What are ones needs as a speaker?

Activity 1: Discussion

Context: Audience analysis is a vital component of public speaking. Analyzing your audience requires that you know the five types of audiences (listed in your textbook), know who your listeners are and finally, adapt your topic choice appropriately. The goal is to establish your likeability, credibility and identification with the audience members.

Description: In this discussion, think of a speech you have recently attended. Using the concepts in the description below, describe how you experienced the presentation. For example, how was the speech customized to fit the audience? What were your expectations, and how did the speaker meet (or fail to meet) them?

Audience expectations.When people become audience members in a speech situation, they bring with them expectations about the occasion, topic, and speaker.

Knowledge of topic. Audience knowledge of a topic can vary widely on any given occasion; therefore, speakers should if possible, find out what their audience already knows about the topic. Never overestimate the audience’s knowledge of a topic. If a speaker launches into a technical discussion of genome testing but the listeners are not familiar with basic genetics, they will be unable to follow your speech and quickly lose interest.

Attitude toward topic. Knowing audience members’ attitudes about a topic will help a speaker determine the best way to reach their goals.

Some other things to consider:

Demographics – What is their age, sex, educational background?

Interest – Why are they there? Who asked them to be there?

Environment – Where will I stand? Can they all see & hear me?

Needs – What are their needs? What are your needs as the speaker?

Customized – What specific needs do you need to address?

Expectations – What do they expect to learn or hear from you?

Please also review the following information on why presentations fail: 

80% of Presentations Fail – Do yours?

Delivery: This post will be due Wednesday at
midnight. Points will be deducted for not answering all parts of the questions.

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