Speech Study Guide

Chapter Two: Audience - Analysis, Adaptation, and Effect

Objectives: 1. Know how to identify an audience. 2. Discuss how to engage in audience analysis. 3. Describe how to adapt a speech for a specific audience. 4. Understand that the needs of an audience influence the effect of a speech.

2.1 Audience Analysis In order to properly analyze an audience, the speaker must take into account several factors. Some of these factors include the reason behind an audience gathering, what they hope to achieve from listening to the speech, and audience demographics. To be a responsible speaker (and listener) one has to recognize one’s own biases and understand how biases affect judgment. To help understand how a speech might be received, a speaker has to anticipate the biases of the audience members. Audience members’ demographics influence their biases. The reason behind an audience gathering tells a speaker a lot about who the individual members of the audience are. Audiences come together to hear something they care about. Personal reasons for caring about a matter vary. Sometimes an audience member wants to listen to a speech to understand or learn more about a given topic. Other times, an audience gathers because they are required to, like for a job or training. An audience who has to gather for a mandatory reason may not be as receptive to a speaker as an audience who gathers due to a shared passion. The age of individual audience members influences the way they receive messages. Age influences the experiences and values of each person. Individuals of similar ages may have distinct experiences but will, inevitably, share certain experiences which will influence how that person perceives and receives the world (and a speaker). Individuals who experienced such events as World War II, September 11, 2001, or wars in the Middle East, will be likely to share certain values, such as country pride and/or a sense of duty to one’s country. Those who have lived through difficult economic times, such as The Great Depression or The Economic Downturn of 2010, will likely value economics. Members who are over forty years of age are likely to be married with children and will care about different issues than individuals who are in their twenties and unwed. Due to shared experiences, social and/or personal mores, and personal concerns related to age, certain individuals will share certain values. Much like shared values of individuals of different age ranges can vary, those of a particular gender and gender identity share certain values and deal with particular stereotypes. Sex is defined as the two main divisions, either male or female, into which humans and many other living things can be categorized, based on reproductive functions. Gender identity refers to a person’s private sense or


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