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Chapter 4. Analyzing the Audience. Analyzing the Audience. Audience Analysis Methods of Audience Analysis Analysis of the Situation The Uniqueness of the Classroom Audience Adapting to Your Audience Listening and Public Speaking Ethics and the Audience Next Steps in Audience Analysis.

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chapter 4

Chapter 4

Analyzing the Audience

analyzing the audience
Analyzing the Audience

Audience Analysis

Methods of Audience Analysis

Analysis of the Situation

The Uniqueness of the Classroom Audience

Adapting to Your Audience

Listening and Public Speaking

Ethics and the Audience

Next Steps in Audience Analysis

audience analysis
Audience Analysis

Audience analysis – discovering as much as possible about an audience to improve communication

Conventionalwisdom – popular opinions of the time about issues, styles, topics, trends, and social mores, the customary set of understandings of what is true or right

Reflect broad pattern of thinking that may affect behavior

Can also be gross oversimplification of opinions

audience analysis1
Audience Analysis

Demographics – includes gender composition, age, ethnicity, economic status, occupation, and education levels of an audience

Gender composition important for some topics

Maturity changes people’s preferences

audience analysis2
Audience Analysis


Ethnicity – people who are united through “language, historical origins, nation-state, or cultural system”

Co-cultures – groups that are similar to the larger culture but are distinguished by background, beliefs, and behaviors

Economic status

Wealthy may be less open to new ideas


Language is affected by audience’s occupations

audience analysis3
Audience Analysis



People with more education tend to read and write more, are usually better acquainted with the news, are more likely to have traveled, and are more likely to have higher incomes

Worldview – common concept of reality shared by particular group of people

Physical characteristics

Adjust language to perceived physical characteristics, but avoid stereotyping

methods of audience analysis
Methods of Audience Analysis

Observation – watching and listening

Reveals most about the audience before and during a presentation

Can reveal audience age, ethnic origin, and gender


Informant can help analyze your audience

Can tell which topics are appropriate, how many people will be there, and how long you should speak

methods of audience analysis1
Methods of Audience Analysis

Interviews – inquiries about the audience directed at an audience member

Occur in advance of the speech

They take time, but they can aid greatly in learning more about your audience

methods of audience analysis2
Methods of Audience Analysis

Questionnaires – surveys of audience opinions

Take more time to plan than to execute

Three types of questions:

Open-ended questions – invite an explanation

Yes or no questions – force a decision

Degree questions – ask to what extent a respondent agrees or disagrees with a question

analysis of the situation
Analysis of the Situation

Five factors:

Size of the audience

Environmental factors

Speaking occasion


Importance of the occasion

analysis of the situation1
Analysis of the Situation

Size of audience

Larger audiences usually call for formality in tone and language

Determines the amount of interaction you have with the audience

Determines need for special visual aids, microphones, or podiums

analysis of the situation2
Analysis of the Situation


Factors to consider include:

An unfortunate sound system

Poor lighting

Too warm or too cold

Absence of a podium or lectern

A stationary microphone

Lack of audiovisual equipment

analysis of the situation3
Analysis of the Situation


Audience expects speaker to follow unstated assumptions about the occasion

Upbeat and funny at an after-dinner speech

Serious at a ribbon cutting

Energetic and enthusiastic at a pep rally

Prudent and factual in a court of law

analysis of the situation4
Analysis of the Situation


Time of day

Early morning audiences are fresh but not ready for serious topics

Speeches after lunch/dinner must be particularly stimulating

Length of time that you speak

People relieved when a presentation is shorter

The block of time allotted

Audiences insulted by a 5-minute speech if they expected a 30-minute presentation

analysis of the situation5
Analysis of the Situation


Significance of situation dictates speaker’s seriousness, content, and approach

An occasion of lesser importance treated differently than one of great importance

Occasions of greater importance should not be treated lightly

the uniqueness of the classroom audience
The Uniqueness of the Classroom Audience

Captive audience

Relatively small and constant

Speeches tend to be short

Includes the professor, who is responsible for grading and evaluating each presentation

Provides opportunity to listen to every member of the audience

adapting to your audience
Adapting to Your Audience

Audienceadaptation – using analysis to make the message appropriate for the audience

In an informative speech, means translating ideas

In a persuasive speech this means adjusting message to the knowledge level of listeners and their position on the issue

listening and public speaking
Listening and Public Speaking

The importance of listening

Develops citizenship and civility

Learn more by listening than by talking

You should spend most of your time listening

listening and public speaking1
Listening and Public Speaking

Becoming a better listener

Suspend judgment about the speaker

Focus on speaker as a source of information

Concentrate attention on the speaker

Listen to the entire message

Focus on shared values and experiences

listening and public speaking2
Listening and Public Speaking

Becoming a better listener

Focus on main ideas

Recall that words are arbitrary

Focus on both intent and content

Be aware of your listening intensity

Remove or ignore physical distractions

listening and public speaking3
Listening and Public Speaking

Evaluate your listening skills

Did you:

Find something to arouse interest?

Find the subject interesting?

Listen to the message rather than to how it was delivered?

Listen with a purpose?

Listen for major ideas and relationships among various points?

listening and public speaking4
Listening and Public Speaking

Evaluate your listening skills (continued)

Did you:

Sit in a place where you could hear the speaker and listen to the speech?

Avoid or ignore distractions?

Subordinate specific words to the total meaning of the content?

Pay close attention

Listen to all the speaker had to say before criticizing?

ethics and the audience
Ethics and the Audience

Audiences expect different levels of truthfulness in different situations

A comedian is expected to exaggerate

A priest, judge, and professor are expected to tell the truth

The classroom speaker is expected to inform with honesty and persuade with reason

You should have the audience’s best interests in mind

next steps in audience analysis
Next Steps in Audience Analysis

Audience analysis and adaptation continues as you prepare your presentation

Audience analysis and adaptation makes you ready to make ethical and informed decisions on using your own experience, the Internet, and the library for research