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Demographics and Audience Analysis

Chapter 12 Activity #5 Page 382 Abstract Here is my response to the activity #12 question. ACTIVITY #5 5. Why is audience analysis important? How can it help the speaker in a business presentation? What are its limitations? Audience analysis is important because it is part of your preparation process in order to ensure that you have completed the appropriate research and homework on who you will be presenting to.

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The research can include anything from age, gender, audience’s size, social class, educational level, cultural background, and occupational status.

When preparing a business presentation it is important to know your audience in order to help send a specific message to sell a specific product, or gain a certain business clientele to expand a merger or can range from just about anything. The most important thing is knowing who you are talking to, because in most cases the audience has already done their research on the speaker and are already prepared with questions and assumptions before the presentation starts.

The limitation is only based upon how much you are prepared and have a specific presentation tailored to your specific audience. For example it wouldn’t make sense to prepare a speech for a group of electrical engineers and then present it to a group of third graders and expect them to understand the material. Here is the text from the ebook over audience analysis. O’Hair, Dan (2012). In presentational speaking, the process of finding out about those to whom you will be speaking is termed audience analysis, and it corresponds to the second component of strategic communication: gathering situational knowledge. When preparing for a presentation, you can research individual members of the audience, organizational factors that affect the audience, and even location, time, or other physical influences. Audience analysis helps you to understand the speaking situation as it unfolds as well as how best to prepare for the audience’s needs and likely responses to your message.

In other words, effective speakers continue to gather information and monitor the situation throughout the presentation Demographic information—the audience’s size, age, social class, educational level, gender, cultural background, and occupational status—is fundamental to any audience analysis. Demography (the collection and study of such information) is a necessary first step toward establishing more specific and complex analyses of a target audience. The target audience—the key decision makers who are members of the general audience—is an important focus for your analysis.

You are more likely to succeed by tailoring your ideas, information, and appeals to these audience members. 5 Audience attitudes toward many social and economic issues can be predicted through careful demographic analysis. For example, if you learn that your audience will be composed of employees in the manufacturing division of your company—mostly blue-collar males ages 40 to 60 who are union members—you can conclude that a presentation on why the company should deunionize to encourage new hiring policies will have to be approached with careful preparation and an understanding of possible negative audience response.

This is not to say that audience analysis encourages stereotyping or can be ignored if you think you already know, for example, what a typical clerical worker is like. It is vital to approach audience analysis with an open mind because you are likely to discover unexpected characteristics of audience members that may provide the key to connecting with them. By analyzing and understanding the implications of the audience analysis, you will have a good sense of how to aim your presentation and what language and imagery to employ.

Remember also that it is important to know whether you are speaking to accountants, engineers, marketers, janitors, or a combination of various employee groups. They may all work for your company, but each group has a different perspective on the organization, and it is also likely to differ from your own. Be sure to modify your presentation to accommodate each group because the most successful presentations are those that address every member of the audience and make each person feel involved and important. Three categories of audience analysis can be considered when doing a profile.

Each of the three categories provides a different starting point for thinking about your audience’s needs. • Audience type—Why have these people decided to attend your presentation? Audience characteristics—What are the religions, education levels, ages, ethnicities, and genders of typical audience members? Environmental characteristics—How will the setting and surroundings affect the speaking situation? ” Bibliography O’Hair, Dan (2012). Strategic Communication in the Business and Professions [7] (VitalSource Bookshelf), Retrieved from http://online. vitalsource. com/books/9781256085492/id/pg359