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Read more about Exploring Public Speaking - 4th Edition

Exploring Public Speaking - 4th Edition

(46 reviews)

Kris Barton, Florida State University

Barbara G. Tucker, University of Georgia

Copyright Year: 2016

Last Update: 2019

Publisher: University System of Georgia

Language: English

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Reviewed by Amy Powell, Adjunct Professor, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College on 12/6/22

This text includes comprehensive content and theories for any public speaking class. The material includes all areas that are important to an intro public speaking class. The material is presented in a way to will benefit students in ‘real’ life... read more

Reviewed by Sandra Bryant, Assistant Professor, Tidewater Community College on 12/2/22

The text covers all the aspects of traditional public speaking texts. They offer PowerPoint and teaching materials. What they do address that are not covered in other traditional public speaking texts are cultural diversity and art of funny or... read more

Reviewed by Ashley Page, Instructor of Communication, Fort Scott Community College on 9/28/22

I am currently using this textbook in my public speaking class. It covers everything needed! Gives terrific details and examples and students especially love the outline examples shared. read more

Reviewed by Deborah Charette, Adjunct Instructor, Bristol Community College on 6/30/21

Not having used OER materials yet and not knowing what to expect, I am impressed with the comprehensiveness of this text. Every important aspect of effective public speaking, including cultural diversity and audience awareness, is addressed. Also... read more

Reviewed by Joseph Nicola, Professor, Century College on 5/27/21

This text covers all key concepts and key terms associated with an undergrad Public Speaking Course. Examples of a Keyword Outline are lacking. Found on pages of 416-417 of 4th edition. read more

Reviewed by Molly Cummins, Lecturer, University of Texas at Arlington on 11/3/20

This text is similar to other major textbooks (e.g., Lucas's _The Art of Public Speaking_) and covers similar material. read more

Reviewed by Terra Ryan, Adjunct Instructor, Community College of Aurora on 8/9/20

The book is comprehensive and offers definitions of key terms in blue boxes in the margins. This resource is excellent when a student needs key terms for initial evaluation or review. read more

Reviewed by Christy Takamure, Professor, Leeward Community College on 7/27/20

This textbook is comprehensive and includes all of the concepts and elements introduced in an introductory public speaking course. Direct links to some of the sources were helpful if the reader was interested in learning more in-depth about the... read more

Reviewed by John Drischell, Adjunct Faculty, Linn-Benton Community College on 6/29/20

I found the book to be very comprehensive in the different perspectives considered for public speaking. The appendixes were useful and relevant. Both "Succeeding as a College Student" and "Cultural Diversity" were good considerations and additions... read more

Reviewed by Julia Greene, Adjunct Faculty, North Shore Community College on 6/24/20

I like the book. It is very comprehensive and includes subjects that might be related to public speaking, but which are not usually included in an introductory public speaking textbook like a whole chapter on Logical Reasoning (Chapter 14) or in... read more

Reviewed by Maurisa Charest, Adjunct, Northern Essex Community College on 6/23/20

The text covers all the basics of Public Speaking in a way that's easily understandable for first time speakers to absorb and digest. read more

Reviewed by Bernardita M Yunis, Graduate Student, Teaching Assistant, University of Colorado Boulder on 6/11/20

This public speaking textbook covers the main areas needed for a public speaking course in a comprehensive manner. It both addresses the ethics and theory behind the practice as well as practical skill set for teaching and learning how to be an... read more

Reviewed by Edie Gaythwaite, Professor, Communication, Valencia College on 6/2/20

4th edition review. For a public speaking focused text, the chapters align with most other textbook subject matter. The addition of the case studies is a plus as this can help with teaching in a variety of modalities. read more

Reviewed by Suzette Ashton, Communication Professor, Valencia College on 6/1/20

The text lacks information on interpersonal communication, and culture . read more

Reviewed by Jill Arabas, Lecturer, Middlesex Community College on 5/28/20

This text is wonderfully comprehensive for an introductory public speaking course. While converting to OER two years ago, I chose this text because it was so close in content to the physical text I had been using. The content in the chapters even... read more

Reviewed by Maura Cherney, Assistant Professor, Northeastern Illinois University on 5/7/20

This open access text is a more comprehensive collection of information about public speaking than any other public speaking textbook I have reviewed or used in my own public speaking courses. The book covers all the topics I cover in my class... read more

Reviewed by Jeremy Babcock, Program Coordinator/Instructor, Northeastern Illinois University on 5/1/20

This is a very comprehensive text with many important elements into the exploration of public speaking. While I appreciate the broad range, there will need to be some reorganization of the chapters (for me) before utilizing this content for an... read more

Reviewed by Rich Kessel, Lecturer, Metropolitan State University of Denver on 4/29/20

This text does a commendable job covering a vast literature in a reasonable number of pages. We tend to forget that public speaking is a huge subject area and, therefore, comprehensive texts are going to be quite lengthy. Conversely, most public... read more

Reviewed by Diane Waryas Hughey, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Texas at Arlington on 3/20/20

Overall, this textbook is very comprehensive and will be useful in an introductory study of public speaking. Key areas and ideas are included throughout, along with many good examples and ideas for students. The Glossary will be very useful to... read more

Reviewed by Michael Boling, Assistant Professor, Oakland City University on 1/30/20

This work covers all of the major aspects needed in an introduction to public speaking. Significant explanations are given on topics ranging from dealing with speech anxiety to need for organization in speech. Further, the glossary at the back of... read more

Reviewed by Tim McKenna-Buchanan, Assistant Professor, Manchester University on 11/26/19

The book covers A LOT which is wonderful for someone picking and choosing the content they want to develop in their Public Speaking courses. My only critique would be that you have to get through a lot of content before you can start working on a... read more

Reviewed by Kallie Gay, Adjunct Instructor, East Tennessee State University on 10/31/19

This book covers all areas typically addressed in our general education Public Speaking courses and other traditionally-published textbooks. In addition, the appendices offer insights into important and relevant topics that we often discuss in... read more

Reviewed by Douglas Marshall, Associate Professor , SUNO on 10/29/19

I believe that this public speaking text is very comprehensive and includes the major subject areas that one would assume to find in an introductory textbook. The glossary is clear and effective. read more

Reviewed by James Jarc, Assistant Professor, Central Ohio Technical College on 8/16/19

This text is quite thorough and covers all of the most important aspects of the public speaking curriculum. Instructors should find this resource valuable for introductory course and as a supplement for more advanced courses as well. The text will... read more

Reviewed by Jessica Papajcik, Associate Professor, Stark State College on 8/7/19

Exploring Public Speaking is comprehensive text book. Its strength is in the broad categories that every useful speech textbook should have. With fifteen chapters, chapter objectives, appendices, and a useful table of contents, a glossary and... read more

Reviewed by Ashley Marietta-Brown, Lecturer, The Ohio State University- Newark on 3/31/19

The book is comprehensive and is comparable to other textbooks I have used in the past. It covers all the topics you would expect an introductory public speaking textbook to cover although a complete discussion of preparation outlines is lacking.... read more

Reviewed by Carrie Tomko, Senior Lecturer, OhioLink on 3/1/19

No worries about the completeness of the collection of information in Exploring Public Speaking (EPS). read more

Reviewed by Bonnie Andrys, Instructor, Northland Community & Technical College -- East Grand Forks on 6/19/18

This text will serve my students and me well All appropriate concepts and principles are covered. The text also has a functional index and glossary. Linking the glossary to pages or text would be helpful for students. read more

Reviewed by Beverly Knudsen, Instructor, MA MS, Ridgewater College, Wilmar, MN on 6/19/18

This text covers all public speaking topics in-depth and I was particularly pleased to see an emphasis on audience analysis so early in the book. My only complaint (and it’s a small one) is that it might be too comprehensive (and thus... read more

Reviewed by Susan Millsap, Professor, Otterbein University on 5/21/18

This text is a true entry level standard for public speaking. The authors do an excellent job of covering the main concepts and illustrating how they work for anyone interested in becoming a better public speaker. The text includes sources and... read more

Reviewed by Thomas Wright, Assistant Professor of Instruction and Public Speaking Course Director, Temple University on 5/21/18

Yes. Exploring Public Speaking: 2nd Revision meets or exceeds the subject matter covered in standard (print) and OER textbooks. I have reviewed numerous public speaking textbooks for publishers and Exploring Public Speaking: 2nd Revision covers... read more

Reviewed by Muhammad Khan, Communication Faculty, Linn-Benton Community College on 5/21/18

The book does a good job of covering all of the necessities and even goes beyond this. It's actually very likely a bit too comprehensive at-times. read more

Reviewed by Nichelle McNabb, Professor, Otterbein University on 5/21/18

The textbook is comprehensive. It covers all of the major areas that I would like to see covered in a Public Speaking textbook.. There are, however, some specific subjects I would add or subtract if I decided to use the book. I would delete the... read more

Reviewed by Alane Presswood, VAP/Director of Oral Communication, Hollins University on 3/27/18

This text provides a solid introduction to all the fundamentals of oral communication, and actually does a better job than many similar text at balancing theoretical and practical information. For example, Chapter 9 (visual aids) goes beyond the... read more

Reviewed by Shay Jones, Lecturer, Penn State Harrisburg on 2/1/18

At first glance I was concerned that this textbook would not measure up to the one I so dearly love to use now, "Public Speaking Matters" by Kory Floyd. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the text is indeed comprehensive, addressing all... read more

Reviewed by Amy Sauertieg, Lecturer, Penn State University Harrisburg on 2/1/18

The book discusses all the material I would want to cover in an introductory public speaking class. It follows the traditional topics of most speech textbooks. read more

Reviewed by Staci Kuntzman, Senior Lecturer, University of North Carolina at Charlotte on 2/1/18

The text does is very thorough and does an exemplary job of including many communication theories as they relate to public speaking. Chapter 10 on language offers perhaps the greatest coverage I’ve seen in a public speaking textbook. read more

Reviewed by Sandy Hanson, Senior Lecturer, University of North Carolina at Charlotte on 2/1/18

1. This book does not have an index; this is problematic. 2. The glossary seems complete. 3. Chapter two spends way too much time explaining simplistic concepts like the eight demographic characteristics covered but then doesn't spend enough time... read more

Reviewed by Marina Whitchurch, Adjunct Instructor, Rogue Community College on 8/15/17

super detailed. I love the use of applicable research to describe such as the of Griffin’s communication process to three games. ethics...highly comprehensive section. I really enjoyed that read for my own! entire text is highly detailed...much... read more

Reviewed by Franklin Williams, Adjunct Instructor, Tidewater Community College on 6/20/17

This text does a great job breaking down each important component of public speaking. read more

Reviewed by Janine Pate, Adjunct Professor, Portland Community College on 6/20/17

This text is very comprehensive, covering all of the topics I address in my Public Speaking classes, and in more or less the same order that I structure my curriculum. It is easy to follow along with, with a clear table of contents and index. I... read more

Reviewed by Matthew LoJacono, Public Speaking Instructor, North Carolina State University on 6/20/17

This book covers every aspect of public speaking, from the Ancient Greek origins of public speaking theory, to the modern day technologies often used to present in group environments. Additionally, the focus is not only on how to be an effective... read more

Reviewed by Amy Rawson, Professor, Century College on 6/20/17

There are fifteen chapters in this open textbook covering most of the areas of a typical introductory public speaking text appropriately. There are sufficient pictures to go with the chapters and the overall length of the text is good. However, I... read more

Reviewed by Taylor Simpson, Public Speaking Instructor, North Carolina State University on 6/20/17

The text covers all necessary areas on public speaking education appropriately, but I would have organized the material in a more logical way. The table of contents, index, and glossary are all adequate and up to standards. read more

Reviewed by Amanda Grier, Public Speaking Instructor, North Carolina State University on 4/11/17

The text has a detailed index of book chapters and sub chapters. The book covers an extensive amount of information about public speaking. This book would be helpful for an introductory course in public speaking or as a second resource for students. read more

Reviewed by David Edwards, Instructor, South Central College, Faribault campus on 2/8/17

A very good textbook for an introduction to public speaking course. Contains fifteen chapters of reasonable length and has all of the topics one would expect for this course. Book has minimal pictures and graphics, so it is not "flashy" by any... read more

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: The Basics of Public Speaking
  • Chapter 2: Audience Analysis and Listening
  • Chapter 3: Ethics in Public Speaking
  • Chapter 4: Developing Topics for Your Speech
  • Chapter 5: Researching Your Speeches
  • Chapter 6: Organizing and Outlining Your Speech
  • Chapter 7: Supporting Your Speech Ideas
  • Chapter 8: Introductions and Conclusions 
  • Chapter 9: Presentation Aids in Speaking
  • Chapter 10: Language
  • Chapter 11: Delivery
  • Chapter 12: Informative Speaking
  • Chapter 13: Persuasive Speaking
  • Chapter 14: Logical Reasoning
  • Chapter 15: Special Occasion Speaking
  • Appendix A: Cultural Diversity and Public Speaking
  • Appendix B: Succeeding as a College Student
  • Appendix C: Public Speaking Online
  • Appendix D: Funny Talk: The Art and Craft of Using Humor in Public Address
  • Appendix E: APA Citation
  • Appendix F: Research with Dalton State Library Resources
  • Appendix G: Glossary
  • Appendix H: References

Ancillary Material

  • University System of Georgia
  • About the Book

    In Exploring Public Speaking, especially in its second through fourth editions, we have attempted to create a usable, zero-cost textbook for basic public speaking courses or courses that include basic public speaking skills as one of their primary learning outcomes. The free, open nature of the text means that instructors are able to use all or part of it, and add their own materials.

    We believe this text addresses all the subjects that traditional publishers’ books would address in an appropriate writing style and with appropriate college-level learning theory in mind. The appendices address some additional topics that might be excluded from most texts, but that we believe add to the experience: learning theory, plagiarism, speaking online, speaking to diverse audiences, and humor in public speaking. In the third and fourth editions we have added “case study” examples and some different outline samples.

    We think this book is especially useful in coverage of PowerPoint, audience analysis and responsiveness, ethics in public speaking, persuasion, special occasion speeches, and structure of speeches. Because it was written by communication professors with decades of experience in the classroom, we are aware of the needs of basic public speaking students. Three ancillaries are currently available: electronic “flash cards” for study, PowerPoint slide decks on the 15 main chapters, and test banks for the 15 main chapters. As the website is developed, it will include videos of student speeches.

    About the Contributors


    Dr. Kris Barton (Ph.D., Mass Communication, Florida State University) was Chair of the Department of Communication and Associate Professor of Communication at Dalton State College from 2008 to his sudden passing in May 2016. He was a well published and respected scholar in pop culture and mass media as well as the author of trivia books. His legacy at Dalton State included the initiation of the Bachelor of Arts in Communication, the development of an undergraduate research program and introduction of many students to scholarly conferences, and making an indelible mark on the hundreds of students he taught.

    Dr. Barbara G. Tucker (Ed.D., Organizational Leadership, University of Georgia) is current Chair of the Department of Communication and Professor of Communication at Dalton State College. She holds master’s degrees in public address and writing from Ohio University and the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, respectively. Her 38-year teaching career, especially of the basic public speaking course, informs this textbook. She has served as president of the Georgia Communication Association and Interim Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs as DSC.

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