I’d Rather Die Than Give a Speech!: The Comprehensive Guide for Public Speaking by Michael M. Klepper

This is a book I picked up in a used book section in Depok, a small suburb of Jakarta. I was amazed to find, upon leafing through it, that it covers a lot of the same issues I cover in my undergraduate Public Speaking course. What’s more, since it is written for the average businessperson — it was, indeed, an Alternate Selection of the Executive Program, says the dustjacket — it’s basically at an appropriate reading level for my English Language & Culture major students, as well as many of the non-majors who seem to want to take the class. (Though, be warned, the English level among my students averages pretty high, overall.) The book covers a few topics I don’t, like working with a speech-writer, but by and large the short and very readable chapters are perfectly suited for use as weekly reading assignments, which will be part of the preparation for the following week’s speech assignment.

Best of all, it looks like it’s out of print. While I would hardly be the fellow to publicly encourage copyright violation, one is inclined to feel a little less badly about it when the book is no longer available through channels where any money at all will reach the author, and when mere parts of it are being reproduced for educational purposes.

I do wish, however, that Klepper would make it available, for cheap, online, though: I’d be able to give a link here and very highly recommend it to all TEFL teachers in search of a public speaking textbook, as well as have my students purchase it online and print their own copies. As it is, you’re going to either have to take a look at it sometime when you visit my place — and no, this is not a standing invitation to all readers! — or else you’re going to have to take the risk of ordering it cheap at some used book website online.

2 thoughts on “I’d Rather Die Than Give a Speech!: The Comprehensive Guide for Public Speaking by Michael M. Klepper

  1. The best public speaking guide I know of is Dale Carnegie’s “The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Public Speaking”. Widely available in English bookstores, and cheap, too – less than 10 000 won for a paperback.

    1. Haven’t read it. I imagine it is pretty good, but I have a particular way of approaching the topic, and this book seems to hit a lot of the notes that I hit. Still, I’ll have a look when I next see it. Thanks for the recommendation.

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