Many public speaking texts take students through a number of chapters of theory and advice before getting to the different types of speeches (e.g., informative, persuasive, special occasion, and small group presentations) that they will give. This innovative new book provides students with the tools they need to speak confidently earlier in the course. Based on her many years of teaching experience, Sherry Devereaux Ferguson outlines an additive approach to public speaking, providing a foundational overview at the beginning of the book. Each subsequent chapter presents the information and skills necessary to fulfill that chapter's assignment. This organization allows students to master skills incrementally and--in the process--to begin speaking earlier. With a goal of building competency in stages, Ferguson's sure-footed method leads to more confident and effective speakers. Paying special attention to audience analysis and rhetorical criticism, this distinctive text also offers a strong ethical foundation for the act of public speaking. Features * Assignment-based: Organizes content around speech assignments rather than topics, allowing professors to introduce practical work early in the course * Additive in approach: Allows the student to apply principles learned earlier in the course and also to acquire additional knowledge and skills with each new assignment * Innovative: Incorporates a number of unique features such as the critical communication model, which offers an ethical component; chapters on professional speechwriting and rhetorical analysis; a discussion of PowerPoint presentations; and novel assignments such as a speech of welcome, a coffee shop discussion on ethics, and a team presentation based on theories of multiple intelligence Providing an abundance of examples, tips from professionals, sample student speeches, and visuals, Public Speaking: Building Competency in Stages helps students to overcome their fears by equipping them with the tools they need to speak confidently in any context.