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The Public Speaking Playbook

The Public Speaking Playbook

Second Edition
Additional resources:

Public Speaking

January 2017 | 536 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Learn to speak in public without breaking a sweat! 

The Public Speaking Playbook, Second Edition, 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 brief interactive learning modules that allow students to practice—and improve—their public speaking. The highly anticipated Second Edition of this bestselling text features a more inclusive playbook analogy, exposing students to additional arenas—for example, politics, music, and business—to hone their skills and improve their performance. As students master the skills, they are also encouraged to think critically about what it means to “play fair” in public speaking, with a focus on diversity, ethics, and civic engagement.


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Assignable SAGE Premium Video: Boost Comprehension. Bolster Analysis.

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About the Authors
PART ONE: Get Ready to Speak
Chapter 1: Public Speaking and You: Building Confidence
Section 1.1 Identify Speechmaking’s Benefits  
Section 1.2 Understand the Context of Public Speaking  
Section 1.3 Build Confidence  
Chapter Exercises: Get a Strong Start  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 2: Give Your First Speech
Section 2.1 Select Your Topic  
Section 2.2 Develop, Support, and Organize Your Speech  
Section 2.3 Practice Delivery  
Section 2.4 Conduct a Post- Presentation Analysis  
Chapter Exercises: First Speech  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 3: Ethics and Public Speaking in a Global World
Section 3.1 Respect Different Cultures  
Section 3.2 Speak Ethically  
Section 3.3 Think Critically  
Chapter Exercises: Cultural Diversity, Critical Thinking, and Ethics  
Recap and Review  
PART TWO: Look and Listen
Chapter 4: Listening Critically
Section 4.1 The Six Stages of Listening  
Section 4.2 Listening and Cultural Differences  
Section 4.3 The Benefits of Critical Listening  
Section 4.4 The Four Types of Listening  
Section 4.5 Improving Listening Behaviors  
Chapter Exercises: Listening Critically  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 5: Analyzing and Adapting to the Audience
Section 5.1 Reach Out to Your Audience  
Section 5.2 Answer Preliminary Questions  
Section 5.3 Compose a Demographic Snapshot  
Section 5.4 Compose a Psychographic Snapshot  
Section 5.5 Consider the Speaking Situation  
Section 5.6 Get Information About Your Audience  
Chapter Exercises: Audience Analysis  
Recap and Review  
PART THREE: Topic and Research
Chapter 6: Select a Topic and Purpose
Section 6.1 Formulate a Topic  
Section 6.2 Formulate General and Specific Purposes  
Section 6.3 Formulate the Thesis Statement  
Chapter Exercises: Topic and Purpose  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 7: Finding and Evaluating Research
Section 7.1 Use Primary Research  
Section 7.2 Gather Secondary Research  
Section 7.3 Think Critically About Research  
Section 7.4 Keep a Research Record  
Chapter Exercises: Research  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 8: Integrating Support
Section 8.1 Use Examples  
Section 8.2 Use Explanations and Descriptions  
Section 8.3 Use Definitions  
Section 8.4 Use Analogies  
Section 8.5 Use Statistics  
Section 8.6 Use Testimony  
Section 8.7 Citing Sources in Your Speech  
Chapter Exercises: Support  
Recap and Review  
PART FOUR: Organize and Outline
Chapter 9: Organizing Your Speech
Section 9.1 Understand Speech Organization  
Section 9.2 Use Linear Organizational Formats  
Section 9.3 Use Configural Formats  
Chapter Exercises: Organization  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 10: Outlining Your Speech
Section 10.1 Create an Outline That Works for You  
Section 10.2 Make Your Speech Seamless  
Section 10.3 Practice Speaking With Your Outline  
Chapter Exercises: Outlining  
Recap and Review  
PART FIVE: Present Your Speech
Chapter 11: Introducing Your Speech
Section 11.1 Get Your Audience’s Attention  
Section 11.2 Build Your Credibility  
Section 11.3 Preview the Big Ideas  
Section 11.4 Avoid These Common Introductory Bloopers  
Chapter Exercises: The Introduction  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 12: Concluding Your Speech
Section 12.1 End Strong  
Section 12.2 Avoid These Common Concluding Pitfalls  
Chapter Exercises: The Conclusion  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 13: Wording the Speech
Section 13.1 Understand How Words Work  
Section 13.2 Use Words to Connect  
Section 13.3 Consider Your Audience  
Section 13.4 Be Strategic  
Section 13.5 Use Oral Style  
Chapter Exercises: Word Matters  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 14: Styles of Delivery
Section 14.1 Choose a Delivery Mode  
Section 14.2 Plan and Practice  
Section 14.3 Avoid Common Delivery Bloopers  
Chapter Exercises: Delivery  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 15: The Speaker’s Voice
Section 15.1 Control the Sound of Your Speech  
Section 15.2 Pitch Your Voice Properly  
Section 15.3 Adjust Volume  
Section 15.4 Regulate Rate  
Section 15.5 Pay Attention to Articulation and Pronunciation  
Section 15.6 Be Aware of Dialects and Regionalisms  
Chapter Exercises: Using Your Voice  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 16: Physical Aspects of Delivery
Section 16.1 Approach the Audience With Confidence  
Section 16.2 Make the Most of the Speaker’s Setting  
Section 16.3 Coordinate Your Body Language With Your Words  
Chapter Exercises: Using Your Body  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 17: Using Presentation Aids
Section 17.1 Use Presentation Aids Strategically  
Section 17.2 Know How to Work With Presentation Aids  
Section 17.3 Select the Best Aids  
Section 17.4 Be Familiar With Presentation Software  
Section 17.5 Get the Most From Your Presentation Aids  
Chapter Exercises: Presentation Aids  
Recap and Review  
PART SIX: Speak to Inform
Chapter 18: Speak to Inform
Section 18.1 Speeches About Objects and Ideas  
Section 18.2 Speeches About Events and People  
Section 18.3 Speeches About Processes and Procedures  
Section 18.4 Achieving Informative Speaking Goals  
Chapter Exercises: Informative Speaking  
Recap and Review  
PART SEVEN: Speak to Persuade
Chapter 19: Prepare to Persuade
Section 19.1 We All Practice Persuasion  
Section 19.2 Goals and Purposes of Persuasive Speech  
Section 19.3 Categorize and Organize the Persuasive Speech  
Section 19.4 Understand Monroe’s Motivated Sequence  
Chapter Exercises: Persuasion Preparation  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 20: Methods of Persuasion
Section 20.1 Varying Viewpoints and Your Target Audience  
Section 20.2 Build Persuasive Credibility  
Section 20.3 Use Evidence  
Section 20.4 Make Inferences  
Section 20.5 Appeal to Reason  
Section 20.6 Arouse Emotions  
Section 20.7 Use Three Tenets of Persuasion  
Section 20.8 Ethical Persuasion: Avoid Fallacies  
Chapter Exercises: Mastering Methods  
Recap and Review  
PART EIGHT: Special Topics
Chapter 21: Planning and Presenting in Groups
Section 21.1 Working Together  
Section 21.2 Solving Problems in Groups  
Section 21.3 Presenting the Group’s Work  
Section 21.4 Assess Your Group’s Development  
Chapter Exercises: Planning and Presenting in a Group  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 22: Special Occasion Speeches
Section 22.1 Goals and Functions of Special Occasion Speeches  
Section 22.2 Types of Ceremonial Speeches  
Section 22.3 The Speech of Introduction  
Section 22.4 The Speech of Presentation  
Section 22.5 The Speech of Acceptance  
Section 22.6 The Commencement Address  
Section 22.7 The Keynote Address  
Section 22.8 The Speech of Tribute  
Section 22.9 The Eulogy  
Section 22.10 The After-Dinner Speech  
Chapter Exercises: Speaking on Special Occasions  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 23: Business and Professional Speaking
Section 23.1 First, Get the Job: How to Handle a Job Interview  
Section 23.2 Speaking in a Meeting  
Section 23.3 The Pitch  
Section 23.4 Briefings and Reports  
Section 23.5 The Training Session  
Chapter Exercises: Speaking on the Job  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 24: Storytelling
Section 24.1 Discover Your Inner Storyteller  
Section 24.2 Use Language to Connect  
Chapter Exercises: Storytelling  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 25: Speaking in College Courses
Section 25.1 Presenting Across the Curriculum  
Section 25.2 Speaking Assignments in Every Course  
Chapter Exercises: Speaking Across the Curriculum  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 26: Presenting Online
Section 26.1 The Technological Difference  
Section 26.2 Formats for Online Presentations  
Section 26.3 Online Platforms for Presenting  
Chapter Exercises: Presenting Online  
Recap and Review  
Chapter 27: Answering Questions
Section 27.1 The Timing of the Q&A Session  
Section 27.2 Managing the Q&A  
Chapter Exercises: The Questionand- Answer Session  
Recap and Review  


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    • Over 100 video clips highlighting exemplary speech components and tips for improvement and 18 full-length professional speeches and model student speeches
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  • SAGE Premium Video, tied to learning objectives and curated and produced exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life, featuring:
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  • Video resources that bring concepts to life, are tied to learning objectives, and make learning easier



“Gamble and Gamble’s Playbook is an incredibly thorough overview of the public speaking process.”

Paul T.M. Hemenway
Lamar University

“The concept from Gamble and Gamble of presenting classroom material in a manner that many students are familiar with, a playbook, makes it stand out in the field. When students are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start on choosing a topic, choosing an organizational structure, finding research, my go-to answer is to check the playbook – there’s a section on that problem. It’s not a textbook to be read, memorized for a quiz – then put aside – it is there for the full “season” as a playbook.”

Brigit K. Talkington
Midland University

 “Eminently teachable because of its uncomplicated and jargon-free approach to Public Speaking”

Satish Kolluri
Pace University

“No other playbook is needed. SAGE’s “Public Speaking Playbook” is the perfect tool to help students."

Kristyn Hunt Cathey
Lamar University

"A useful textbook for speech that covers several topics you don’t normally find covered in detail like language usage and also has great exercises for in class activities."

Dr. Christy Mesaros-Winckles
Adrian College

It was decided that this is the best textbook for an online class.

Professor Catherine Mantle
Communication, Grantham University
June 13, 2017
Key features


  • Streamlined so students quickly reach the “how-to” of the learning modules, the text allows students to receive the essentials they need to work independently and collaboratively in preparing, rehearsing, and presenting a speech.
  • New student speeches and updated examples coach students on how to prepare, practice, and present speeches for diverse audiences of varying sizes in an array of forums—from classroom to community centers, from organizational to public venues, and from face-to-face settings to online presentations.
  • A wider playbook analogy is woven throughout the textbook, demonstrating to students how practicing and executing the exercises take the fear out of public speaking and free up time to share their interests, knowledge, passions, and concerns with others.
  • Assignable SAGE Premium Video: Boost Comprehension. Bolster Analysis.

    SAGE Premium Video is tied to learning objectives and curated and produced exclusively for this text. SAGE Premium Video brings concepts to life and appeals to different learning styles, featuring over 100 video clips highlighting exemplary speech components and tips for improvement and 18 full-length professional speeches.


  • Provides a play-by-play guide to presentations using a coaching theme to encourage the speaker to practice regularly in order to build skills and speak at peak ability
  • Streamlined chapters provide a detailed guide for mastering public speaking by breaking down the topical coverage into brief skill-building learning modules
  • Empowers students to manage speech anxiety, build confidence, and prepare for their first speech from the start by covering the fundamentals of speech preparation and delivery in the first two chapters
  • Self-assessments, Game Plans, and checklists highlight areas where students excel or need improvement, setting the tone for building skills and confidence through routine practice
  • Exercises put skills into practice in every chapter, with a regular emphasis on speech analysis, speech preparation, and delivery
  • Coaching Tips drive home the key takeaways for the speaker with inspiring quotes and practical advice. 
  • Annotated speech exercises promote deeper understanding of effective speech construction through review and critique.
  • Organized for quick reference and step-by-step instruction with color-coded tabs to help students find guidance quickly for every stage of the speechmaking process.
  • Infused with relevant coverage of real-world public speaking issues from using technology to deliver speeches or conduct research to engaging audiences ethically and with respect for diversity.

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