Analyzing Your Audience
** This is a chapter you MUST carefully READ and know very well for the final! **
Becoming an Audience-Centered Speaker
In public speaking, the receiver is the audience, and the audience is the reason for a speech.
Consciousness of your audience is important as you select a topic, determine the purpose of
your speech, develop central idea, generate main ideas, gather supporting material, rehearse,
Think of the audience as individuals with unique viewpoints and not one big mass of people.
Your challenge as an audience-centered speaker is to find out as much as you can about these
How to become an audience centered speaker:
1) Gather information about your audience (observing, asking general ?s, or a
2) Analyze the information you gather (categorize and determine listener’s
psychological profile, and occasion)
3) Use this information to ethically adapt to the listeners (each message you deliver
should consider the audience’s background).
Gather Information about Your Audience
There are 2 approaches you can take to gathering information about your audience an informal one
and a formal one.
Observe the audience members and ask questions before you speak.
Helpful in assessing obvious demographic characteristics.
are statistical information on population characteristics such as age, race,
gender, sexual orientation, education level, and ideological or religious views of the audience.
Conducting a formal survey of your listeners
A survey allows you to gather both demographic info and info about what audience members
like or dislike, believe to be true or false, or think is good or bad about topic you discuss.
To gather useful information about audience members’ attitudes, beliefs, and values, you can
ask 2 types of questions:
allow for unrestricted answers, without limiting answers to
choices or alternatives. (used for detailed information, ex: essays)
offer alternatives from which to choose, like T/F,
agree/disagree, or multiple choice questions.
ANALYZE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE