Public Speaking: Finding Your Voice, Global Edition

Michael Osborn / Suzanne Osborn / Randall Osborn  
Total pages
July 2014
Related Titles

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Public Speaking: Finding Your Voice, Global Edition
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Helps students become better speakers in their classrooms, workplaces, and communities

This top-selling, comprehensive introductory public speaking title highlights and develops the theme of “Finding Your Voice.”  It helps students develop as speakers and as people, as they gain presentation skills and confidence, discover causes that interest and engage them, and give them a sense of purpose.  This theme reinforces the book’s primary goal of helping students to become better communicators in their classrooms, workplaces and communities.



  • Focuses on “Finding Your Voice” - The “Finding Your Voice” theme resonates throughout the book. Each chapter begins with stories and examples that illustrate finding your voice and concludes with a Final Reflections section that places the material in context. As each chapter develops, the Finding Your Voice feature offers short exercises, questions, and applications that challenge readers to think about and apply what they are learning, providing opportunities for class discussion and a stimulus to learning.

  • Balances Theory and Skills - This title offers both practical advice and an understanding of why such advice works, with a solid grounding in both classic and current scholarship.

  • Helps Develop Critical Thinking Skills - New chapter-ending self-tests, After Reading This Chapter…, review and reinforce the major concepts introduced and developed.  These reviews measure Learning Outcomes that relate to the Learning Objectives at the beginning of each chapter.  New For Discussion and Further Exploration questions and projects encourage the extension and application of chapter content.

  • Covers Cultural Diversity - The text features prominent coverage of cultural diversity and the importance of adapting to diverse audiences and appreciating others’ voices.

  • Emphasizes Ethics - Emphasis is placed on on ethical considerations throughout, to help readers become more sensitive to the ethical impact of their words and messages, as well as to be able to evaluate the credibility and reliability of others’ messages.

New to this Edition

Chapter 1:

  • Revised and streamlined discussion of the “Historical Roots of Public Speaking” to be more accessible to today’s student
  • New “personal/social/cultural” division of topics
  • Rewritten section on “communication as interaction”

Chapter 2:

  • New “visualization” script (visualizing giving a successful speech)
  • New section on “supporting your classmates”
  • Shortened self-anxiety quiz

Chapter 3:

  • Rewritten section on “step-by-step” speech overview has been moved earlier in chapter, as requested by reviewers

Chapter 4:  

  • New opening
  • Reworked discussion on identifying “kinds of listening” to reflect general practice in the discipline
  • Greater emphasis on critical listening and tied more closely to critical thinking

Chapter 5:

  • New opening
  • Extensive new research
  • Updated demographic material
  • New Figures

Chapter 6:

  • New opening and speech excerpts from Lindsey Yoder, winner of first “Michael Osborn Public Speaking Contest” at U Memphis
  • Expanded section on “specific purpose” with numerous new examples on how to test and improve your “specific purpose” statements

Chapter 7:

  • Reorganization and updated account of research resources available from library, Internet and social media
  • New system for recording information gained from research
  • Streamlined advice on conducting personal interviews

Chapter 8:

  • Fresh opening (Golden Gate Bridge)
  • Many new examples

Chapter 9:

  • Expanded section and new examples of “design options”
  • Strengthened research base
  • Added annotations to sample outline
  • Numerous new examples throughout

Chapter 10:

  • New material on presentation media and cutting-edge technology, including presentation programs for tablets
  • Revised PowerPoint discussion
  • New data for Figures
  • Discussion of Vioxx trial as example

Chapter 11:  

  • Simplified overall
  • New examples

Chapter 12:

  • Greater emphasis on impromptu and extemporaneous speaking – rearranged discussion
  • New exercise on vocal fillers
  • New Finding Your Voice boxes
  • Greater emphasis on “practice”
  • New examples from the workplace and courtroom communication

Chapter 13:

  • New student informative speech with annotations
  • New opening
  • Expanded discussion of “outcomes”
  • New outlines and examples

Chapter 14:

  • Clearer conceptual approach to persuasion and the nature of persuasion
  • New motivational speakers
  • New Case Study (Nabholz Construction) on public speaking and persuasive practices

Chapter 15:

  • Rewritten to focus on the social role of persuasion in the resolution of controversy
  • New material emphasizes that reasoned persuasion can emerge from controversy – as an ethical alternative to manipulative persuasion
  • Clearer relationships among forms of evidence, proofs, reasoned persuasion and building arguments

Chapter 16:

  • New opening featuring Nabholz Construction wellness program
  • New eulogy of Whitney Houston
  • Simplified “Identification and magnification” section
  • Discussion of Steve Jobs’s Stanford commencement address

Appendix A (Small Group Communication):  

  • New material on virtual meetings
  • New material on negative member behavior and its effects on groups
  • Rewritten section on “reflective thinking” and a new example of this

Table of Contents

Part One: The Foundations of Public Speaking  
Chapter 1:
 Discovering Your Voice  
Chapter 2: Understand and Managing Your Fear of Speaking  
Chapter 3: Preparing, Practicing and Presenting Your First Speech 
Chapter 4: The importance of listening


Part Two: Preparation for Public Speaking  
Chapter 5:
 Understanding Your Audience and the Occasion 
Chapter 6: Selecting Your Topic  
Chapter 7: Building Responsible Knowledge  
Chapter 8: Supporting Your Ideas  
Chapter 9: Developing and Structuring Your Speech 


Part Three: Developing Presentation Skills  
Chapter 10: Presentation Aids  
Chapter 11: Putting Words to Work  
Chapter 12: Delivering Your Speech 


Part Four: Types of Public Speaking 

Chapter 13: Enlightening Discourse  
Chapter 14: Convincing Discourse
Chapter 15: Persuasion in Controversy  
Chapter 16: Ceremonial Speaking on Special Occasions  
Appendix A: Communicating in Small Groups  
Appendix B: Speeches for Analysis