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Public Speaking:. ANALYZING AUDIENCE AND SITUATION. OBJECTIVES. Explain what it means to read an audience Define demographics and understand their role in preparing speeches Identify the most important demographic characteristics of an audience

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public speaking

Public Speaking:


  • Explain what it means to read an audience
  • Define demographics and understand their role in preparing speeches
  • Identify the most important demographic characteristics of an audience
  • Identify strategies for audiences that AGREE with you, DISAGREE with you, or are APATHETIC.
reading an audience
Reading an Audience
  • Reading an audience means trying to understand the audience’s background
  • Demographics: statistical information about groups of people
  • The more you know about your audience the easier it will be to prepare for your speech
  • Most audiences have something in common
  • Demographics can help you decide how to use language, tone, arguments, examples, jokes – even how long you should talk
demographic characteristics
Demographic Characteristics
  • Age – most important characteristic – influences the amount of knowledge an audience has, as well as their attitudes, values, and interests
  • Gender – male or female – few topics are clearly men’s and women’s, but they still have different attitudes
  • Occupation – influences audiences way of life, interests, and attitudes
demographic characteristics cont
Demographic Characteristics (cont.)
  • Educational background – helps you avoid two big mistakes – talking down to your audience or talking over their heads; helps speaker decide upon language and content of speech
  • Religious background – affect person’s views on topics such as divorce, abortion, war, drinking, and family
  • Political background – Republican/Democrat
demographic characteristics cont1
Demographic Characteristics (cont.)
  • Ethnic or Cultural Background – Ethnic groups are groups of people who are tied together by religion, race, culture, or national origin; need to know the language, interests, and customs of audience; be sensitive to ethnic and cultural differences
  • Socio-economic Background – helps define audience attitudes and interests (Blue Collar/White Collar; low - middle – upper class, Yuppies, DINKS
demographic characteristics cont2
Demographic Characteristics (cont.)
  • Note: Demographics are statistical aids for a speaker, but they ARE NOT a substitute for treating people as individuals
  • Don’t treat your audience as a lump of statistics
  • Audiences who feel you care for individuals will be far likelier to trust you
audience strategies
Audience Strategies
  • Attitude: state of mind of something
  • Audience members fall into 3 categories based on their attitudes: AGREEING, DISAGREEING, or APATHETIC
agreeing audience
  • Don’t spend too much time winning over the audience. Avoid long introductions. No need to provide background information.
  • Affirm what the audience knows. Restate the audience’s own beliefs.
  • Make sure your speech touches all bases. Don’t leave out any information that the audience agrees with
  • State the purpose EARLY so members develop positive feelings early
  • Express appreciation, gratitude, and admiration for your audience’s attitude
disagreeing audience
  • Don’t set your goals too high. Establish a common ground. Find something that everyone can agree on.
  • Wait until later in the speech to state your topic and point of view
  • Support your ideas with proof/evidence
  • If an audience member debates you: A. Acknowledge their view fairly B. State your own point of view and C. Provide proof, support or evidence of your point
apathetic audience
Apathetic Audience
  • Apathy: “I don’t care” attitude
  • Develop a strong, interest-grabbing introduction
  • Show the audience how the topic affects them
  • Build your speech using high interest examples, stories, and statistics
  • Use HUMOR
questions to think about to understand audience
Questions to think about to understand Audience
  • What is the occasion of the speech?
  • What do the audience members have in common?
  • Where is the speech taking place?
  • How long should the speech be?
  • What comes before and after the speech?