The Challenge of Effective Speaking in a Digital Age,
17th Edition

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

ISBN-13: 9781305948198
Copyright 2018 | Published
368 pages | List Price: USD $187.95

A favorite with students, THE CHALLENGE OF EFFECTIVE SPEAKING IN A DIGITAL AGE, 17th Edition, equips you with the skills you need to maximize your course success and become a confident public speaker. 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 (and how to avoid succumbing to "death by PowerPoint"), and language and delivery. Online tools include videos of student speeches accompanied by Interactive Video Activities that help you develop and strengthen your public speaking skills as well as the robust MindTap Speech digital learning solution. Grounded in the latest research, this new edition 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.

  • NEW! Completely updated to reflect the best practices from the field, THE CHALLENGE OF EFFECTIVE SPEAKING IN A DIGITAL AGE, 17th Edition, packs a stronger emphasis on the powerful role digital media and technology play in all aspects of preparing, presenting, and interpreting public speeches. Chapter 1 opens with a discussion of how technology shapes speechmaking today, sample speeches about technology-related topics appear throughout the book, and various examples address technology-related challenges in face-to-face and online public speaking settings.

  • NEW! Each sample formal speech outline now includes commentary in the margins, a sample preparation outline, and sample note cards with keyword outlines or notes. (See chapters 1, 2, 5, 8, 11, 12, and 14.) Also Chapter 14, "Persuasive Speaking," provides an example of the notes featured in a PowerPoint slideshow.

  • NEW! Presenting chapter concepts in the context of real-life practice, Public Speaking in the Real World topics are integrated throughout the text. Chapter 3 on listening includes "What Former President Bill Clinton Can Teach Us About Listening and Success" and Chapter 6's coverage of topic development includes "Filmmakers and NASA Team Up to Do Research for 'The Martian.'"

  • NEW! Mirroring recent headlines, all-new Reflect on Ethics topics include "Yahoo CEO Agreed to Resign Over Inaccurate Resume" (Chapter 2); "Jim Cramer and CNBC's Mad Money," (Chapter 4); "Academy Awards Host Chris Rock: Ethical or Not?" (Chapter 8); and "Super Bowl Advertisement Ethics: Where Should the Line Be Drawn?" (Chapter 13).

  • NEW! Speech Planning boxes are more streamlined and Speech Assignment & Checklist boxes are more simplified -- providing student-friendly tools to maximize success.

  • Using the latest communication research and theory as its foundation, THE CHALLENGE OF EFFECTIVE SPEAKING IN A DIGITAL AGE, 17th 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 and 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, showing 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.

  • Early and strong coverage in Chapter 2 explains causes of speech apprehension as well as equips students with clear strategies and tactics for becoming confident speakers.

  • Short Reflect on Ethics case studies present a real-world ethical challenge -- such as plagiarism, ethical use of statistics and emotion, and appropriate uses of presentational aids -- prompting students to think through speakers' ethical dilemmas before they personally come face to face with them.

  • YouSeeU: Practice & Present is an online speech video submission, recording and grading program that gives individual assessments and lets students practice their skills and get feedback from their instructor and peers.

  • Outline Builder guides students through speech preparation from topic generation to research and note-card prep. Each stage in the process is accompanied by critical thinking prompts.

  • Speech Video Library gives students experience evaluating and critiquing speeches. Each speech is paired with critical thinking questions, a transcript, a sample outline and sample notecards.

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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