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CHAPTER 2

ANALYZING
THE
AUDIENCE

AUDIENCE-
AUDIENCE-CENTEREDNESS

• They know the primary purpose of


speechmaking is to gain a desired response from
listeners
• To be audience-centered, you need to keep
several questions in mind:
– To whom am I speaking?
– What do I want them to know, believe or do as a
result of my speech?
– What is the most effective way of composing and
presenting my speech to accomplish that aim?

YOUR CLASSMATES AS AN AUDIENCE

• Do not view your classrooms as an artifical


speaking situation
• Most classroom speeches will not give an
immediate impact but listeners can enrich their
experience, broaden their knowledge and change
their views about something important

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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF AUDIENCES

• People are egocentric


– They usually want to hear about things that are
meaningful to them
– They pay closest attention to messages that affect
their own values, beliefs and well-being
• What do these psychological principles mean?
1. Your listeners will hear and judge what you say on
the basis of what they already know and believe
2. You must relate your message to your listeners

DEMOGRAPHIC AUDIENCE ANALYSIS

• Speakers analyze audiences by looking at


demographic factors such as:
1. Age
2. Gender
3. Sexual orientation
4. Religion
5. Group membership
6. Racial, ethnic, and cultural background

• Demographic audience analysis consists of two


steps:
1. Identifying the general demographic features of your
audience
2. Gauging the importance of those features to a
particular speaking situation
• Avoid stereotyping
– Creating an oversimplified image of a particular
group of people, usually by assuming that all
members of the group are alike

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SITUATIONAL AUDIENCE ANALYSIS
• Situational audience analysis usually builds on
demographic analysis
• It identifies traits of the audience unique to
the speaking situation at hand
• The include:
1. The size of the audience
2. The physical setting
3. The disposition of the audience toward the subject
4. The speaker
5. The occasion

1. SIZE
• No matter what size group you are addressing, bear
in mind; the larger the audience, the more formal
your presentation must be
• It must also affect your language, choice of appeals,
and use of visual aids
2. PHYSICAL SETTING
• Which would you rather addressed?

3. DISPOSITION TOWARD THE TOPIC


• Interest
• You can develop interest in your topic – by having an
arresting introduction, provocative supporting materials,
vivid language, dynamic delivery, visual aids etc.
• Knowledge
• People tend to be interested in what they know about
• If your listeners know little about your topic, you have to
talk at a more elementary level
• Attitude
• A frame of mind in favor of or opposed to a person,
policy, belief, institution etc.

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4. DISPOSITION TOWARD THE SPEAKER
• Keep in mind that listeners will always have some
set of attitudes toward you as the speaker
5. DISPOSITION TOWARD THE OCCASION
• No matter what the occasion, listeners have fairly
definite ideas about the speeches they consider
appropriate
• The occasion will dictate how long a speech should
be

GETTING INFORMATION ABOUT THE


AUDIENCE
• You can learn a lot about your audience just by
observation and conversation, but you also need
to know more about their backgrounds and
opinions
• One way is to conduct a formal audience-analysis
questionnaire
• Three major types of questions to choose from:

1. Fixed-alternative questions
– Questions that offer a fixed choice between two or more
alternatives
2. Scale questions
– Questions that require responses at fixed intervals along a
scale of answers
3. Open-ended questions
– Questions that allow respondents to answer however they
want

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1. Have you ever engaged in volunteer work for a community, religious,
or charitable organization?
Two fixed-alternative
Yes ______________________________________________________
questions establish No ______________________________________________________
the listeners’ level of
knowledge about and 2. Have you or anyone close to you ever benefited from the volunteer
degree of involvement work of a community, religious, or charitable organization?
with the topic
Yes ______________________________________________________
No ______________________________________________________
Not sure __________________________________________________

3. If you have engaged in volunteer work, how would you rate the
experience?
This scale question is Very rewarding
designed to show the Somewhat rewarding
attitudes of listeners
who have participated Neutral
in volunteer work Somewhat unrewarding
Very unrewarding

Another scale question 4. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? To the extent
gauges the listeners’ possible, people have an obligation to help those in less fortunate
sense of social circumstances.
obligation Strongly agree
Mildly agree
Undecided
Two open-ended Mildly disagree
questions help gauge
the listeners’ disposition
Strongly disagree
toward volunteer work.
The last question probes 5. If you have worked as a volunteer, do you plan to do so again? Why or
the specific issues the why not?
speaker needs to address
for listeners who have
not engaged in
6. If you have not worked as a volunteer, what is your major reason for not
volunteer work doing so? Please explain.

• Questionnaire revealed a great deal about the


listeners’ knowledge, attitudes and concerns.
In putting together you own, keep these
principles in mind:
1. Plan the questionnaire carefully to elicit precisely
the information you need
2. Use all three type of questions
3. Make sure the questions are clear and unambiguous
4. Keep the questionnaire relatively brief

ADAPTING TO THE AUDIENCE

• AUDIENCE ADAPTATION BEFORE THE


SPEECH
– Audience adaptation means two things:
1. Assessing how your audience is likely to respond to what
you say in your speech
2. Adjusting what you say to make it as clear, appropriate,
and convincing as possible

• AUDIENCE ADAPTATION DURING THE


SPEECH