If all you want is to get an A on your next speech and oral interpretation assignment, this book will probably help you. But it will also go far beyond that, providing a better understanding of what speech communication is, how it relates to other forms of communication, different types of conversation, developing appropriate intonation, and all kinds of other speech-related topics.
Again, this isn't simply a guide to better speech-making. Author Mary Elizabeth really demonstrates the processes, elements and uses of oral communication, taking readers from the basics of finding their own voice, to mastering the art of conversation, to understanding inflection and interpretation, to making a good speech.
Exercises (with answers at the end of each chapter) help students put their new knowledge into practice. Appendices offer graphic organizers for bringing thoughts together, sample speeches and sample marked texts.
While the Barron's Painless series is intended for middle and high school students, Painless Speaking is a great tool for anyone who needs (or wants) to improve their listening, conversational or public speaking skills. Speaking and its corollary skills may not be the easiest to study and learn about, but Elizabeth adds an element of fun while providing genuinely useful information that makes it genuinely painless.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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