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Chapter 4.2 - Audience Analysis

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Elsa Garcia

on 18 February 2015

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Transcript of Chapter 4.2 - Audience Analysis

The Elements of Public Speaking
Chapter 4.2 - Audience Analysis
Prof. Elsa García
The Steps in Public Speaking Preparation and Delivery
Analyzing the Sociology of the Audience
Analyzing the Psychology of the Audience
How willing is the audience?
How favorable is the audience?
How knowledgeable is the audience?
Analyzing and Adapting During a Speech
Step 2: Analyze Your Audience
Focus on listeners as message senders.
Address audience responses.
Ask "what if" questions.
Cultural factor
Age
Gender
Affectional Orientation
Religion and religiousness
Audience analysis is the process of gathering information about the people in your audience so that you can understand their needs, expectations, beliefs, values, attitudes, and likely opinions.

In this chapter, we will first examine some reasons why audience analysis is important. We will then describe three different types of audience analysis and some techniques to use in conducting audience analysis. Finally, we will explain how you can use your audience analysis not only during the creation of your speech but also while you are delivering it.

Devito (2014) Audience Analysis
Acknowledge the Audience
Picture yourself in front of the audience, about to deliver your speech. This is the moment when your relationship with your audience begins, and the quality of this relationship will influence how receptive they will be to your ideas, or at least how willing they’ll be to listen to what you have to say.

One of the best ways to initiate this relationship is by finding a way to acknowledge your audience. This can be as simple as establishing eye contact and thanking them for coming to hear your presentation. If they’ve braved bad weather, are missing a world-class sports event, or are putting up with an inconvenience such as a stuffy conference room, tell them how much you appreciate their presence in spite of the circumstances. This can go a long way toward getting them “on board” with your message.

Choose a Worthwhile Topic
Your selection of a topic should reflect your regard for the audience. There is no universal list of good or bad topics, but you have an ethical responsibility to select a topic that will be worth listening to.

As a student, you are probably sensitive to how unpleasant it would be to listen to a speech on a highly complex or technical topic that you found impossible to understand. However, have you considered that audiences do not want to waste their time or attention listening to a speech that is too simple? Many students find themselves tempted to choose an easy topic, or a topic they already know a great deal about. This is an understandable temptation; if you are like most students, you have many commitments and the demands on your time are considerable

Controversial Topics are Important and Risky
Some of the most interesting topics are controversial. They are controversial topics because people have deeply felt values and beliefs on different

You shouldn’t avoid controversy altogether, but you should choose your topic carefully. Moreover, how you treat your audience is just as important as how you treat your topic. If your audience has widely diverse views, take the time to acknowledge the concerns they have. Treat them as intelligent people, even if you don’t trust the completeness or the accuracy of their beliefs about your topic. sides of those topics.

Adapt Your Speech
to Audience Needs
When preparing a speech for a classroom audience consisting of other students and your professor, you may feel that you know their interests and expectations fairly well.

Even in an audience that appears to be homogeneous—composed of people who are very similar to one another—different listeners will understand the same ideas in different ways. Every member of every audience has his or her own frame of reference—the unique set of perspectives, experience, knowledge, and values belonging to every individual. An audience member who has been in a car accident caused by a drunk driver might not appreciate a lighthearted joke about barhopping.

Consider
Audience Diversity
Diversity is a key dimension of audience membership and, therefore, of audience analysis. While the term “diversity” is often used to refer to racial and ethnic minorities, it is important to realize that audiences can be diverse in many other ways as well. Being mindful of diversity means being respectful of all people and striving to avoid racism, ethnocentrism, sexism, ageism, elitism, and other assumptions. An interesting “ism” that is not often mentioned is chronocentrism, or the assumption that people today are superior to people who lived in earlier eras.
Avoid Offending
Your Audience
It might seem obvious that speakers should use audience analysis to avoid making offensive remarks, but even very experienced speakers sometimes forget this basic rule.

If you were an Anglo-American elected official addressing a Latino audience, would you make a joke about a Mexican American person’s name sounding similar to the name of a popular brand of tequila? In fact, a state governor did just that in June 2011. Not suprisingly, news organizations covering the event reported that the joke fell flat.
Ethical Speaking
is Sincere Speaking
Have you put forth the effort to learn who they are and what you can offer to them in your speech? Do you respect them as individual human beings? Do you respect them enough to serve their needs and interests? Is your topic relevant and appropriate for them? Is your approach honest and sensitive to their preexisting beliefs? Your ability to answer these questions in a constructive way must be based on the best demographic and psychographic information you can use to learn about your listeners.
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