Tuesday, September 15, 2015

OU-C faculty member Lisa Wallace publishes customized textbook for communication course


By public relations student writer Madison Corbin

It is a widely accepted truth across academic, professional and personal pursuits: communication is key.  One particular member of the Ohio University-Chillicothe faculty maintains this concept as her classroom’s most important. 

Lisa Wallace Ph.D. is an associate professor of communication studies on the Chillicothe Campus.  She recently published her second book, The Value of Your Message: An Introduction to Public Speaking, a text written to enhance students’ comprehension of communication and its practical applications outside the classroom.

“I wrote this book because I found that I created more materials for the public speaking courses than I used from the existing textbooks,” said Wallace.  “I wanted the book that I required students to buy to be a good value and fully of use to them, so I customized my textbook to fit the curriculum requirements for the course.”

Wallace equips students with a logical, step-by-step approach to speech-writing.  The primary focus of her text is the development and execution of a meaningful message.  The book’s structure is specifically aligned with the curriculum of the course, making progression in the class as clear and intuitive as possible.  Its coherent format supplements Wallace’s lectures with rich content and perspective-deepening activities.   

“It is my experience that speech anxiety and issues with delivery disappear when the speaker focuses on a strong, well-developed, meaningful message,” said Wallace.  “If you feel strongly about sharing your message with someone, you forget to be nervous . . . You become much more effective as a public speaker.”

Jacquelyn Kellough is a junior at Ohio University-Chillicothe studying integrated language arts. In Wallace’s communication class last spring, she had first-hand experience with The Value of Your Message: An Introduction to Public Speaking and appreciated the textbook’s in-class influence.

“This book was different from other textbooks I have used because Dr. Wallace is so familiar with it,” said Kellough.  “Whenever we had a question, she usually knew where exactly to find the answer and there wasn't any unnecessary information.” 

Wallace designed her textbook with consciousness and specificity, ensuring that it provided adequate guidance to her students throughout the semester-long course, and nothing else.
“It was different than other books because I felt like I really got my money’s worth,” said Kellough.  “We used all of the information and resources . . . the book helped me to understand the material a lot better.”

The book is intended for use at an introductory level.  Wallace has been approached by fellow educators desiring to implement her textbook into their own public speaking courses, a success she considers exciting. 

“It is my hope that others will find the textbook as useful in their classrooms as I have in my own,” said Wallace.

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