Strategic Public Speaking: A Handbook / Edition 1

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Handbook for Public Speaking:

Strategies for Success

David Zarefsky, Northwestern University

An adaptation of Public Speaking: Strategies for Success, 4/e, this handbook offers students a valuable, accessible reference tool to guide them as they learn how to develop and apply strategies to speaking situations they will encounter throughout their lives.

David Zarefsky, one of today's leading scholars in speech communication, encourages students to think through and about the public speaking process. Zarefsky urges students to consider the diversity of audiences, occasions, and speakers and to choose a specific purpose, a relevant topic, and the appropriate material to make their speeches successful.


  • Tabs divide the book into sections; each tab contains the list of chapters on the front of the tab and some key points from the chapter on the back of the tab. These tabs aid in the students’ navigation through the text and add to its aesthetic appeal.
  • The emphasis on strategic thinking throughout the text shows students that public speaking is about choices; they will learn that presenting is an art and not a science.

    Features to support this strategic emphasis include:

    • “Choose a Strategy,” which presents case studies requiring students to decide how the skills and concepts in the text could be adapted to a concrete rhetorical situation.
    • “Applying Strategies,” which feature helpful tips that guide students in utilizing what they have learned to develop their own public speaking skills.
    • “Strategies for Speaking to Diverse Audiences” boxes, providing students with helpful information to prepare them for speaking to audiences from a variety of backgrounds.
  • Full of examples and case studies, this text also draws on the underlying theory to enable students to develop a better understanding of the speech preparation process—one that they can apply to the variety of speaking situations they will encounter throughout their lives.
  • Complete coverage of the first speech in Chapter 1 provides students early on with an overview of the public speaking process and simple guidelines for putting together their first speech.

Praise for Handbook for Public Speaking

“This is a most complete and accessible text, emphasizing critical thinking and context and rhetorical situation at least as much as the mechanics of researching, designing, and presenting effective speeches. A good, complete, solid textbook. Required reading.”

~ Gary J. Richmond, LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205472086
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 1/18/2007
  • Series: MySpeechKit Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Welcome to Public Speaking

1.1 Why Study Public Speaking?

Develop Specific Communication Skills

Focus on Critical Thinking and Strategic Planning

1.2 Public Speaking and Communication

1.3 The Rhetorical Situation

What is the Rhetorical Situation?

Determinants of the Rhetorical Situation

1.4 Goals and Strategies for Your First Speech

A Clear Message

Establishing Positive Ethos

1.5 Strategies for Organizing Your Speech

The Introduction

The Body

The Conclusion

1.6 The One-Point Speech

The Speech of Introduction

1.7 Practicing the Speech

Outlining Your Speech

Practicing Your Delivery

1.8 Strategies for Overcoming Speech Anxiety

1.9 The Quest for Quality

Purpose and Quality

Feedback and Quality

1.10 Ethics: Respect for Audience, Topic, and Occasion

Respect for Your Listeners

Respect for Your Topic

Responsibility for Your Statements

Concern for the Consequences of Your Speech

Chapter 2 Listening Critically

2.1 Why Listening Is Important

Checking for Accuracy

Giving (and Getting) Feedback

Evaluating Messages

2.2 Why Listening Is Difficult

Listener Distractions

Limited Attention Span

Jumping to Conclusions

Situational Distractions

2.3 Strategies for Careful Listening


Note Taking

2.4 Listening Critically

Critical Thinking

Applying Critical Thinking to the Speech Situation

2.5 Evaluating Speeches Critically

Evaluation Standards

Evaluating Classroom Speeches

Evaluating Speeches in the Field

Rhetorical Criticism

Chapter 3 Analyzing Your Audience

3.1 Checking Audience Demographics



Voluntary versus Captive Audience


3.2 Respecting Audience Cultures


Personal Interests

Beliefs and Values

Prior Understanding

Common Knowledge and Experience

Roles and Reference Groups

Cultural Diversity

3.3 Understanding Audience Psychology

Selective Exposure and Selective Attention


3.4 Strategies for Analyzing the Audience

Formal Methods

Informal Methods

Simplifying Devices

Critical Appraisal

3.5 Analyzing Your Own Ethos

Chapter 4 Choosing a Topic and Developing a Strategy

4.1 Understanding the Rhetorical Situation

The Audience

The Occasion

The Speaker

The Speech

4.2 What Makes a Good Topic?

4.3 How to Choose a Good Topic

Conduct a Personal Inventory

Use Finding Aids

Narrow the Topic

4.4 Developing a Strategic Plan

Identifying the Purpose

Identifying the Constraints

Identifying the Opportunities

Selecting the Means

4.5 Developing the Purpose Statement and the Thesis Statement

The Purpose Statement

The Thesis Statement

4.6 Analyzing the Thesis Statement

Identifying the Issues

Why Identify the Issues?

Chapter 5 Researching the Topic

5.1 Strategic Perspectives on Research

5.2 Types of Supporting Material

Personal Experience

Common Knowledge

Direct Observation





5.3 Finding Supporting Material from People



5.4 Finding Supporting Material in Print


Reference Works



Government Publications

5.5 Finding Supporting Material Electronically

Types of Information on the Web

Searching for Information on the Web

Avoiding Information Overload

Finding Useful Information

Evaluating Internet Evidence

A Strategy for Research

5.6 Note Taking and Filing

Chapter 6 Reasoning

6.1 Proof, Support, and Reasoning

Rhetorical Proof

Proof and the Audience

Components of Proof

Using Rhetorical Proof in Your Speech

6.2 Strategies for Reasoning through Example

Types of Inference from Example

Tests for Inference from Example

Guidelines for Reasoning through Example

6.3 Strategies for Reasoning through Analogy

Types of Inference from Analogy

Tests for Inference from Analogy

Guidelines for Reasoning through Analogy

6.4 Strategies for Reasoning through Signs

Types of Inference from Signs

Tests for Inference from Signs

Guidelines for Reasoning through Signs

6.5 Strategies for Reasoning through Cause

Types of Inference from Cause

Tests for Inference from Cause

Guidelines for Reasoning through Cause

6.6 Strategies for Reasoning through Testimony

Types of Inference from Testimony

Tests for Inference from Testimony

Guidelines for Reasoning through Testimony

6.7 Strategies for Reasoning through Narrative

Tests for Inference from Narrative

6.8 Avoiding Errors in Reasoning

Six General Tests of Inferences

6.9 Reasoning in Public Speaking

Chapter 7 Organizing the Speech: The Body

7.1 Why Is Organization Important?

7.2 Selecting the Main Ideas

Identifying Your Main Ideas

Choosing Among Main Ideas

Criteria for Selecting the Main Ideas

Characteristics of the Main Ideas

7.3 Arranging the Main Ideas

Are the Main Ideas Dependent?

Patterns for Arranging Main Ideas

Choosing the Organizational Pattern

7.4 Selecting and Arranging Supporting Materials

Selecting Supporting Materials

Arranging Supporting Materials

Chapter 8 Organizing the Speech: Introductions, Conclusion, and Transitions

8.1 Introductions: Beginning the Speech

The Purposes of an Introduction

An Example of an Introduction

Types of Introductions

Strategies for Preparing an Introduction

8.2 Conclusions: Ending the Speech

The Purposes of a Conclusion

An Example of a Conclusion

Types of Conclusions

Strategies for Preparing a Conclusion

8.3 Transitions: Connecting the Elements of a Speech

The Purposes of Transitions

Elements of Effective Transitions

Strategies for Preparing Transitions

Chapter 9 Outlining the Speech

9.1 The Preparation Outline

What Does a Good Outline Look Like?

Constructing the Preparation Outline

Outlining Introductions and Conclusions

Outlining Transitions

Citing Supporting Materials in the Outline

9.2 The Presentation Outline

Guidelines for the Presentation Outline

Use Note Cards

Refer to Supporting Materials

Use Stage Directions

Use an Outline in Rehearsal

9.3 Sample Outlines

Chapter 10 Achieving Style Through Language

10.1 What Is Style?

Style in a Speech

Style and Language

Oral Style Versus Written Style

Performative Versus Conversational Style

Basic Requirements for Effective Style

10.2 Defining Terms Appropriately

Neutral Definitions

Denotation and Connotation in Definitions

Persuasive Definitions

10.3 Achieving Clarity, Rhythm, and Vividness


How Clear Should You Be?



10.4 Style and the Entire Speech

Choosing the Right Level of Style

Finding the Right Pace and Proportion

Memorable Phrases

Congruence of Language and Delivery

10.5 Achieving Good Style

Erroneous Assumptions About Speeches

Suggestions for Developing and Improving Style

Chapter 11 Presenting the Speech

11.1 Characteristics of Effective Presentation

11.2 The Voice in Presentation





Articulation and Enunciation


11.3 The Body in Presentation

Physical Appearance



Facial Expression

11.4 Modes of Presentation

Impromptu Presentation

Memorized Presentation

Manuscript Presentation

Extemporaneous Presentation

11.5 Practicing for Speech Presentation

The Presentation Outline

Mental Rehearsal

Oral Practice


Chapter 12 Using Visual Aids

12.1 Benefits of Using Visual Aids

12.2 Types of Visual Aids

12.3 Choosing Materials for Visual Aids

12.4 Preparing Visual Aids

12.5 Computer-Generated Visual Aids

12.6 Using Visual Aids in the Speech

Chapter 13 Informing

13.1 Planning Your Strategy

Defining Your Specific Purpose

Informing Your Audience

Clarifying Your Informative Goal

13.2 Informative Strategies







13.3 Encouraging Retention

Chapter 14 Persuading

14.1 Purposes Achieved Through Persuasive Strategies

Weakening Commitment


Inducing a Specific Action

Inducing a Specific Action

14.2 Plan Your Strategy

14.3 The Elaboration Likelihood Model

14.4 Constraints on Effective Persuasive Speaking

Selective Listening

Selective Perception

Selective Influence

14.5 Strategic Resources for Specific Purposes

14.6 Generally Available Strategic Resources

Select Appropriate Supporting Materials

Use Sound Reasoning

Follow Appropriate Organizational Patterns

Establish Positive Ethos

Encourage Retention Through Reinforcement

Achieve Identification

14.7 Organizing Persuasive Speeches

The Problem–Solution Speech

The Motivated Sequence

Chapter 15 Occasions for Public Speaking

15.1 Fitting Your Speech to the Occasion

Influence of the Occasion

The Concept of Decorum

Identifying Your Purpose

15.2 Deliberative Speaking

The Nature of Deliberative Speaking

Oral Reports and Presentations

Group Presentations

Responding to Questions

15.3 Ceremonial Speaking

Reexperiencing a Common Past

Guidelines for Ceremonial Speaking

15.4 Ceremonial Speaking Occasions

Speeches of Greeting

Speeches of Tribute

Speeches Marking Awards

15.5 Speeches Combining Deliberative and Ceremonial Goals

Speeches Posing Challenges

Commencement Speeches

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