2 6 analyzing the audience
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2.6 Analyzing the Audience. Audience analysis is the process of gathering and analyzing information about audience members with the explicit aim of adapting your message to the information you uncover. Maintain an audience-centered approach

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2.6 Analyzing the Audience

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2 6 analyzing the audience

2.6 Analyzing the Audience

  • Audience analysis is the process of gathering and analyzing information about audience members with the explicit aim of adapting your message to the information you uncover.

    • Maintain an audience-centered approach

    • Avoid pandering- Abandoning your own conventions or catering to the audience’s whims.

Attitudes beliefs values

Attitudes, Beliefs, Values

  • Attitudes are our general evaluations of people, ideas, objects, or events.

    • Ex. pretty or ugly; good or bad

  • Attitudes are based on beliefs—the ways in which people perceive reality.

    • Feelings about what is true

    • Ex. “God is good.”

  • Both attitudes and beliefs are shaped by values—our most enduring judgments about what’s good and bad in life, as shaped by our culture and experiences.

    • Ex. Sanctity of marriage

Listener disposition to the topic speaker and occasion

Listener Disposition to the Topic, Speaker, and Occasion

  • Perspective-taking is attempting to uncover the audience’s feelings, expectations, and disposition.

    • Gauge listeners’ feelings toward the topic

    • Gauge listeners’ feelings toward you as the speaker

      • Establish a common bond or identification

    • Gauge listeners’ disposition toward the occasion

      • Captive audiences are required to hear the speaker

      • Voluntary audiences attend on their own free will

Audience demographics

Audience Demographics

  • Demographics are the statistical characteristics of a given population.

    • Six main demographics are: age, ethnic or cultural background, socioeconomic status (i.e. income, occupation, education), religion, political affiliations, and gender.

      • Also consider disabilities

    • Target audience- those individuals whom you are most likely to influence in your direction.

Adapt to cultural differences

Adapt to Cultural Differences

  • In the United States, at least 30 percent of the population belongs to a racial or ethnic minority group

    • 11% of people are foreign born

  • Consider cross-cultural values

    • Material comfort, hard work

  • Focus on universal values

    • See page 45

Seek out information about your audience

Seek Out Information about Your Audience

  • Conduct Interviews

    • Face-to-face communication for the purpose of gathering information. (page 47)

  • Written surveys or questionnaires

    • Questionnaires are designed to gather information from a pool of respondents

      • Closed-ended questions, fixed alternative questions, scale questions (page 46)

  • Published sources

    • Page 48

Access the speech setting and context

Access the Speech Setting and Context

  • Size of Audience and Physical Setting

    • Atmosphere

    • Location

  • Time and Length of Speech

  • The Speech Context (Rhetorical Situation)

Chapter 2 7 selecting a topic

Chapter 2.7: Selecting a Topic

  • Assigned vs. Self-selected Topics

    • Usually given some direction (purpose, time constraints, challenge)

  • Identify the general speech purpose

    • Why are you speaking on this topic for this particular audience and occasion?

Choosing a topic for the classroom speech

Choosing a Topic for the Classroom Speech

  • Personal Interests: Looking Within

    • Consider the audience

  • Current Events and Controversial Issues

  • Grassroots Issues (things that affect you directly)

  • Avoid Topics that are Overdone



  • Brainstorming is a problem-solving technique that involves the spontaneous generation of ideas

    • Word Association

    • Topic Mapping

    • Internet Search Indexes

Refining the topic and purpose

Refining the Topic and Purpose

  • Identify the general speech purpose

  • Narrow the topic

  • Form a specific speech purpose- zeroes in on the goal of the speech (page 52)

  • Compose a thesis statement to guide your preparation

    • Theme or central idea of the speech stated in the form of a single, declarative sentence to guide preparation (page 53)

    • Make relevant and motivating

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