The Challenge of Effective Speaking in a Digital Age,
18th Edition

Rudolph F. Verderber, Kathleen S. Verderber, Deanna D. Sellnow

ISBN-13: 9780357798782
Copyright 2024 | Published
368 pages | List Price: USD $187.95

A favorite with students, Sellnow/Verderber's THE CHALLENGE OF EFFECTIVE SPEAKING IN A DIGITAL AGE, 18th Edition, equips you with the skills you need to become a confident public speaker in both in-person and virtual settings. Its signature six key Speech Plan Action Steps guide you step-by-step through topic selection, audience analysis and adaptation, effective research, organization (with an emphasis on outlining), a wide variety of presentational aids (including how to avoid succumbing to "death by PowerPoint"), and language and delivery. Online tools -- including videos of student speeches accompanied by critical assessment questions and a robust MindTap Speech digital learning solution -- further develop and strengthen your public speaking skills. Grounded in the latest research and best practices, this bestseller is an exceptional resource for creating and delivering speeches.


1. Foundations of Public Speaking.
2. Your First Speech.
3. Listening.
4. Determining an Appropriate Speech Goal.
5. Adapting to Audiences.
6. Topic Development.
7. Organizing the Speech Body.
8. The Introduction and Conclusion.
9. Presentational Aids.
10. Language and Oral Style.
11. Delivery.
12. Informative Speaking.
13. Persuasive Messages.
14. Persuasive Speaking.
15. Ceremonial Speaking.
16. Group Communication and Presentations.

  • Rudolph F. Verderber

    Rudolph F. Verderber is Distinguished Teaching Professor of Communication Emeritus at the University of Cincinnati and former National Speaker's Association Professor of the Year -- as well as one of the all-time bestselling communication studies authors. The strength of his basic texts lies in his ability to explain and exemplify concepts, theories and skills to introductory level students. His Cengage texts -- COMMUNICATE!, THE CHALLENGE OF EFFECTIVE SPEAKING, COMM and SPEAK -- have a reputation for being student favorites due to their accessible presentation of theory and skills.

  • Kathleen S. Verderber

    Kathleen S. Verderber is associate professor of management emeritus at Northern Kentucky University. She has consulted with various civic, professional and business organizations. Dr. Verderber has published numerous articles in several journals and presented papers at communication and management conferences. In addition, she is a co-author of COMMUNICATE! THE CHALLENGE OF EFFECTIVE SPEAKING IN A DIGITAL AGE, COMM and SPEAK, all with Cengage, as well as author of INTER-ACT: INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION, CONCEPTS, SKILLS, AND CONTEXTS with Oxford University Press. She holds an M.A. in speech communication as well as an MBA and a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from the University of Cincinnati.

  • Deanna D. Sellnow

    Deanna D. Sellnow, Ph.D., is a Luminary Research Professor of Strategic Communication in the Nicholson School of Communication at the University of Central Florida. Her research focuses on the rhetoric of popular culture, particularly music as communication, and instructional communication as it occurs in conventional and nonconventional classrooms, as well as in risk and crisis contexts. Dr. Sellnow has published in regional, national and international journals and served as editor of the JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION PEDAGOGY, COMMUNICATION TEACHER and the BASIC COMMUNICATION COURSE ANNUAL. She is co-author of COMMUNICATE!, THE CHALLENGE OF EFFECTIVE SPEAKING, COMM and SPEAK, all with Cengage.

  • Speech examples are embedded into the narrative of every chapter so students can see how the concepts discussed can be applied in a speech. Each example also poses a critical thinking question for students to consider when preparing their own formal presentations.

  • The 2020-2021 lockdown accelerated the impact of technology on formal presentations. The new 18th edition discusses what that looks like today and going forward.

  • Each chapter explores Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and social justice topics, encouraging readers to engage in civil dialogue about these themes as they play out in their lives as well as in the presentations they deliver and attend.

  • Engaging real-world examples ranging from entertainment to business to politics to daily life are integrated throughout the narrative, illustrating the relevance and impact of the material to students' lives beyond the classroom.

  • Delivering substantive coverage of the causes of speech apprehension, Chapter 2: Your First Speech equips students with practical strategies and tactics for becoming confident speakers.

  • Providing individual assessments, the Bongo online speech video submission, recording and grading program enables students to practice their skills and get feedback from their instructor and peers.

  • MindTap's outline building function guides students through speech preparation from topic generation to research and notecard prep. Critical thinking prompts are included in each stage of the process.

  • MindTap's curated library of student speeches gives learners the opportunity to sharpen their skills by evaluating and critiquing others' speeches. Each speech is paired with critical thinking questions, a transcript and a sample outline.

  • Using the latest communication research and theory as its foundation, the 18th edition includes thorough coverage of listening, the integration of the rhetorical situation as it applies to the steps of the speechmaking process and thesis versus preview statements to help give students a deeper understanding of the skills they are learning.

  • Speech Plan Action Steps guide students through a step-by-step preparation process, resulting in significantly stronger speeches. The exercises are supplemented by in-text and online examples of each activity prepared by other students.

  • Sample student speech outlines on contemporary topics provide examples of typical beginning student performances to help learners assess their own progress, while accompanying speech assignment activities, sample speaking outline notecards and interactive exercises equip them with tools for improvement. In addition, Speech Evaluation Checklists ensure students gain a solid understanding of the new speechmaking skills they are learning with each assignment.

  • Thorough coverage of audience analysis begins in Chapter 1, which shows that speech effectiveness is determined by the speaker's ability to adapt the message to the rhetorical situation. Chapter 4 offers in-depth treatment of the audience analysis process. Chapter 5 describes specific ways to adapt material to each audience. Chapter 6 discusses how to select sources that best fulfill the speaker's goal for the audience and occasion. Chapter 9 focuses on how to create the most effective presentational aids. Chapters 10 and 11 explain how to adapt language choices based on the audience and situation.

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.

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