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Public Speaking  

Last Updated: Dec 2, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
Montante Family Library Subject Guide Print Page

Books on Public Speaking

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Talk Like TED
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The Speaker's Handbook
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Public Speaking for Success
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Mastering Public Speaking
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Finding News Articles

  • General One File
    A one-stop source for news, magazine, and periodical articles across a wide range of general interest topics and academic disciplines.
  • Infotrac Newsstand
    Provides access to full-text newspapers and allows users to search articles instantly by title, headline, date, newspaper section, etc.
  • Proquest Newspapers
    Includes a balance of national and regional newspapers chosen for their journalistic excellence and regional representation. All titles are available in full text.


News resource for topic ideas.

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Wall Street Journal

News resource for topic ideas.

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New York Times

News resource for topic ideas.

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Ask yourself

The kind of research and preparation that you do for a speech depends on what kind of speech you are writing.

Is it informational? For example, are you describing a health topic or a work of fiction?  If so, you will likely use scholarly resources to write your speech.  

Is it persuasive?  For example, are you trying to influence how your audience thinks about a two-sided topic?  In this case, you will likely utilize news resources or a viewpoints database resource.

Either way, once you have a topic, or list of topics, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I interested in the topic?
  • Will I enjoy researching this topic?
  • Will I enjoy talking about this topic and sharing this information with my audience?
  • Will my audience be interested in my topic?
  • Am I passionate about this topic?

If you can answer yes to all of the above questions, then you have selected a good topic for you and your audience.



Selecting a Topic

The Montante Family Library provides access to the following databases and websites that contain a range of perspectives on many important issues, with over 19,000 pro/con viewpoints.  They contain a variety of resource types including news, primary sources and more.  These resources are particularly helpful when writing a persuasive or informative speech. 


Opposing Viewpoints                    Public Agenda



Ted Talks

Want to see some remarkable (and entertaining) public speaking? Ted is a non-profit devoted to spreading ideas usually in the form of short, informative talks (less than 18 minutes).

Ted "Before public speaking..." Playlist


Creating Visuals for Presentation

Wordle is an application that enables you to make word clouds out of text you provide.

Google Maps provides interactive maps and aerial/satellite imagery of many countries.

Flickr is an online photo management and sharing application.

Life Photo Archive includes a searchable database of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today.

It is important that you respect any copyright or creative commons restrictions and attribute sources for any images you use.

More Advice on Public Speaking

  • Toastmasters International
    Empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders by engaging in public speaking.
  • Mind Tools
    Focuses on the leadership, management and personal effectiveness skills you need for a happy, successful career.

Subject Guide

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Jill Aures

Finding Scholarly Journal Articles


Statistics and Polls

Statistical information adds interest and impact to speeches.
Access information on statistics, government and politics, census, etc.
A nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.  It conducts public opinion polling.
Polls and surveys that track US public opinion on many political, economic and social issues. 
Step by step access to US Census information and statistics.  National, state and community information available.

Bureau of Justice Statistics

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Centers for Disease Control  and Prevention (CDC) Statistics

World Health Organization Statistics


Pew Research Center

Current public opinion polls and statistics.

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Gallup Poll

Current public opinion polls and statistics.

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