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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.

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.

SpeechPlanner: Guide your students through the process of planning, preparing, and practicing their speech—one step at a time!
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GoREACTDon’t just record – GoREACT! Offer your students an easy, interactive web video tool for recording, video sharing, and evaluating speeches within a secure online platform. Learn more.



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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“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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