Chapter #4 Reachig the Audience

audience-centered speaker 1
who tries to connect with listeners and offer them a meaningful experience. If you are an audience-centered speaker, you learn everything you can about your listeners in advance, and then you tailor your speech to their needs and interests. You look directly at the audience, speak with enthusiasm, and try to reach every ^^ listener.
audience-centered speaker 2
Nasseri demonstrates the two tasks that all audience-centered speakers should perform: (1) analyze the listeners to find out exactly who they are and what they know and (2) adapt the speech to the listeners’ knowledge level and to their needs and outlooks.
“Care deeply about your audience”
is a piece of advice that some veteran speakers give when they are asked, “What is the most important rule for public speaking?”
International Listeners
In classroom speeches, your listeners may include some international students. In these situations, many of your listeners may speak English, of course, but often their command of the language is imperfect.To meet the challenge of reaching international listeners, consider the following:
ethnocentrism : People who are ethnocentric view the customs and standards of other groups as inferior or wrong.
In most cases, different customs are not a matter of right and wrong but of choice and tradition. In some African-American churches, listeners shout affirma¬ tive responses during a sermon, while in some other churches, listeners remain silent. One custom is not superior to the other; they are simply different.
Audience Knowledge
This man made a common mistake: failing to speak at the knowledge level of his listeners. To avoid this mistake, find out what your listeners know and don’t know about your subject, and then adapt your remarks to their level.
So far, this sounds simple. What happens when listeners have different levels of knowledge, with some already knowing a lot, some knowing only a moder¬ ate amount, and some knowing nothing at all? Here are some tips for handling different levels.
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Audiences that know a lot about the topic.
Your listeners will be bored and resentful if you waste their time on information that everyone already knows. Instead, give them new ideas and concepts. Early in your speech, reassure them that you will cover new ground. For example, if you are speaking to an audience
Audiences that know little or nothing about the topic.
• Carefully limit the number of new ideas you discuss. People cannot absorb large amounts of new information in a short period of time. If you overwhelm them with too many concepts, they will lose interest and tune you out.
• Whenever possible, use visual aids to help the listeners grasp the more complicated concepts.
• Use down-to-earth language; avoid technical jargon. If you feel that you must use a specialized word, be sure to explain it.
• Repeat key ideas, using different language each time.
Give vivid examples.
Mixed audiences.
What should you do if some listeners know a lot about your subject and others know nothing? Whenever possible, the solution is to start off at a simple level and add complexity as you go along. For example, if you are speaking on identity theft to a mixed audience, you can hold the attention of everyone by saying something like this: “I realize that some of you know nothing at all about this problem, while some of you have already become victims. So, to bring everyone up to speed, I want to begin by defining what identity theft is, and then I’ll get into the nittygritty of how we can defeat the crime.” Regardless of their level of knowledge, listeners usually appreciate this kind of sensitivity.
Adapting during the Speech
Adapting your speech to your audience, so important during the preparation stages, also must take place during the actual delivery of the speech. Be sensitive to your listeners’ moods and reactions, and then make any appropriate adjustments that you can. Here is an example.
Using a portable chef’s stove, Lester Petchenik, a student speaker, was demonstrating how to cook green beans amandine. At one point he sprinkled a large amount of salt into his pan—an action that caused several members of the audience to exchange glances of surprise. Noticing this reaction, Petchenik adlibbed, “I know it looks like I put too much salt in, but remember that I’ve got three pounds of green beans in this pan. In just a moment, when you taste this, you’ll see that it’s not too salty.” (He was right.)

1#( Try to overcome any barriers to communication.)
2#(Be sensitive to the mood of the audience.)
3#(Try to “wake up” a listless audience.)

1#( Try to overcome any barriers to communication.)
John Naber of Pasadena, California, an Olympic gold medalist in swimming, says that he once gave a speech in a room with poor acoustics. Realizing the audience would have trouble understanding him if he stayed at the lectern, he said, “I moved into the middle of the group and walked among them as I spoke.”23
2#(Be sensitive to the mood of the audience.)
Are listeners bored, drowsy, or restless? Sometimes they are listless not because your speech is boring but because of circumstances beyond your control. It is eight o’clock in the morning, for example, and you have to explain a technical process to a group of conventioneers who have stayed up partying half the night.
3#(Try to “wake up” a listless audience.)
For droopy listeners, here are some techniques you can use: (1) Invite audience participation (by asking for examples of what you are talking about or by asking for a show of hands of those who agree