A Concise Public Speaking Handbook (5e) : 9780134380902

A Concise Public Speaking Handbook (5e)

Beebe / Beebe
Published by
Pearson Higher Ed USA
Out of stock
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For courses in Public Speaking

An audience-centred approach to public speaking in a concise reference format

A Concise Public Speaking Handbook emphasises the importance of analysing and considering the audience at every point in the speech-making process. Using a concise reference format that facilitates quick and easy access to key information, authors Steven and Susan Beebe present a balance of theory and practice to guide students on how to enhance their public speaking skills. By focusing student attention on the dynamics of diverse audiences, ethics, and communication apprehension, the text narrows the gap between the classroom and the real world. The 5th Edition includes fresh examples throughout to ensure that content is relatable and engaging for students.

Table of contents
  • 1. Speaking in Public
  • 2. Improving Your Confidence
  • 3. Presenting Your First Speech
  • 4. Ethics and Free Speech
  • 5. Listening
  • 6. Analyzing Your Audience
  • 7. Adapting to Your Audience as You Speak
  • 8. Developing Your Speech
  • 9. Gathering Supporting Material
  • 10. Supporting Your Speech
  • 11. Organizing Your Speech
  • 12. Outlining and Revising Your Speech
  • 13. Developing an Introduction
  • 14. Developing a Conclusion
  • 15. Using Words Well
  • 16. Methods of Delivery
  • 17. Nonverbal Communication
  • 18. Verbal Communication
  • 19. Delivering Your Speech
  • 20. Selecting Presentation Aids
  • 21. Preparing and Using Presentation Aids
  • 22. Informative Speaking
  • 23. Understanding Principles of Persuasive Speaking
  • 24. Using Persuasive Strategies
  • 25. Speaking on Special Occasions
  • 26. Speaking in Small Groups
New to this edition

A Concise Public Speaking Handbook, Fifth Edition is also available via Revel™, an interactive learning environment that enables students to read, practice, and study in one continuous experience. Learn more.


Concise, practical coverage of the public speaking process sets students up for success

  • To increase visual interest, the Fifth Edition of the text is offered in full color.
  • Fresh and expanded examples throughout the text ensure that the content presented is contemporary and engaging for students.
  • UPDATED! How To boxes provide clear instructions for applying concepts from the text to real-life public speaking. In the Fifth Edition, these boxes have been updated with contemporary examples designed to resonate with today’s students.


Updated content, including references to the latest research conclusions, ensures an an up-to-date learning experience

  • Chapter 3 provides an overview of the audience-centered speaking process, jump-starting the speechmaking process for students who are assigned to present speeches early in the term. A new example on developing your central idea has been added to this chapter. The section on gathering supporting material has also been updated.
  • Chapter 4 includes new research on the consequences of plagiarism.
  • Chapter 5 has been streamlined by removing topics already covered in other chapters. The section on becoming an active listener has also been revised.
  • Chapter 6’s discussion of culture, ethnicity, and race has been updated based on new research.
  • Chapter 9 includes an updated section on evaluating Internet resources with a new discussion of Wikipedia, guiding students to think critically about information they find on the Internet. The section on interviewing has also been streamlined and revised.
  • Chapter 11 offers a revised discussion of primacy, recency, and complexity to help students better understand how to organize their main points based on each of these three principles.
  • Chapter 12, which covers outlining and revising your speech, has been moved before the chapters on developing an introduction and conclusion.
  • Chapter 14 includes a new example on reemphasizing the central idea in a memorable way.
  • Chapter 17 offers new tips for using gestures effectively and monitoring your facial expressions.
  • Chapter 19 has been reorganized so that selected content on adapting your delivery to a diverse audience has been distributed throughout the chapter where appropriate. This content was previously presented in a separate section.
  • Chapters 20 and 21 now feature a greater focus on computer-generated presentation aids.
  • Chapter 22, Developing an Audience-Centered Informative Speech, includes a revised closing section.
  • Chapter 23 includes additional content about changing or reinforcing audience values.
  • Chapter 24’s section on establishing your credibility has been revised. New research has also been added throughout the chapter.
Features & benefits

Concise, practical coverage of the public speaking process sets students up for success

  • Less than 300 pages and presented in spiral-bound, pocket-sized format, A Concise Public Speaking Handbook provides a streamlined, practical overview of the public speaking process that is less expensive than more in-depth texts.
  • NEW! To increase visual interest, the 5th Edition of the text is offered in full colour.
  • NEW! Fresh and expanded examples throughout the text ensure that the content presented is contemporary and engaging for students.
  • The text offers a number of strategies to improve speaker confidence.
    • To help students manage the anxiety they may experience when they think about speaking to an audience, Chapter 2 is devoted to improving speaker confidence.
    • Techniques for managing speaker apprehension, such as how to look for positive listener support when delivering a message, are also included throughout the text.
  • Besides learning how to speak in public, one of the most valued benefits of studying public speaking is becoming a more discriminating listener by developing critical listening skills.
    • A section on listening, critical thinking, and analysing and evaluating speeches helps students better understand their roles as speakers and listeners
    • Critical Assessment questions at the end of each chapter offer further opportunities to listen, analyse, and think critically.
  • Emphasising that an effective speaker is an ethical speaker, the authors help students understand the importance of ethics.
    • Ethics is emphasised throughout the text, as well as in the dedicated Chapter 4, Ethics and Free Speech.
    • Ethics Assessment questions at the end of each chapter spark thought and discussion on ethical issues in public speaking.


A pedagogically sound framework helps students build the skills they need

  • Learning Objectives at the beginning of every chapter provide a preview of chapter content and help students focus their study. Objectives are also repeated at the start of every section.
  • Quick Checks help students organise the tasks they need to perform when preparing their speeches, listing items that can be checked off as each step in the process is completed.
  • UPDATED! How To boxes provide clear instructions for applying concepts from the text to real-life public speaking. In the Fifth Edition, these boxes have been updated with contemporary examples designed to resonate with today’s students.
  • Study Guides at the end of each chapter summarise chapter content that reinforces the learning objectives listed at the beginning of the chapter. Each end-of-chapter Study Guide also includes:
    • Self-Assessment questions to help readers evaluate how prepared they are to apply the chapter material in their own speeches;
    • Ethics Assessment questions to encourage consideration of ethical issues; and
    • Critical Assessment questions that provide a variety of speechmaking scenarios to help students think critically and further apply chapter concepts.
Author biography

Steven A. Beebe is Regents’ and University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Texas State University. He served as Chair of his department at Texas State for twenty-eight years and concurrently as Associate Dean for twenty-five years. Steve is the author or co-author of twelve widely used communication books, most of which have been through multiple editions (including Russian and Chinese editions), as well as numerous articles, book chapters, and conference presentations. He has been a Visiting Scholar at both Oxford University and Cambridge University in England. He made international headlines when conducting research at Oxford; he discovered a manuscript that was the partial opening chapter of a book that was to be co-authored with J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis called Language and Human Nature. Steve has traveled widely in Europe and Asia, and has played a leadership role in establishing new communication curricula in Russian universities. He has received his university’s highest awards for research and twice for service, has been recognized as Honors Professor of the year, and was named Outstanding Communication Professor by the National Speaker’s Association. In 2013 he served as President of the National Communication Association, the largest professional communication association in the world. His passions include his family and a lifelong love of music; he is a pianist and organist and a struggling cellist.

Susan J. Beebe’s professional interests and expertise encompass both oral and written communication. Sue has co-authored three books and has published a number of articles and teaching materials in both English and communication studies. She has received the Texas State University Presidential Awards for Excellence in Teaching and in Service and the College of Liberal Arts Awards for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities, in Teaching, and in Service. After serving as Director of Lower-Division Studies in English for eleven years, Sue retired in 2014 from the Department of English at Texas State. An active volunteer in the community of San Marcos, Texas, Sue was the founding coordinator of the San Marcos Volunteers in Public Schools Program and has served on the San Marcos School Board and the Education Foundation Board. In 1993 she was named the statewide Friend of Education by the Texas Classroom Teachers’ Association; in 2000 the San Marcos school district presented her with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Sue enjoys reading, traveling, and caring for the Beebe family cats, Luke and Bouncer. Sue and Steve have two sons: Mark, a graduate of Rice University; and Matt, a graduate of Southwestern University and a middle school teacher in nearby Austin.

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