About the Book

Many public speaking texts take students through a number of chapters of theory and advice before getting to the different types of speeches (e.g., informative, persuasive, special occasion, and small group presentations) that they will give. This innovative new book provides students with the tools they need to speak confidently earlier in the course.

Based on her many years of teaching experience, Sherry Devereaux Ferguson outlines an additive approach to public speaking, providing a foundational overview at the beginning of the book. Each subsequent chapter presents the information and skills necessary to fulfill that chapter's assignment. This organization allows students to master skills incrementally and—in the process—to begin speaking earlier. With a goal of building competency in stages, Ferguson's sure-footed method leads to more confident and effective speakers. Paying special attention to audience analysis and rhetorical criticism, this distinctive text also offers a strong ethical foundation for the act of public speaking.

Providing an abundance of examples, tips from professionals, sample student speeches, and visuals, Public Speaking: Building Competency in Stages helps students to overcome their fears by equipping them with the tools they need to speak confidently in any context. Use the links on this page to learn more about the book.  Read the book’s preface and look over a sample chapter.  You can also review the book’s table of contents.

Website Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy
Please send comments or suggestions about this Website to