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The Public Speaking Playbook

The Public Speaking Playbook

Third Edition

December 2019 | 560 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The Public Speaking Playbook shows students how to prepare, practice, and present their public speeches with the highest level of confidence. With a focus on actively building skills, Teri Kwal Gamble and Michael W. Gamble coach students in the fundamentals of the public speaking process, using engaging learning modules that allow students to practice—and improve—their public speaking. The streamlined Third Edition of this best-selling text succinctly highlights the most important content and essential skills, and includes new annotated speeches to promote a deeper understanding of effective speech building. The text’s inclusive and unique playbook analogy encourages students to think critically about what it means to “play fair” in public speaking, with a focus on diversity, ethics, and civic engagement. 

INSTRUCTORS: The Public Speaking Playbook is accompanied by a complete teaching and learning package! Contact your rep to request a demo.
  • Public Speaking PLUS
    Public Speaking PLUS integrates this text's content with premium videos, a video library, a speech-outlining tool, and GoReact’s speech-capturing software into one seamless digital solution (Digital Option ISBN: 978-1-5443-3240-6). Learn more.
  • SAGE Coursepacks
    SAGE Coursepacks makes it easy to import our quality content into your school’s learning management system (LMS). Learn more.  
  • SAGE Edge
    This open-access site offers students an impressive array of learning tools and resources. Learn more. 

Share with your students: 10 Tips for Overcoming Speech Anxiety

About the Authors
1. Building Confidence and Your First Speech
Section 1.1 Identify Speechmaking’s Benefits

Section 1.2 Discuss the Context of Public Speaking

Section 1.3 Assess and Build Your Speechmaking Confidence

Section 1.4 Approach Giving a Speech Systematically

2. Public Speaking in a Global World: Inclusion, Ethics, and Critical Thinking
Section 2.1 Respect Different Cultures

Section 2.2 Speak Ethically

Section 2.3 Think Critically

3. Listening Critically
Section 3.1 The Six Stages of Listening

Section 3.2 Listening and Cultural Differences

Section 3.3 The Benefits of Critical Listening

Section 3.4 The Four Types of Listening

Section 3.5 Listening Styles

Section 3.6 Improving Listening Behaviors

4. Analyzing and Adapting to the Audience
Section 4.1 Reach Out to Your Audience

Section 4.2 Answer Preliminary Questions

Section 4.3 Compose a Demographic Snapshot

Section 4.4 Compose a Psychographic Snapshot

Section 4.5 Consider the Speaking Situation

Section 4.6 Get Information About Your Audience

5. Selecting a Topic and Purpose
Section 5.1 Formulate a Topic

Section 5.2 Formulate General and Specific Purposes

Section 5.3 Formulate the Thesis Statement or Central Idea

6. Finding and Evaluating Research
Section 6.1 Use Primary Research

Section 6.2 Gather Secondary Research

Section 6.3 Why to Critically Assess Research

Section 6.4 Keep a Research Record

7. Integrating Support
Section 7.1 Use Examples

Section 7.2 Use Explanations and Descriptions

Section 7.3 Use Definitions

Section 7.4 Use Analogies

Section 7.5 Use Statistics

Section 7.6 Use Testimony

Section 7.7 Citing Sources in Your Speech

8. Organizing the Main Points of Your Speech
Section 8.1 Understand Speech Patterns: Organization

Section 8.2 Use Linear Organizational Formats to Arrange a Speech’s Main Points

Section 8.3 Use Less Direct Configural Formats

9. Outlining Your Speech
Section 9.1 Create an Outline That Works for You

Section 9.2 Facilitate Speech Flow

Section 9.3 Practice Speaking with Your Outline

10. Beginning and Ending Your Speech
Section 10.1 Capture Attention

Section 10.2 Build Credibility

Section 10.3 Preview the Big Ideas

Section 10.4 End Strong

Section 10.5 Avoid Common Pitfalls

11. Wording the Speech
Section 11.1 Understand How Words Work

Section 11.2 Use Words to Connect

Section 11.3 Consider Your Audience

Section 11.4 Be Strategic

Section 11.5 Use Oral Style

12. Delivery Modes and Practice
Section 12.1 Choose a Delivery Mode

Section 12.2 Prepare and Practice

Section 12.3 Avoid Common Delivery Bloopers

13. Delivering Your Speech: Nonverbal Messages Matter
Section 13.1 Nonverbal Messages: Beyond the Speaker’s Words

Section 13.2 Take Control of How You Sound

Section 13.3 Properly Use Pitch, Volume, Rate, Articulation, and Pronunciation

Section 13.4 Be Aware of Accents, Dialects, and Regionalisms

Section 13.5 Make the Most of the Setting

Section 13.6 Coordinate Your Body Language and Spoken Words

14. Using Presentation Aids
Section 14.1 Use Presentation Aids Strategically

Section 14.2 The Right and Wrong Ways to Work with Presentation Aids

Section 14.3 Select the Best Aids

Section 14.4 Be Familiar with Presentation Software

Section 14.5 Get the Most from Your Presentation Aids

15. Speak to Inform
Section 15.1 Speeches About Objects and Ideas or Theories

Section 15.2 Speeches About Events and People

Section 15.3 Speeches About Processes, Procedures, and Demonstrations

Section 15.4 Achieving Informative Speaking Goals

16. Prepare to Persuade
Section 16.1 We All Practice Persuasion

Section 16.2 Goals and Purposes of Persuasive Speech

Section 16.3 Categorize Propositions and Use Different Persuasive Approaches to Organize the Persuasive Speech.

Section 16.4 Understand and Use Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

17. Methods of Persuasion
Section 17.1 Varying Viewpoints and Your Target Audience

Section 17.2 Build Ethos or Persuasive Credibility

Section 17.3 Use Logos or Sound Evidence and Reasoning

Section 17.4 Arouse Pathos or Emotion

Section 17.5 Use Three Tenets of Persuasion

Section 17.6 Practice Ethical Persuasion: Avoid Fallacies and Slip-ups

18. Planning and Presenting in Small Groups
Section 18.1 Groups at Work

Section 18.2 Solving Problems Together

Section18.3 Presenting the Group’s Work

Section 18.4 Assessing the Group’s Performance

19. Special Occasion Speeches
Section 19.1 Goals and Functions of Special Occasion Speeches

Section 19.2 Types of Ceremonial Speeches

Section 19.3 The Speech of Introduction

Section 19.4 The Speech of Presentation

Section 19.5 The Speech of Acceptance

Section 19.6 The Commencement Address

Section 19.7 The Keynote Address

Section 19.8 The Toast

Section 19.9 The Speech of Tribute

Section 19.10 The Eulogy

Section 19.11 The After-Dinner Speech

20. Business and Professional Speaking
Section 20.1 First, Get the Job: How to Handle a Job Interview

Section 20.2 Speaking in a Meeting

Section 20.3 Pitching an Idea

Section 20.4 Delivering a Briefing or Report

Section 20.5 Conducting a Training Session

21. Storytelling
Section 21.1 Discover Your Inner Storyteller

Section 21.2 Use Language to Connect

22. Speaking Across College Courses
Section 22.1 Presenting Across College Courses

Section 22.2 Educational Contexts for Speaking Assignments

23. Presenting Online
Section 23.1 The Technological Difference

Section 23.2 Formats for Online Presentations

Section 23.3 Online Presentation Platforms: Screens and Sound

24. Answering Questions
Section 24.1 The Timing of the Q&A Session

Section 24.2 Managing the Q&A



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"The Public Speaking Playbook is a very relevant public speaking textbook for the 21st-century learner. It’s a text that students will be able to learn from because they will be able to relate to many of the examples that are used." 

Jennifer Bieselin
State College of Florida

"This text is very innovative and describes what is usually regular content in a new and invigorating way. All of the material that other public speaking textbooks are lacking, this one has! It is great to finally read a textbook where all text and supplemental instruction is in one place."

Kiera J. Wade
The University of Texas at Tyler

Very easy to read, easy to follow book for my students. Great examples and tools that they can easily and rapidly use to improve their skills in both small- and large scale public speaking opportunities.

Professor Diane Johnson
Sch Of Journ/Communications, Elon University
March 19, 2022

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