A Complete Guide to Public Speaking

Joe Grippo
Outskirts Press (2014)
ISBN 9781478726609
Reviewed by Kathleen Dowdell for Reader Views (03/15)

 “A Complete Guide to Public Speaking” by Joe Grippo is the second edition of this book, the first one being published in 2009. Feeling the need to have readers remain current in the ever changing world of technology upgrades, the author published this edition in 2014. In this step-by-step approach Grippo structures public speaking principles and speech preparation into an easy to follow guide for presentations in any setting.

Most people fear public speaking. This guide addresses that issue by presenting tips to master speaking in front of any kind of an audience. Simple preparation such as making sure your audio and visual aids are working properly can go a long way in dispelling nervousness. Handouts are the most popular visual aid. Proofread the handouts that you are presenting to the audience a number of times until you are satisfied that the content is correct. 

Knowing the topic you are presenting is critical. Don’t make the mistake of interjecting data that sounds impressive just for the sake of trying to impress. Someone in the audience may be an expert on that topic and question the validity of your statement. If you are presenting numbers, be prepared to back up those numbers with statistics from reliable sources.

If you have completed the above steps don’t be fooled into thinking you are prepared. Your presentation must be rehearsed ahead of time. This does not mean memorizing the speech but rather, putting the ideas into a type of story that only you can remember. If you have a momentary mental block you can pull information from another area. The more you rehearse, the more confidence you will build. The presentation will become second nature. You will look relaxed and polished in front or your audience.

Grippo includes tips on speaking style such as body language, gestures, stance, body movements, eyes, voice and speaking speed, overall appearance, and strategies for answering questions and answers at the end of the presentation.

"A Complete Guide to Public Speaking” by Joe Grippo is only ninety-nine pages but contains 35 years of the author’s experience in public speaking, education, and practical research. I would recommend this book to anyone who is new to public speaking. The simple approach is easy to understand, and the information is concise and complete.

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