News from Montgomery College

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Date: May 5, 2004 (04-48)

PHOTO EDITORS: High-resolution images to accompany this story are available at /news/highresolutionimages/04/bodenheimer/

Montgomery College Professor Coauthors How-To Book for Women
The Woman’s Public Speaking Handbook Offers Advice, Tips to Improve Skills  

Anyone who has led a fund-raising committee, run for a seat on the school board, or taken the lead on a corporate project knows the value of public speaking skills—a skill set required for building community and facilitating group decisions. Yet, mastering public speaking skills challenges men and women differently. Addressing women directly, language professionals Fritzi R. Bodenheimer and Elizabeth J. Natalle coauthored The Woman’s Public Speaking Handbook.

Sized to fit in a briefcase, gym bag or handbag, the Handbook presents the latest research findings about effective public speaking, while offering basic skills for all inexperienced and anxious speakers. Bodenheimer and Natalle provide ample real-life examples, advice, and experiences from successful women -- driving home the concept that anyone can hone their public speaking skills, meet audience expectations, and develop a public persona systematically.

In the handbook introduction, Bodenheimer and Natalle explain their motivation for reaching out to women: “We wish to share prescriptions for helping women become effective public speakers. Although women comprise 51 percent of the population in the United States, they make up only 14 percent of Congress... This indicates that women’s participation in public life is on the rise. However, women’s voices still aren’t heard as political leaders.”

Fritzi Bodenheimer is an assistant professor of speech at Montgomery College, where she teaches undergraduate courses in public speaking and business communication. She works as an independent public speaking coach and communication consultant. She holds an M.A. in speech communication from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a B.S. in public relations from Boston University.

Dr. Elizabeth “Jody” Natalle, associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in interpersonal communication and communication and gendered communities. Natalle has authored Feminist Theatre: A Study in Persuasion and numerous articles and book chapters on women's communication. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in communication from Florida State University. In 1996, she was honored with one of the first Woman of Distinction awards at UNCG. She is also the recipient of the 2003 College of Arts & Sciences Teaching Excellence Award.

The Woman’s Public Speaking Handbook (Wadsworth Publishing, ISBN 0-534-59886-2) is available at,, and on the shelf at local Borders bookstores and Politics and Prose (Washington, D.C.).

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park, plus workforce development and continuing education centers in Gaithersburg, Wheaton and  Silver Spring. The College serves nearly 50,000 students a year, through both credit and non-credit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.