I have taught public speaking at the college level for more than 20 years and got tired of books that trotted out what is
(shh! don't tell)
Cicero, slightly revised 2000 years later.
I wanted a better book for the real world. Current research, deeper thinking and silly zombie jokes, all for a tenth of the price.
Why did I write this book? What is my research process? What was the hardest chapter to write?
Also, learn how I wrote the first-ever chapter on "Public Speaking and Depression," why you shouldn't revise until you finish your first draft, and why free is too expensive when marketing.
"The speaking hints, tips and guidelines are spot on. As a major bonus, the book is entertaining and highly readable. It could be used as a text book for high schoolers, college students, and professional seminars on public speaking. It is also a stand alone great reading experience."
Author keeps our attention with pop culture knowledge but then slips in state of the discipline insight on becoming an effective public speaker. Excellent course book, but that rare text book which is a good read for its own sake.
Dr. Philip Ruge-Jones
I'm so grateful to this book for encouraging me to accept my introversion and find a way to let it work for me, rather than get in my way. By packing thousands of pages of rhetoric into an easy-to-digest format, Vrooman gives new life to the art and science of public speaking. I'm actually a little excited about PowerPoint.
After teaching a whole lot of speech classes over a long period of time, I found this book a welcome relief. There is a vast amount of research that informs the complex task of speaking effectively. Making it accessible to students is very difficult. For this reason, most books provide oversimplified templates for very specific contexts. Unfortunately the real world does not often fall into these simple, discrete contexts. The Zombie Guide to Public Speaking offers an impressive integration of classical and contemporary rhetoric, identification, argumentation, persuasion, and visual research focused on the task of speaking effectively. While wrapping the book around creating relationships and argument, Dr. Vrooman manages to keep the material accessible without oversimplifying it. The zombie metaphor narrative appears as you move forward, turning from one page to another, never really sure what will happen next. Understanding their speech as an epic quest to overcome a zombie apocalypse resonates with our students, maybe with some of us instructors too. The narrative serves as a lifeline, framing the issues and keeping you entertained and curious as you are drawn through the complex muck of real issues necessary to be traversed. Students are more willing to go deep. This book is edgy in more than one way, and it will change the way we think about teaching speech for the better.
Dr. Christopher Bollinger
I used the first edition a few years ago teaching college composition classes and it worked well. The new edition is even better. It's got all of the great advice from the original, but the 2nd edition has many more pictures to make the information more accessible. This is my favorite public speaking text to help high school and college students improve their public speaking abilities. Well done. Funny, clever, and wonderfully abrasive. This is the Vrooman method at its best.
Vrooman's thoughts and ideas on effective use of Powerpoint are priceless. Reading this book led me to construct my most recent presentation in a much more engaging way. I appreciate that Vrooman, who is a communications expert, weaves theory and practicality together in such a seamless way. Time to put a stake in the head of those awful, 300-slide presentations and go sleek!