Higher Education

Cengage Advantage Books: The Speaker's Compact Handbook, 4th Edition

  • Jo Sprague San Jose State University
  • Douglas Stuart
  • David Bodary Sinclair Community College
  • ISBN-10: 0840028156  |  ISBN-13: 9780840028150
  • 272 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2012, 2009, 2006
  • © 2014 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $31.25
  • Newer Edition Available
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CENGAGE ADVANTAGE BOOKS: THE SPEAKER'S COMPACT HANDBOOK, Fourth Edition, is a concise reference for the introductory public speaking course. An excellent value and useful to students in any major, this brief handbook features examples, photographs, activities, and other learning tools students can use on their journey to becoming effective public speakers. The spiral-bound format and flexible standalone chapters allow students to access the topics they need to create great speeches easily, while Key Points and Checklists help them stay on track. Online interactive tools like Speech Builder Express 3.0 and InfoTrac® College Edition help students further develop their public speaking skills for class--and well beyond.

Features and Benefits

  • Incorporates an emphasis and review tool, "Quick Tips," which are boxes throughout the text that provide helpful hints about the subject discussed.
  • End-of-chapter Critical Thinking questions that encourage readers to take a moment to consider the key concepts more fully.
  • Solid Approach: Public speaking is treated as a blend of communicative resources--writing, performance, and conversation with language being the primary resource underlying the entire process. This emphasis on language highlights the need for sensitive and appropriate choices for both words and symbols in today's diverse society.
  • Audience Analysis: The handbook teaches students to analyze audience members not only on their traits and characteristics but also in terms of the processes by which they make sense of messages.
  • Drawing Conclusions: Reasoning is discussed in terms of the links people draw between data and conclusions. The text discusses how people can "logically" reach opposite conclusions from the same evidence, emphasizing the need to spell out and justify the links in one's reasoning--and speeches.
  • Ethics Emphasis: A chapter on "Speaking Ethically" draws together key points and provides guidelines for responsible speaking. Equipping students with the insight to make their own, well-informed decisions when faced with ethical dilemmas, the text treats the ethical decisions speakers make as a series of careful balancing acts--not as clear-cut dos and don'ts.
  • Practical Preparation: A chapter on practicing for speech presentations provides concrete suggestions and timetables for this important dimension of speech preparation.

Table of Contents

1. Approaching Public Speaking.
2. Speech Contexts.
3. Planning Your Speech.
4. Finding and Using Resources.
5. Organizing Your Ideas and Information.
6. Getting Your Ideas Across.
7. Crafting Your Speech.
8. Presenting Your Speech.
Appendix A: Sample Speeches and Outlines.
Appendix B: Citation Guidelines.

What's New

  • New and updated content provides tips for estimating preparation time, learning to utilize research resources in speaking situations, and more.
  • Updated references to social media, gaming, and pop culture are included.
  • New material on generational culture as it relates to understanding audience (audience analysis) is included.
  • Updated Critical Thinking questions so they can be used effectively in class or online discussions.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"I like Jo Sprague's writing. The book is concise and doesn't 'talk down' to students. I like the ideas in the book."

— Julie Berman, Savannah College of Art and Design

"Although it is 'compact,' it has most of what I need."

— Marilyn Johnson, Cabrini College

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Jo Sprague

Jo Sprague is professor emeritus of Communication Studies at San José State University, where she also served as associate director of the Center for Faculty Development and Support. In addition, she is a former president of the Western States Communication Association. Her research focuses on critiquing, teaching, and the scholarship of speech communications.

Douglas Stuart

Douglas Stuart is Vice President of Technical and Marketing Publications at FirstTel Systems Corporation.

David Bodary

David Bodary is a professor of Communication at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, where he teaches public speaking and coordinates the Service Learning office. He belongs to both the National Communication Association (NCA) and the Central States Communication Association. Dr. Bodary has served in a variety of roles for both organizations and is pleased to have participated in the NCA Learning Outcomes in Communication project. He earned his bachelor's from Eastern Michigan University and a master's and doctorate from Wayne State University.