT separated by a space. This gives each page the appearance of one gigantic paragraph. This makes it a daunting task to read through a page, much less a full chapter (which is very long). This is the reason I wouldn't use this text in my course, although I might use parts of some chapters as supplements to what I currently use.
Like all current textbooks, it appears that the authors have made a concerted effort to use names, examples, and samples that reflect various cultures. Sometimes, it seems forced.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to review this book.
This textbook was one of the most comprehensive public speaking textbooks I have viewed. However, I found it to be lacking in critical thinking read more
This textbook was one of the most comprehensive public speaking textbooks I have viewed. However, I found it to be lacking in critical thinking skills, such as identifying fallacies. There was no index, glossary, bibliography, or bold keywords throughout text.
The majority of the content is accurate. I would like to see "noise" added to The Transactional Model of Communication. The speech outline did not follow the pattern of outlining I use with students. It started with Roman Numerals and then numbers 1, 2, 3, etc. rather than capital letters. A space is needed between “should” and “do” on page 519. The table of contents needs to be updated to include Chapter 19 – Your First Speech.
The overall material is not likely to change in the next few years. MLA and APA guidelines were up-to-date. The biggest drawback in this category is a lot of research cited was over 10 years old.
The authors used a friendly style in their writing that I think would keep students’ attention.
The theme of ethics was seen throughout the book. It was not in every chapter, but some material relates to ethical issues better than other material.
I would have no trouble teaching chapters or sections of chapters out of order from the way they appear in the textbook. There was an appropriate amount of subheadings.
The topics are presented logically. I did not like how the thesis statement was with the introducing a speech chapter. I like to teach thesis statement with the specific purpose.
Very poor. There was very little use of color, pictures, and other graphics.
I did not notice any grammatical errors.
This textbook did an excellent job of appealing to college students’ interests such as O, The Oprah Magazine, Ted Talks, and popular television shows. It lacked material on international culture.
There were useful checklists/questions for students, such as the “Public Speaking Ethics” checklist and “Who is an Expert” questions. The text also included learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter, summaries throughout each chapter, and assessment questions at the end of each chapter. There were numerous websites to provide students with extra resources on a wide variety of topics.
This is a good basic public speaking textbook. It covers the main topics that one would expect in a public speaking textbook and includes plenty of read more
This is a good basic public speaking textbook. It covers the main topics that one would expect in a public speaking textbook and includes plenty of practical advice. The sections on ethics and organization are particularly helpful, and the writing is generally light and engaging. Depending on how an instructor is using the book, a potential weakness is a lack of rhetorical theory. My preference would be that the authors use rhetorical theory to explain why students may be making particular choices in their speeches. The audience, argument, and persuasive sections are particularly weak in this respect. For example, I would have liked to see not only an understanding of the audience and its demographics, but also a consideration of ways in which an audience can be constructed by the speaker. Important elements of persuasion such as framing and identification are absent. The authors do list figures of speech, but there is little consideration of what those figures do or how they may work in public speaking. A more serious issue is the lack of table of contents, index, glossary, foot/endnotes, and bibliography. The lack of an index, table of contents, and glossary can make it difficult for students to use the book. The absence of notes and bibliography is particularly problematic when we are attempting to teach students to responsibly cite sources. There are markers of notes in the text of the book, but I have been unable to locate any actual notes to correspond to those markers at the end of the pages, chapters, or the book as a whole. My best guess is that the notes were lost in formatting, or perhaps the problem is unique to the pdf version that I read. Nonetheless, these elements need to be present in every version of the book.
I don't see any major problems with accuracy. However, the absence of a bibliography and/or notes is a problem.
Some of the examples could use updating, but I don't see any major issues. There are many web links in the text. I did not check if all of those links are still active, but instructors will need to check the links if they are expecting students use them.
The writing is generally clear and accessible. The learning objectives are clearly stated, and there are good summaries at the end of each section. Some of the checklists also seem very helpful. Clarity could be improved by pulling out definitions into a separate box or glossary. Some of the spacing and formatting issues may also introduce confusion.
The book is generally consistent. I didn't see any major shifts in terminology or anything else that would make me concerned about consistency.
The chapters and subsections are generally clear, and there is an appropriate amount of self referencing. A clear and detailed table of contents would make it easier to assign specific sections and navigate.
The organization of the chapters are clear and similar to other public speaking textbooks. However, Chapter 19 was strange. It seemed like a general summary of the overall book, and at at least one place the book called the chapter an appendix. The chapter seemed disconnected and didn't seem to add much to the overall text.
The book was, at times, difficult to read, and the formatting seemed sloppy. There are no spaces or indents between paragraphs. Throughout the text there are additional spaces or missing spaces between words (such as "anidiom" instead of "an idiom"). Some of the figures are missing (such as 17.1 in my pdf version), and some tables are formatted in a potentially confusing way. The font occasionally changes. There is no easy way to navigate between chapters and because there isn't a table of contents with page numbers, the reader has to scroll through the book to find a particular section or chapter. However, there are not indicators, like chapter titles, at the top of pages to aid navigation. There are also places where sample speeches are not distinguished from the text, so it can be difficult to see where the text ends and the sample speech begins.
I did not see any serious grammar issues.
There is nothing clearly insensitive or offensive in the book, but there also was not a comprehensive treatment of culture. Culture and related issues of power are important to public speaking, and I was disappointed to see only a cursory treatment of these issues.
This book includes practical advice and contains much of what an instructor would expect in a public speaking textbook. I could see the book functioning as a good supplement to a public speaking course. The interface/formatting issues are a problem. Perhaps there are different versions of the book, but all versions need to have notes and bibliography. I am also disappointed by the absence of rhetorical theory. It's impossible to include the content that will satisfy every instructor. However, most public speaking textbooks include at least some rhetorical theory, which I see as important to (1) explaining why we are asking students to make specific decisions and (2) creating a framework for more advanced communication courses.
This textbook is backed with current research and great examples making it an interesting and informative read. It reaches out to students by read more
This textbook is backed with current research and great examples making it an interesting and informative read. It reaches out to students by providing relevant stories and illustrations along with bibliographic footnotes. Unfortunately, those footnotes lead to nothing. There is no bibliography or index or glossary of any sort. There is nothing at the end of the chapter, nor at the end of the book to indicate reference sources. Student who want to learn more, or to check their secondary references (as encouraged in Chapter 7 on researching the topic) are out of luck. And for those interested in chapter topics, there is no table of contents list either. Students looking for bold-faced vocabulary words will have to highlight them on their own. The words DO exist, and are very easily understood, but the book doesn't provide that common study help that many students rely on. What is helpful though, is that each chapter section does provide a learning objectives box,and key takeaways box plus useful exercises and/or self-quizzes to test knowledge. There are also additional links to resources on the web that I am sure students and instructors will find very helpful. In the bigger picture, this textbook might not have all of the stylistic conventions that students and instructors have learned to appreciate in a textbook, but the content covers all that I would require in a public speaking textbook and more. I was pleasantly surprised at the scope and the depth of this book. Content-wise it can stand up to anything that's out there.
The research for the book appears to be accurate, but without the bibliography it's hard to judge with certainty. In my reading there wasn't any information that drew red flags for being incorrect or biased. What did stand out was the lack of proof-reading. There were numerous places where words ran together without spacing. In the outline section, which is typically the most difficult thing for my students to learn, the formatting was horrendous. Yes, it is often difficult to get computers to format outlines correctly because of auto-correct, but students rely HEAVILY on the text when creating their own outlines, and what is shown is NOT what I want any student emulating! There needs to be some serious work done in the formatting of this chapter for the examples to be acceptable. Proofreading could move what is a good book to a desirable book.
Public speaking is not a subject that changes quickly as the generations go by. Much of what does change is stylistic or technological in nature and we just adapt the basics to the changes. It's not likely that this text will become obsolete in a short period of time. The text and chapter arrangement is relatively timeless. Even the examples that are used are explained in such a way that they will be relevant for the decade to come. A great way to ensure relevance and longevity would be to improve the readability. If students are reading the text electronically, paragraphs need to be indented or delineated clearly. Having everything flush left, makes for a confusing read at best. When looking at screen after screen of dense wording becomes difficult for the eyes and will discourage students from spending much time with the chapters. Indenting paragraphs, creative use of "white" space, and illustrations will lengthen the amount of time a student spends with the content. As it says in chapter 15 (Presentation Aids: Design and Usage), "presenting [is] much more than just a collection of words and ideas." (pg. 473)
I found the prose of the book to be very readable and interesting. There were many vocabulary terms that were defined in such a way that I often appreciated the clarity of the definition. The examples were clear, current, and relevant. Much of the book was easy to relate to and invited the reader into the topic. The only aspect of the book that wasn't clear was why chapter 19 (Your First Speech) exists. It's in a different typeface, and seems to be an afterthought, or maybe a conclusion to the book, because it summarizes much of what the previous chapters covered. I suspect that a simple checklist in an appendix would be a good substitution.
Moving from chapter to chapter, or even section to section within a chapter, was smooth and easy to follow. There were not any consistency issues that caused any problems for me. The authors referred back to specific sections at times to keep the topic relevant, and when checked, the references all were correct. The web links all worked as well.
In general, the modularity was effective. As I was reading, it was easy to figure out which sections or which chapters could be eliminated for my student needs without losing the integrity of the book. I liked the ways that the subheadings were labeled with numerals so that a continuity was established making it easier to realign as needed. The outline chapter uses some lengthy examples that could possibly be shortened, but overall, the modularity is stellar.
The organization of the chapters (excluding 19) makes sense and is fairly typical of most public speaking books. It's logical and follows a linear fashion from the rational of public speaking to the completion of the speech. I appreciated the review of the fundamentals of the communication process and listening at the beginning to the discussion of language choice and delivery near the end. The structure and flow of the book could be improved for readers by proofreading and stylistic devices. Students need a bibliography and index. Bold vocabulary terms help student know what's important. Indented or other stylistic devices to delineate paragraphs. Use of white space and/or illustrations to break up the huge blocks of words. Just as giving a speech is not just about the message, an effective book is not just getting the words on the page.
In general, the navigation throughout the book is easy. With the exception of the lack of a table of context, index, and bibliography, it is fairly easy to navigate throughout the book. The links to the web are easy to follow and working.
There were a few grammatical errors and run-on words. A good proofreader can fix these problems easily.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the written of this book. As I was reading though it, I was always thinking of ways to make it work for our public speaking classes. There are some things that I would change, and I certainly would do some proofreading and stylistic revisions, but this is a solid book that is engagingly written. I believe that with a little tweaking here and there--plus an instructors "unique" classroom presence--students would find this book appealing and useful.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the written of this book. As I was reading though it, I was always thinking of ways to make it work for our public speaking classes. There are some things that I would change, and I certainly would do some proofreading and stylistic revisions, but this is a solid book that is engagingly written. I believe that with a little tweaking here and there--plus an instructors "unique" classroom presence--students would find this book appealing and useful.
This is by the best text book on public speaking that I have seen recently in terms of the overall content. What I would like to see is a better read more
This is by the best text book on public speaking that I have seen recently in terms of the overall content. What I would like to see is a better glossary of key terms. Yet, what makes this a great text is the break down of key takeaways and more importantly the end of section exercises that I find lacking in other public speaking texts. The thoroughness of the text is what really has captured me. The text doesn't skim over key concepts, but instead really provides a detailed explanation with numerous references to scholarly supporting material for students. The use of in-text sources provides a great illustration of the comprehensiveness of the text. This book really does a great job in touching on concepts like attention span or stages of listening that I have not seen in other public speaking books or developed out like this text.
I would have liked to see a reference or works cited page included. In this age of information I strongly encourage my students to cite all their sources. I think it should be important for a text book, especially open textbooks to include a reference page. In addition, this would help the students understand how to prepare a reference page. More importantly, also if a student wanted to look at another (s)more in-depth they would have a detailed list to refer to. Otherwise, overall the information is accurate and students will get a wealth of information on public speaking from this text.
This book is update. In a topic like public speaking, the key concepts and methods do not change all that often, or at all. I like the various references to more current speeches (Obama) with more classic speeches (MLK's "I Have a Dream"). Often texts will update and remove "older" references, this text has found the perfect balance.
I loved that this text took the terminology of public speaking and made it understandable and easy to read at the same time. I actually found reading this text incredibly enjoyable. There isn't an overload of technical terminology without an easy to understand description to follow. Students will find this text more enjoyable to read than the "guidebooks" that are on the market.
Everything in the text flows consistently from section to section and chapter to chapter. Concepts clearly build off each other. The writing is consistent as are the use of examples and sources throughout.
I really liked the book is divided. When I teach my courses, I don't start at page one and work all the way through, I like to jump around, so the way this text is divided is perfect! More
I thought the text was consistent in organization with other texts. However, I would maybe put speaker apprehension before the chapter on ethics. Ethics is certainly important, most students coming into a public speaking class are going to be nervous and really dreading it, so I think focusing on speaking apprehension in the first or second chapter makes the most sense. This way too, the ethics chapter can lead off developing speeches. I would also suggest a table of content be included in the PDF version that way a student can quickly find the start of a chapter or section and go directly to it.
I found no issues with the interface. Everything appeared properly and even printed clean if a student needed to print a page or pages. All the images were clean without issue.
I found a few places where spaces were missed between, but nothing else of major significance.
The text does a good job of incorporating cultural relevance into the content (e.g. Chapter 5) and provides clear examples of some words to use or not use.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book to my university and others teaching public speaking. It is by far the most comprehensive book that I personally have seen. It is easy to read, students will not get bored reading this text and it provides great examples and resources for the students and any instructor. I would only suggest inclusion of a reference page, a glossary, and a table of contents.
The book is quite comprehensive, and covers similar materials to other public speaking texts. Where it stands out is in its excellent and clear read more
The book is quite comprehensive, and covers similar materials to other public speaking texts. Where it stands out is in its excellent and clear advice for the students. The advice on dealing with nervousness, analyzing one’s audience and adapting the speech to them, selecting and narrowing a topic, research, building arguments, creating speeches that unroll in effective stages, building credibility, persuasion, and the physical presentation of a speech was all quite strong. The information about different listening styles will be useful for people throughout their lives, not simply in the context of public speaking, but it will definitely help those who wonder if their audience is paying attention. The book even includes information on citation styles and research tools. It addresses a very wide variety of speaking circumstances, including key notes and toasts. I would have loved to see a specific section aimed at presenting a poster—there is little available on this topic and posters are being used more in university and academic settings. This is a type of public presentation that is challenging but rewarding if done well, since it is so interactive. When done poorly, it is a waste of everyone’s time. Some of the less effective information centered on specific presentation aids such as slideshows—students would be better served to integrate this text with other texts for this topic, such as Duarte’s Slideology.
The book is largely accurate and unbiased. There is one area in which the content is uneven, however. The ethics discussion is sometimes thin to the point of being misleading. For example, he book says, “One option for assessing intent is to talk with others about how ethical they think a behavior is; if you get a variety of answers, it might be a sign that the behavior is not ethical and should be avoided” (p. 19), are highly problematic from an ethical theory perspective. Issues that have a variety of ethical answers should not be avoided, but engaged with thoughtfully and using ethical frameworks to analyze. And polling one’s acquaintances about a behavior doesn’t determine its ethical basis, merely your acquaintances perspectives/cultural ideologies. Statements like this made me question this book’s aim to teach “ethical” public speaking. In addition, the discussion about means-ends is so oversimplified as to be deceptive. However, the thorough look at the National Communication Association Credo for Ethical Communication redeemed this section. While the authors’ discussion of ethical theory is problematic, the information they give regarding information honesty, acceptance of diverse perspectives, and other parts of this credo, is sound. The checklist of ethical considerations the authors provide is particularly useful. The end-of-chapter ethical questions are interesting, and provide scenarios that offer good fodder for ethical conversations.
The book is relevant, and uses up-to-date terminology and examples, most of which will not swiftly become dated. Some references, such as to the TV show "The Office" will become dated.
Clear writing, easy to understand. The book is often funny. The examples are clear and demonstrate the points the authors intended.
The book is consistent, clear, authoritative, and well-researched and supported. It builds in a logical fashion, so that by the end of the book, the students will have a clear understanding of what it takes to be a good public speaker.
The text is easily teachable, with clearly demarcated sections that can be used separately or cumulatively. Good use of learning objectives to highlight key ideas, “key takeaways” do a wonderful job of synthesizing the information. The exercises occasionally look like busy work, but many are quite helpful. They would be particularly useful in a class focused entirely on speaking. In a class that merely incorporates speaking as part of the learning competencies, the exercises are less important than the excellent advice on speaking. However, the book offers such a clear and compelling of the process of argumentation that I could see it being used in a writing course, or in the context of many other courses that ask students to create arguments in papers, speeches, posters, or other presentations.
The topics in the text are organized well. There are some topics I would not expect to see highlighted in a text of this nature, such as "librarians are your friends" and information on how to research a topic. These topics are so welcome and helpful that these parts of the text could be assigned in a wide variety of classes that require a research project. This really made the book stand out for me.
The book's formatting and interface are largely clear and easy to use and understand. I do find the lack of indents or spaces separating paragraphs or blockquotes, and the many other spacing errors distracting. Formatting issues signal laziness to me. I read the pdf, which should not have exhibited such formatting errors in the way a converted ebook format could.
I didn't see any grammatical errors in the text.
The books is culturally relevant in that is makes students aware of sensitive topics, ways to present them, and it challenges assumption about cultural superiority. More importantly, the book teaches sensitivity by explaining how and why students should listen ethically and be open minded. It presents audience analysis less as profiling than as ensuring the speaker is meeting the audience on respectful and sincere terms.
I teach applied public speaking in an Information Technology Ethics class, and I was intrigued by the promise of “ethics” in the title. It seemed a perfect confluence of topics to assign as a guide for my students as they prepared their speeches. While public speaking is not the main focus of this class, it is a critical skill to be learned by all of my students. Students will be wrestling with challenging ethical issues in their careers, and often have to persuade or inform their colleagues about ethical problems. I will be assigning parts of this book for future sections of this ethics class. One of the competencies for this class involves being able to communicate ethics issues clearly and convincingly. To that end, I want to ensure my students understand their ethical duty in the midst of that communication process: they must acknowledge any of their biases when possible, and seek to present as many sides of the issue as possible. The books does a particularly good job of describing exactly this process. I have been a consultant for 14 years, and have read and used a variety of public speaking texts in my work. This book is relevant to real-world public speaking needs, while also being useful in a classroom setting. The book provides a solid theoretical basis for the public speaking, from Shannon & Weaver’s signal/noise information theory to Bakhtin. Da Vito’s theoretical framework is a great basis for speakers to consider. Good historical grounding as well—the book notes ancient Greek and Latin speech types, for example. Later in the book, the authors usefully talk about cognitive dissonance theory and other theory that makes it difficult to persuade listeners to one’s perspective. HIGHLIGHTS: ethical checklists, research tips, active listening and assessments of the audience.
This text stands up very well against many popular public speaking textbooks from large publishing houses that I've used. There are well written read more
This text stands up very well against many popular public speaking textbooks from large publishing houses that I've used. There are well written chapters for all of the concepts covered in a 100/200 level public speaking course. In terms of content, I only have three problems. First, there is no table of contents or index. Second, there is no glossary for students to reference. And lastly, the chapter on persuasive speaking (chapter 17) is lacking some essential information about argumentation. Namely steps to constructing an argument, identifying logical fallacies, and ethos, pathos, logos appeals. I would add to the persuasion chapter before teaching from this text. In terms of content, the persuasive speaking chapter is the weakest point of this text.
The information presented in the text seems very timely. The first chapter includes information about speaking in the 21st century via media like vlogs and TEDTalks.
Theories and concepts presented in the text are very foundational to public speaking. The examples presented of these concepts and theories were timely/contemporary and are integrated in a way that would make them easy to update in the future.
Appropriate language for the level of the audience is used. The chapters were easy to read and used discipline specific language when necessary.
The format of each chapter is consistent and sets a tone of predictability in layout/design.
Some of the earlier chapters contain larger blocks of text that could benefit from being broken up. Starting in chapter 6 the examples are more clearly identified/highlighted through paragraph dates and indents. The chapters would be easy to assign in any order, or having the numbering changed to reflect the order in which readings would be assigned. The only caution is chapters are renumbered is that within the text of come chapters there are references to find more details in other chapters. Those references have the chapters numbered, so do a word find on the document to consistently replace all chapter number references.
The text was relatively easy to navigate. If each chapter had a listing of the subsections that would be easier for students to navigate.
Each chapter is broken into smaller sections. From a layout standpoint it would be nice to have a listing of all chapter subsection numbers and names to follow. It would act as a preview of what's to come in the chapter. Some of the exercises at the end of the chapters have some display problems (pdf version). There are multiple choice questions in the exercise section that are not numbered, or the response options are not presented in a consistent manner. Something that could be easily fixed in the MS Word version.
There did not appear to be any grammatical errors in the text. There were some font inconsistencies.
The section on language use did a nice job of addressing cultural relevance and sensitivity to diversity. The audience analysis chapter is inline with other industry textbooks, though I think there is room to more fully address cultural relevance and diversity. The psychographic section of the textbook could explore this topic more fully.
This textbook isn't "perfect", but I've never taught from one that provided all of the information I wanted my students to learn. What I like about this text is that it's inline with many other industry textbooks and it provides me the opportunity to customize the text by adding or removing content. I believe that it provides a great framework for instructors to build their course upon. The lack of materials like a glossary, index, or even a test bank might be a problem for a new instructor. But, if you've taught public speaking for even a year you should be able to use this text without making significant changes to your curriculum.
The textbook covers all of the necessary topics included in your typical Public Speaking Introductory course to include audience analysis, ethics, read more
The textbook covers all of the necessary topics included in your typical Public Speaking Introductory course to include audience analysis, ethics, listening, organization, outlining, research, language, and topic selection. It has specific chapters devoted solely to informative, persuasive, and entertaining speeches. It also had specific chapters devoted just to the Introduction and Conclusion which provided nice emphasis on the bookends of a strong speech. The only topic that was not covered in this text that is covered in my current text is Group speaking. I don't see this as a deal breaker with selecting this text, it just means that additional content would need to be added if an instructor wanted that component included. Most topics were adequately or thoroughly covered. The text needs a Table of Contents and / or an index as a part of the document.
Most information seems very accurate, unbiased, and free of factual errors. Credibility could be added to the textbook by adding background information on the authors and comprehensive reference information at the end of the textbook.
The content of Public Speaking is rather timeless, but finding examples that multiple generations are familiar with is the challenge. This is a strength of the text. It includes up to date references to include TED Talks, YouTube, and statistical predictions for 2020. It also includes live links to relevant speeches in each of the Entertainment speech (Ch 18) categories such as Tiger Wood's apology speech, Colbert's Roast of George W. Bush, and a Speech of Presentation gone wrong with Taylor Swift and Kanye West. Most of the references used throughout are still household names, but should be replaced as similar examples occur in the future. Replacing these events would be rather simple.
The text is very clear and easy to understand. It uses a reading level and vocabulary that will be appropriate for your typical beginning speech course at community and technical colleges as well as four year Universities. All jargon was appropriately explained or illustrated with timely examples or illustrations. I would like to see clearer and more complete illustrations of the Models of Communication. I prefer the traditional Transactional Model of Communication where it also includes Context, Noise, Channels, Message and illustrates the back and forth motion.
The overall feel, reading level, and conversational style of the text seemed to be consistent throughout. Visually, there seemed to be some inconsistency. My training on textbook selection encouraged us to look for a nice balance of words, pictures, and white space. I would have liked to see more illustrations in the book. There also seemed to be little white space in the text and inconsistent spacing. There was a lack of spacing between paragraphs throughout most of the book except in Chapters 6 and 7 (spacing was better in these chapters). White space offers students a psychological break and indicates a change in topics. I am not sure if it is an interface issue, but I saw this as inconsistent. I also would like to see key terms in bold or italics. I only noticed this occuring in Chapter 5 (Italics). I would like to see this occur throughout the text.
This text can easily be divided and assigned out of order or in sections. As mentioned earlier, a Table of Contents and an Index would improve the modularity of the book so students are able to find the various topics of study.
Topics are presented in a relatively logical flow. It seems that authors always struggle where to place the chapters on the specific types of speeches. It seems awkward to wait until the end, but yet there does not seem to be a natural place to insert them without breaking up the foundational skills of speech writing. These authors placed them at the end which is similar to the book I use now. I think it works, but does require that I assign a later chapter earlier in the semester in order to spread the speeches out throughout the semester. I am not sure if there is a way around that. One thing that I recommend is using varying Font size and indentation to add clarity to the organization of the individual sections (Ex. on page 92 the heading above says "6 Ways to Improve Your Critical Listening" and the subsections listing these six things use the same font, font size, and indentation so there is no differentiation between the heading and the smaller sections. Another example is on page 116.)
Most of the interface is very good. The charts and assessments are fantastic. The only interface that was off was found in several chapter assessments. It would have numbering for the first question (1.) and then the second question would be indented with no numbering. The only other question was whether the squished text was a spacing issue or an interface issue.
I did not notice any glaring grammatical issues other than the errors mentioned with the end of the chapter assessments. There were a few instances where a sentence seemed rather long, but for the most part, it was very strong grammatically.
The textbook does a good job of addressing the different facets of inclusive language, ethnic identity, and audience analysis. I was surprised that socioeconomic status was not included in one of the discussed categories in audience analysis (it is listed at the beginning but not expanded on). The textbook incorporates a good variety of ethnicities in it's examples and illustrations. I found the incorporation of the term Chronocentrism very good. It demonstrates strong cultural competence on the part of the authors. It is hard to find that term incorporated in an intercultural text much less a Public Speaking book.
Unless another text would sweep me off my feet, I am very interested in adopting this text for my course. While there are imperfections, the strengths of the book and the cost savings far outweigh the areas for improvement. The strengths that I see that have not been mentioned yet include: 1. a fantastic chapter on Ethics that incorporates the NCA Code of Ethics and strongly addresses plagiarism, 2. an important discussion on Powerless vs. powerful speech, 3. practical questionnaires and checklists that help students understand things like Who is an expert?, Is a source biased?, attributes of a strong Thesis, and the components of Monroe's Motivated Sequence., 4. Valuable links and resources (see chapters 6, 7, & 8 especially). 5. Links to actual speeches that can be used for analysis. 6. A list of objectives at the beginning of each chapter and take-aways and assessments at the end of each chapter. The only other thing that would sweeten this deal is if there was a test bank for this text. I look forward to implementing this zero cost, relevant, and engaging text into my public speaking classroom.
The textbook actually covered more than what I was anticipating. I falsely thought it was going to be more of a handbook or guide, something I'd use read more
The textbook actually covered more than what I was anticipating. I falsely thought it was going to be more of a handbook or guide, something I'd use supplementaly. The actual pdf version does not start with a chapter page of contents, nor does it end with a glossary. I think the page of contents would be useful as it would help outline the content as well as help students navigate to topics more easily.
Each textbook takes a slightly different approach to communication topics. This is no exception but is more comprehensive than I anticipated. For the most part the content seems accurate and error-free. There are some numbering errors (in end-of-chapter assessments) and the occasional word misspelled (more of a spacing issue as in on page 168 "afinding"). It seemed to address some issues with cultural sensitivity (e.g. ethical language choices that include member identification/labels) and exercises that state unbiased examples like "one audience will consist of business men and women...".
Some of the content and statistics are dated. Even in the book's description there is evidence that updating might need to be done very soon: "Currently, the amount of information available to people doubles every 18 months and is expected to double weekly by 2015." This is then later contradicted in chapter one, "Researcher Norman W. Edmund estimates that by 2020 the amount of knowledge in the world will double every seventy- three days". One study referenced was from 1975--maybe there is a more current study that could be used instead? There were other references to pop culture, some newer than others, which could also help engage students but at the same time risk it being dated (Stephen Colbert Report, House). However, at other points they are referenced more statistically so perhaps it gives it a little more longevity. The latest date reference is 2011 so that's already setting it up to be a bit outdated already. There are also several links and that can be dangerous for a live site as those are beyond the authors’ scope to keep active. I noticed several broken links already (mostly with the document links).
I think the language used in this textbook is very accessible. This is one of the strengths of this particular resource. There's not very many graphics but the text is clear. It is something that college students should be able to read easily.
The framework for the resource seemed to be consistent for the most part with learning objectives identified in the sub-headings and the key takeaways listed at the end. Exercises seemed to end each sub-unit and an end-of-chapter exercise (assessment) ended each chapter. So yes, I think there was consistency in the framework. One thought that came to me after going through the rest of these questions is the fact that the text did not highlight any terms like some textbooks do. This is sometimes a nice visual for students.
There are 19 chapters, not 18 as stated in the description. Most chapters seem to have logical groupings. They are usually broken down into sub-headings which break up the reading into more manageable chunks. Note: Chapter 19 is not a typical chapter, it is more of a summary. The authors at one point refer to it as an appendix.
It was helpful that the text laid out the learning objectives at the start of each sub-unit heading. That helped set the framework for what followed. Likewise, the "key takeaways" at the end of units were also helpful. The "end-of-chapter assessments" were a bit confusing and messy, especially the first time it was encountered as the heading was "chapter exercises" and it directly followed the same colored highlighted section titled "exercises". Perhaps if this had been highlighted in a different color it would have helped. There were numbering and spacing issues as well. There was only one number in the text and there were two answers in the following answer key. So that wasn't very clear either. I also thought chapter 19, was a bit confusing with the chapter written as an introduction, "In this appendix, we have introduced you to the basics of effective public speaking...All the concepts discussed in this appendix will be more fully discussed in the other chapters in this book." As mentioned, I would have liked to a content guide included in the online resource itself. I think this helps students see the overall outline of the resource as well as helps them navigate to specific content more quickly through the use of page number references. Also, having just studied some ADA best practices, I wonder about the left-justifications of the margins without spacing between paragraphs. That makes the screen very text heavy on the left side without any breaks. The line spacing however does seem wide enough to meet recommendations, but I just wonder if the left alignment would be distracting to some learners. There’s also not a lot of breaks for supplemental graphics which could also appeal to your visual learners. There's also the issue that this font is not ADA compliant. Sans-serif fonts are less distracting for those with visual impairments. The headings appear to be in a different font as they are sans serif along with the text in those highlighted areas such as the "key takeaways" and exercises, but "sidebars" (like NCA Credo on page 24) were back to a serif font. So there seems to be some inconsistency there with ADA best practices.
In the beginning the links I tried seemed to work, however, when attempting to get back to the text, the reader is sent to page one, which could be a hard adjustment for students as they then have to scroll back to find where they were at in the chapter. Closing the window closes out the whole resource (linked site and textbook pdf). So perhaps as instructors it might be helpful to suggest students copy links into a new browser window to avoid these frustrations as I don't know if anything else can be done by the publishers that would be similar to what many of us can do in an LMS or learning management system (e.g. having links open automatically in a new window). Again, I wonder about the ability of screen readers to navigate the URLS (descriptive caption verses full link address) and the need to scroll back to last spot in text. Later I found links that were not active and would bring up error messages. For example, I could not access 4/5 templates provided in table 7.3. The issue seemed to occur more often with accessing documents versus live websites but instructors do just need to be aware of this, and try all active links you want to use if choosing this OER. There are also times when spacing is used before subheadings and other times it does not appear to be used which can make reading more difficult. (Page 8, 13, 21, 30, 37 etc.) As mentioned before there are numeration issues with the end-of-chapter assessments. There are also issues with spacing/indentation in those areas as well, at least when viewed on a mac. Only the first question is numbered and the spacing for answer options aren't in alignment so that's distracting. This occurs also in other parts of the text with chapter sub-units (e.g. page 198 where the only sub-point that has an indentation is "a".) It was also very confusing in chapter 6 knowing where the written speech example started and stopped. There was no differentiation in the text, font, spacing, colored highlighting (i.e. text box), or alignment which indicating it was the referenced speech. I found that extremely confusing, especially when asked to go back and compare one speech to the other.
I did not find significant issues here.
The unit on audience analysis touches on cultural variables but could have gone into a little more depth. This would be an area I think that would need some supplemental material. For example, "group membership" did not go much further than academic major. However, I also appreciated that gender and race weren't discussed in stereotypical terms in this unit. Again, I think this is where instructors would need to add some additional discussion/resources. The text also discusses insensitive humor, which is also an important topic.
The textbook bills itself as one combining "practicality and ethics". I was anticipating that it would be more of a handbook or supplemental resource and it was much more textbook-like, if I may, than I anticipated. It covers more than the basics. There weren't many self-assessments, what was included was practical. For example, I appreciated the public speaking ethics checklist on pages 37-38. There are also some suggested exercises that could be used as good assignments or just for student reference. I also liked that some of the exercises directly related to issues relevant to campuses. For example, the exercise on page 41 asks students to find their campus code on free speech. Keeping students engaged to their content and their context is important to me. I do have some reservations about using this textbook from an ADA standpoint. Besides the font, links, and spacing issues mentioned already, some tables are sub-divided (as in table 9.2) which is not best practice as I understand it and can be confusing when used with a screen reader. So those ADA issues concern me. But I do have to say that doing this review changed my opinion of whether or not this OER could replace a current textbook. To be honest I thought this would be something I'd consider more as a supplemental resource. However, now, if the ADA issues were resolved I would consider using it in place of a current hardcopy textbook and add some additional resources in as supplemental to accompany this particular resource instead of vice-versa.
The text covers all major components of public speaking in general. However, there are some major components missing that you will most likely need read more
The text covers all major components of public speaking in general. However, there are some major components missing that you will most likely need to supplement. There is not a section on group presentations, group dynamics, or leadership. If you tend to cover communication theories in class, such as broad areas of communication, there is not a clear section for that either. It DOES cover the different models of communication, so there is some theoretical discussion in the book, but it does seem to be lacking. This is easily supplemented, but if you choose to use this book, you should plan to supplement in those key areas.
The book is clear and easy to read. It is student- friendly and has a minimal number of errors.
the book contains the standard approach to public speaking, and covers relevant topics. I think there could be some updates that include giving speeches digitally, but otherwise it does seem like a book that can last for many years without many updates.
The writing style is very accessible to students and easy to follow. The language used is vivid and descriptive.
The book uses the correct terminology and is consistent in the terms it chooses to use.
I wish the book had chapter headings on the top of each page for ease in finding each chapter. It is difficult to find a certain chapter while scrolling through the entire book, so it could be much more user friendly. The units and subunits themselves were clear and easy to understand, but the use of those units and subunits were at times difficult to follow.
The flow is fantastic and easy to follow. Students will enjoy how each chapter builds upon the previous chapter, and the class is able to move in a logical fashion by following the chapters of the book.
Navigation for the text could be much better. It is not easy to navigate through the text, and having an interactive menu would be extremely helpful.
The grammar used in the book is good. There are few spelling and grammatical errors. The key terms you would present to a public speaking class are present.
I wish the book would speak more to diversity and public speaking. It does cover SOME aspects, but this area could have been much richer and more well-defined.
This is a fantastic supplement to the classroom, and easy to use whether you are brand new to teaching the class or a seasoned professional.
The book covered many of the essential elements of a public speaking textbook. It has a thorough overview of ethics and public speaking, read more
The book covered many of the essential elements of a public speaking textbook. It has a thorough overview of ethics and public speaking, communication apprehension, organizing/outlining, informative speaking, visuals aids, persuasive speaking and the relavnce/importance of public speaking throughout. One foundational aspect of public speaking was missing in this book. In my review I noticed that there was little reference to the classical roots of public speaking, rhetoric and the canons of rhetoric. There was some mention of ethos, pathos and logos but these were minimal. Also the section on credibility was limited. I found the chapter on researching to be on the long side. I understand this is an important part of a speech however most public speaking classes have some sort of writing prerequisite which covers rearching themes. The part on attention getters could include more strategies.
There are many mentions of relevant communication theories which many books don't cover. The myths about communication apprehension I found to be accurate and overall the book covers many of the things I cover in my classes. I found the ethics pyramid to be a nice touch. The part on researching accurately explained how there is much more than just google as well as some of the limitations of such searches. The coverage of communication beyond public speaking was great too. Since there was little to no mention about rhetoric, I find that as a big inaccuracy since rhetoric is the foundation to this area of study.
The coverage on visual aids was very up-to-date as well as examples throughout. Some of the examples could be seen as too current and may be obsolete in a few years but periodic updating should allievate any of these concerns. I like the coverage on technological difficulties because that would always be relevant.
This book was very easy to follow and understand. Any jargon from the discipline was explained and didn't assume the student would know. Some typos here and there. I like the inclusion of theories especially theories of persuasion (ELM).
Yes, but from a very communication science basis. I would have liked to see more from rhetoric.
Yes, but I would have to reorganize it according to how I present the information in my class.
I liked how the content of a speech came before delivery but when it got to organization it was disorganized. The sections on organization seemed disorganized and jumped around a lot and could come across as confusing. I would like to see more coherence to the sections on organization. I might have to switch things around if I were to use this book. The part about Informative Speeches could have been presented earlier.
I don't know if there is another was to view the book other than pdf but I had trouble accessing the tables/figures. Also, there is no index nor table of contents in the pdf version. I know you have to access the TOC through another site but all versions of the text should have this.
Some typos. No grammatical errors noticed.
It came across to me as mostly culturally void. Most of the text read as if there was no reference to culture. There were a few examples here and there but I would have liked to see more. Some books I've reviewed have chapters dedicated to culture and how to reach your diverse audience members. It would be fine to mention cultural specifics from diverse backgrounds.
Overall, I liked this book and see myself as potentially adopting it. I liked how it had an extensive coverage of the basics of public speaking and relates many themes/ concepts back to the foundational ideas (i.e., audience analysis). There is also coverage of many things I don't see in many public speaking texts such as, dialogic theory, NCA Credo for Ethical Communication, free speech, myth about communication apprehension, oral and written style of communication, listening, tips on using notecards, using animals as visual aids (I've been asked this), public speaking pyramid and communication theories. There was, however, little to no mention about rhetoric nor credibility (I would have to supplement this information). I liked how the author included personal examples (nervousness about giving a speech). Conclusion, I would consider using this text if a few tweaks were made.
This book is an excellent introduction to public speaking. I especially appreciate that ethics is covered in addition to standard public speaking read more
This book is an excellent introduction to public speaking. I especially appreciate that ethics is covered in addition to standard public speaking information. This book does not however have a table of contents, index, glossary or "search" feature. As a result, it is very difficult to locate specific topics quickly.
All of the information and examples given are, to the best of my knowledge, accurate.
With one exception, the book is up-to-date and should be relevant for the next ten years. There is one reference to The Colbert Report. Since the publication of this book, that television show has gone off the air.
This textbook is extremely easy to read. Jargon is immediately defined. High school and college students would not have any problems in understanding the text.
The terminology and framework are consistent throughout the book.
All chapters are broken down into easily divisible subsections. It would be very easy to change the order of some chapters without creating confusion among the students.
The topics in this textbook are arranged in a very clear and logical order.
My main complaint of this textbook is its lack of a table of contents, index, glossary and "search" feature. It would be very difficult for students to quickly find specific information.
I found no grammatical errors. I did, however, find a number of spacing typos (pgs. 7, 73, 76, 108, 113, 359 and 600). I am not sure if this is a result of an error on my personal computer or an error on the part of the authors.
This textbook does an excellent job of reflecting diversity in our society. The examples used include different backgrounds, genders, races and ages. Inclusivity is one of the topics covered in this book.
It is a shame that this book has no table of contents, index, glossary or "search" feature. Otherwise, it is a very accessible, comprehensive and well-organized text.
The text does a nice job covering the mechanics of constructing a speech and has a very thorough explanation of the goals, ethics and other read more
The text does a nice job covering the mechanics of constructing a speech and has a very thorough explanation of the goals, ethics and other "preliminary questions" that go into the process. The section on speech delivery (contained entirely in one chapter of just under 40 pages) is somewhat small in comparison to the rest of the text. There are three types of specific speeches covered (speaking to persuade, inform or entertain) and while each is dealt with in a good amount of detail, some may want more of these "specific speeches" included.
Of course, the questions here are going to be less about the literal accuracy of facts/figures and more about the way the text aligns with one's own opinions of what constitutes a valid and well composed speech. Overall, I think the text is unlikely to substantially contradict anyone's instructional claims. Take, as an example, the section on "the purposes of speaking." While there may be more detail in terms of breaking down the purposes than any given instructor would mention in class, the overall questions of purpose (why do we speak?) and the importance of purpose (both in terms of audience relationship and the analysis of a given speaker) are both general and still very useful. I did not feel any particular bias (besides one to the importance and relevance of speech making, which I would expect from any such textbook) while reading the book.
There is nothing that will make the text become obsolete or useless at any point in the immediate future. Examples are relatively timeless and will be easily updatable with little need to change much of the underlying text. Many examples are related to the regular occurrences of college life (class, roommates, homework, social events) and others to political questions unlikely to disappear in the near future (health care, immigration, popular trust/distrust of politicians). The book does an excellent job maintaining a balance of "up to date" and "will soon be out of date."
Even very late in the text, there is very little jargon that would interfere with a student's ability to read and understand. This is especially useful since so many courses would likely not use the text from beginning to end directly, but likely jump around or include sections on informative or persuasive speaking when those first come up in class (even though they are at the end of the text). The writing style is very clear, if anything, it could be criticized for remaining too simplistic with a very basic but certainly very clear sentence structure. Since public speaking courses are often introductory level for beginning undergraduates, this is not much of a problem. There is a clear difference between the way most of the speeches are written (with more advanced and intricate prose) and the way the instruction itself appears (basic and straightforward). That could be considered good or bad, I found it mostly neutral.
I did not find any instances within the text where there was inconsistency in the terminology or framework of the text. The tone is continually instructive, it retains a solid dialogic and pedagogical relationship with the reader.
The large-scale chapters are well divided and easy to use. While the chapters build well on one another, I think there would be little to no confusion caused by jumping around the book. There are smaller chapter divisions (which are somewhat hard to find without a more explicit table of context or index) but which could probably be used in much the same way if someone cared to define reading assignments that precisely.
It is hard to determine where chapters about specific speeches should fall within an overall text. The authors of this book have chosen to place them at the end, which may make sense, but probably makes it difficult to assign the book in order, since likely some of these speeches need to come earlier on. The progression of the chapters makes logical sense beyond that, moving from the pre-requisites of speaking, to the process of topic selection, audience analysis, speech construction and delivery. Some increased discussion of ways the text could be used may be helpful to guide instructors and make their adoption of the book for their course more seamless.
There are no substantial issues that make anything unusable or unreadable. I was not distracted. The text, however, does not feel like a traditionally published text book, it feels notably lacking in images, color and typesetting. These are minor issues for me, in comparison to its usability, intelligence and cost, but should be noted. I cannot imagine it confusing the reader, but it may engage them less if they are students not used to the extreme "textually-centric" notion of the book.
Any grammatical issues were extremely minor. I did not notice anything routine or systematic. At no point did the grammar interfere with my ability to understand the meaning of the text.
I did not find any actively offensive issues in the book. There seemed to be little discussion of questions including gender, race, class, sex, ability in a way that could be productive. The text seems to take a traditionally "neutral" stance by not addressing these issues and trying not to alienate any readers of the "public speaking advice." The book does make good decisions regarding the use of inclusive language and the examples do seem to use individuals with traditionally gender-diverse names. The examples of famous speeches do include non-white speakers, but again, often speaking on relatively innocuous questions. It is not retrogressive, it is not revolutionary.
This wonderful book goes well beyond any communication text I have read or used as a professor. In addition to covering the basics, it includes read more
This wonderful book goes well beyond any communication text I have read or used as a professor. In addition to covering the basics, it includes well-developed insights, ideas, and examples for how to create and deliver ethical and quality speeches in a meaningful format. There are 18 chapters that deal with everything from "The Importance of Listening" to "Supporting Ideas and Building Arguments" to "Concluding with Power" and so much more. Learning objective sections are included at the beginning of each chapter, and each chapter ends with "Key Take Aways" sections that summarize the main points just covered. These are key features that students will greatly appreciate as they process through the content. Numerous online sources are referenced and made available with just a click of a link. Additionally, each chapter includes optional exercises, end of chapter assessments, and answer keys. This is a very comprehensive text that includes a broad spectrum of speech topics.
The content is current and accurate. Moreover, the text actually taught the importance of using up-to-date and credible sources when researching and preparing for a speech. For example, I appreciated the teaching on the "Ethical Pyramid" (end, mean and intent) which was thoroughly explained in a way that showed the value and importance of being truly honest with both content and delivery. I appreciated the precision that was used throughout the text--such as including key questions for helping students to find a topic and steps for how to find current academic data. I also found the high quality techniques for how to avoid plagiarism and properly cite sources, and the multiple approaches for writing an ethical speech from beginning to end to be valuable.
The text covers tried and true speech techniques and approaches, but it is not dry, and the authors' insights and analogies are refreshing. I appreciated how they covered areas that are frequently skimmed over in other textbooks. For example, they discussed dimensions where your communication takes places such as temporal, physical and social-psychological dimensions. On p. 15 they say, "You have to know the types of people in your audience and how they react to a wide range of messages." I found the points made in this section exceptionally relevant for students who often miss their audience. I also really liked the section on communication apprehension (stage fright), and how they intelligently explained away the myths of those who suffer from speech anxiety and then offered helpful tips for how to overcome it. Stage fright is something many students struggle with, and this section is just one great example of how this text has enormous validity and permanency. As time goes on, this text will inevitably need up-date various websites, but other than that, I don't see any changes that will be needed for quite a while.
This text is clearly written with solid illustrations and examples. I believe students will find it much more engaging than the average textbook because the analogies are interesting - not bland like other textbooks I've reviewed. The authors defer (and rightly so) to the NCA Credo on Ethical Communication for guiding the study of communication and ethical principles. This further assists in creating a clear foundation that will help show students how honesty can be integrated into the research, writing, and giving of their speeches.
The lay-out and structure of the text is consistent and perfect for classroom use. I plan to incorporate some of the exercises and end of chapter assessments into my future class discussions. I also appreciate the fact that throughout the text, they refer to ideas that will be explored in future chapters such as "We will discuss these fallacies in more detail in Chapter 8 - 'Supporting Ideas and Building Arguments'." This was helpful because if you wanted to skip ahead and read more about fallacies (or whatever topic was being discussed), you knew right where to find it.
The design of the text clearly shows the beginning and end of each chapter. It is easily dividable, and you can pick and choose which chapters or sections to use or not to use. I like that it is broken down into four broader categories: why public speaking is relevant, how to mentally and physically prepare for giving a speech, how to design and structure a speech, and how to present a quality speech in an ethical fashion.
The text is arranged in a consistent and highly organized way that helps the reader stay interested and yet focused on the objectives and topics at hand. Each chapter flows nicely from one topic to the next and ends with a summary and some valuable exercises before moving onto the next.
I did not experience any interface issues, and nor did I notice anything that might be confusing to students. The images and graphs were colorful and visually appealing. The font styles and sizes used worked well, and there was not anything that distracted me from the text.
I did find a few places where a comma should have been used and where words were squished together and a space was necessary (perhaps this is an interface issue - not sure). However, overall, the text is well written both style-wise and mechanically.
I did not find the text to be insensitive or culturally offensive in any way. In fact there is an entire section devoted to using inclusive language, and they discuss the National Council of Teachers of guidelines for using gender-fair language that not only helps one convey what he/she means but helps audience members feel included in the speech giver's message. I also appreciated that in the final chapter, they have links to youtube clips of famous people giving speeches for various occasions. By clicking on the link, students can see a roast of President George W. Bush done by Stephen Colbert, a eulogy for the late Rosa Parks by Barack Obama, and Derek Jeter's farewell to Yankee Stadium to name a few. Students know these famous people and appreciate the opportunity to see them give speeches because they are part of their current culture.
I highly recommend this text, and I plan to use it in a debate class that I teach. I like that it covers the basics (but in a refreshing way) and yet so much more. The material is current, intelligent, and well-researched, and it includes an abundance of sources, exercises to use in class and a great deal of helpful and insightful advice on how to approach researching, writing, and giving an ethically sound speech.
The textbook provides a comprehensive discussion of topics related to public speaking, including focused chapters on commonly assigned read more
The textbook provides a comprehensive discussion of topics related to public speaking, including focused chapters on commonly assigned informative, persuasive, and entertaining speeches. Content is consistent with other textbooks with chapters devoted to ethics, listening, research, outlining, organizing, and language. One topic that is not included is discussion of small group communication. While many public speaking courses do not cover this material, those teaching a hybrid class will need to find supplementary material. That said, a hybrid class may benefit greatly from using this textbook to cover public speaking, while turning to other resources for other topics (e.g., interpersonal, organizational, small group communication, etc.). Lacking from the text is a index, which may limit the ability of students to efficiently look up and review certain topics. While adding an index would be beneficial, it is worth noting that the entire textbook is searchable.
The textbook provides an accurate introduction to public speaking. I did note that while sources are clearly cited in-text, a comprehensive bibliography is not provided at the end. This could be useful not only for providing examples of citations for students, but also for aiding them in finding referenced material.
Public speaking has been largely taught with the same concepts for thousands of years. While there tends not to be huge revisions or additions to public speaking, the greater challenge that many instructors find it reaching the contemporary audience. This text includes references to timely and engaging examples (e.g., Avenue Q, TED Talks, Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture"), to which students in my classes have responded favorably. Also included are hyperlinks to online references that students may find useful for developing their speeches and finding examples.
The writing of the textbook comes across as clear and straightforward, even humorous at times. Chapters begin with learning objectives. Jargon is well described, but not appearing in the text are the familiar bold definitions that many students may be accustomed to. Contemporary examples are often referenced when introducing new terms, which helps to situate the knowledge. Each chapter also concludes with key takeaways, exercises, and assessments to aid students in testing their understanding.
Chapters are presented in a logical order that builds on previous chapters.
Each chapter is divided into effectively smaller sections, which allows for tailoring of reading assignments. Paragraphs, headings and subheadings are used extensively and effectively. When self-references to the text are made, a hyperlink is provided to guide students to this area. While each chapter is divided into topics, there is no of table of contents at the beginning. Additionally, there is no list of sub-sections within each chapter. This may impede the ability to both students and instructors to quickly find and assign relevant sections of the book. Stronger chapter outlining, table of contents, and page numbers would be a welcome addition to this text.
Topics are presenting in a logical order that builds on each other. Chapters begin with learning objectives and introduce the need to understand the material. Subheadings help to guide the reader through topics and make clear visible delineations of the content. As mentioned before, a more detailed table of contents for the book and each chapter would aid in the organization.
The interface of the textbook is readable, but the lack of a professional typeset is evident. At times, font sizes and types are inconsistent and spacing between sections could be enhanced. The formatting of tables are barebones, sometimes extending beyond single page. The spacing of table headings likewise extend beyond a single line. Paragraphs tend not to be indented and spacing between paragraphs is small, leading to a squished appearance. This can be distracting and sometimes difficult to read. While the content is good, the design does leave something to be desired.
The textbook comes across as straightforward and contains only occasional typos or grammatical errors
The textbook explicitly covers cultural dimensions of public speaking and audience analysis. Examples are inclusive of various political orientations, races, cultures, and ethnicities, although
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Why Public Speaking Matters Today
- Chapter 2: Ethics Matters: Understanding the Ethics of Public Speaking
- Chapter 3: Speaking Confidently
- Chapter 4: The Importance of Listening
- Chapter 5: Audience Analysis
- Chapter 6: Finding a Purpose and Selecting a Topic
- Chapter 7: Researching Your Speech
- Chapter 8: Supporting Ideas and Building Arguments
- Chapter 9: Introductions Matter: How to Begin a Speech Effectively
- Chapter 10: Creating the Body of a Speech
- Chapter 11: Concluding with Power
- Chapter 12: Outlining
- Chapter 13: The Importance of Language
- Chapter 14: Delivering the Speech
- Chapter 15: Presentation Aids: Design and Usage
- Chapter 16: Informative Speaking
- Chapter 17: Persuasive Speaking
- Chapter 18: Speaking to Entertain
About the Book
Stand up, Speak out: The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking features two key themes. First it focuses on helping students become more seasoned and polished public speakers, and second is its emphasis on ethics in communication. It is this practical approach and integrated ethical coverage that sets Stand up, Speak out: The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking apart from the other texts in this market.
About the Contributors
Stand up, Speak out: The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking is adapted from a work produced by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution. This adapted edition is produced by the University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing through the eLearning Support Initiative.