Fiercely Independent

The Speaker's Primer

Joseph M. Valenzano, III,  Stephen W. Braden, and Melissa Broeckelman-Post

print isbn: 978-1-68036-321-0

ebook isbn: 978-1-59871-946-8


The Speaker’s Primer is a concise, practical guide to crafting and delivering a range of presentations in a variety of professional settings. The authors give specialized advice on public speaking in business, health care, education, politics, and the STEM fields.

The second edition features the same accessible, tips-and-tricks style of the first, and it adds both a new chapter discussing culture and diversity and a new section on the importance and ethical dimension of being a good listener. Additionally, each chapter now contains new activities that prompt students to apply chapter concepts in practical use.


  • Sustained discussion of the nuances of speaking in different professional contexts
  • Focus on the ethical dimensions of public speaking
  • Sidebars highlighting the importance of public speaking principles specific to: business, health care, education, politics, and the STEM fields
  • Entire chapter devoted to group presentations

New to the Second Edition

  • Chapter 5: Culture and Diversity
  • Section on the importance of listening as an audience member
  • Chapter-end activities and exercises
  • Citation information updated to reflect the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook


Table of Contents

  1. Understanding Public Communication

  2. Speech Anxiety

  3. Speaking and Ethics

  4. Speaking in and to Different Disciplines

  5. Culture and Diversity

  6. Topic Selection

  7. Research and Preparation

  8. Audience Analysis

  9. Supporting Materials

10. Context and the Speech Situation

11. Outlining

12. Introductions, Conclusions, and Connective Statements

13. Reasoning

14. Informative Speeches

15. Persuasive Speeches

16. Commemorative Speeches

17. Presentation Aids

18. Language

19. Delivery

20. Practice

21. Group Presentations