Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The joy of finding a free and worthwhile e-Book: The ACA Open Knowledge Guide to Public Speaking

How would you like to ALMOST INSTANTLY obtain a COMPLETELY FREE e-book that just might CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER? I am not just talking about a crummy MARKETING E-BOOK which REVEALS THE SECRETS of how YOU CAN MAKE BIG MONEY as a MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER.

Nor am I talking about a not very AMAZING BOOK that can MAGICALLY ELIMINATE YOUR FEARS.
It is not just a long ad for our FAMOUS SEMINAR that has been ENDORSED BY WELL-KNOWN CELEBRITIES.

But wait, there's more!!!

No OPERATORS ARE STANDING BY to try and sell you a MAGIC BULLET that will take your career to AN ENTIRELY NEW LEVEL.

This offer is not VALID ONLY FOR A LIMITED TIME. There is no MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. You do not need to ACT NOW.

$ $ $

What I am talking about is a non-commercial textbook resulting from a collective effort by a bunch of real, live college professors in the American Communication Association (ACA). It is called the ACA Open Knowledge Guide to Public Speaking. The Guide is a work-in-progress. It began to appear in September 2008. Right now it consists of a series of 13 modules (chapters) that you can read online or download as Adobe Acrobat files here.

The download list on the right side of the page shows abbreviated titles of the modules. Full titles for them are as follows:

Public Speaking in Context: How Does Public Speaking Differ from Other Forms of Communication (12 pages)

Listening: The “Lost” Communications Skill (16 pages)

On Critical Thinking and Reasoning: Deduction, Induction, and Logical Fallacies (27 pages)

The Significance of Audience Analysis: Strategically Considering Your Target Populace (14 pages)

Persuasive Speaking: Origins of Contemporary Persuasion (13 pages)

Persuasive Speaking: Strategies for Causing Attitudinal and Behavioral Change (22 pages)

Developing Quality Research Skills: Getting the Most Out of Your Library and Online Resources (10 pages)

Using Language Well: The Power of Effective and Ethical Language (15 pages)

Figuratively Speaking: Techniques for Adding Clarity and Style (19 pages)

Developing and Using Visual Aids Effectively: Charts, Models, and Artifacts Galore, Logical Fallacies (16 pages)

Introductions and Conclusions: On Perfectly Beginning and Ending Your Speech (16 pages)

Informative Speaking (16 pages)

Special Occasion Speaking: Public Speaking in the Workplace, Public Relations, After-dinner Speaking, and Ceremonial Speaking (8 pages)

When you add up the modules there are 204 pages so far. I found my way to the Introductions and Conclusions module when I was looking for references to give my Toastmasters club while preparing to conduct their Better Speaker Series presentations on beginning and concluding speeches.

The ACA Guide still has an extremely low profile because it is non-commercial. It was mentioned as Speech Reference of the Month in a November 10 newsletter by Statehouse Toastmasters (Salem, Oregon).

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