Journalist Malcolm Gladwell has written a number of best-selling books, including Blink, The Tipping Point, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and most recently, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. You can read a lot of his articles online at The New Yorker, such as this piece about college rankings: “The Order of Things: What College Rankings Really Tell Us.”
In a 2010 interview, Sarfraz Manzoor asked Gladwell about his public speaking career. Gladwell replied that “Speaking is not an act of extroversion. People think it is, but it has nothing to do with extroversion. It’s a performance, and many performers are hugely introverted.”
The part about extroversion begins at 2:10.
The first chapter of A Pocket Guide to Public Speaking offers some great observations about the work we’ll do in this course.
First, the authors emphasize that public speaking is a valuable skill that applies to your other courses and to your whole life.
Second, they point out that communication is essential for citizenship: in a democracy, effective communicators have the opportunity to shape law and policy.
Finally, they give some tips for how to draw on your prior knowledge and experience to succeed in this course.