Demographics and Audience Analysis

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Chapter 12 Activity #5 Page 382

Here is my response to the activity #12 question.
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. 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...
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