There are many textbooks that help detail the art of public speaking. However, one that stands heads and shoulders above the others is “The Art of Public Speaking” by Stephen E. Lucas. This University of Wisconsin-Madison professor and author has created a simple to read book that covers many different areas of public speaking. It has 10 editions and has sold over 10 million copies, making it one of the most expansive and intricate public speaking books available. There are many reasons this book has been such a wild success on the textbook market.
(10th Edition Cover)
For example, Lucas understands that many students find textbooks boring or difficult to understand. As a result, he writes in a simple to understand manner that helps draw readers into “The Art of Public Speaking” more easily. A light sense of humor makes the book more enjoyable to read than the average textbook.
Another major advantage of the book is its wide range. It doesn’t simply focus on one aspect of the art of public speaking. Instead, the book covers a wide range of basic public speaking information, including proper posture, gesturing and articulation methods. Visual aids help give students a solid understanding of how to present themselves while speaking. “The Art of Public Speaking” also includes basic speech writing tips to make your speech more effective. It also gives practice and presentation tips. These methods are useful for beginning students.
However, Lucas also delves deeply into complex public speaking theories. This is where “The Art of Public Speaking” truly shines. It breaks these complex theories down into easy to understand ideas. Lucas discusses classical theories as well as more up-to-date ideas. The most useful aspect of this theoretical section is the “practical applications” areas. These discuss ways in which these theories are applied to the real world.
Lucas liberally sprinkles “The Art of Public Speaking” with real world examples of public speaking. These examples serve as useful guides for future public speakers. They take the practical application of the theories into a realm that students can experience and understand more easily then vague theoretical discussions.
(11th Edition Cover)
Lucas also also included the “Integrated Teaching Package” with instructional copies of the book. These teacher’s editions were written by Lucas and give tips on how to teach the material to student. It gives activity suggestions as well as online supplemental material that teachers can use to help expand the student’s understanding of “The Art of Public Speaking.”
The 10th edition of “The Art of Public Speaking” also includes a digital expansion of the book at the McGraw-Hill Connect Lucas and Connect Lucas Plus site. This site gives students access to each book chapter, including videos of real world public speaking samples. There is also a research library and study aides, such as flash cards, self directed quizzes and interactive samples.
If you are looking for a free online alternative or additional supplementary material to The Art of Public Speaking, then you may want to take a look through our Method pages (top left) for a useful resource.