Importance of Audience Analysis
Step 1 Read and analyze the case study below.
Case study: You are preparing a persuasive speech. The goal of your speech is to convince an audience of the value of allowing employees to work from home at least one day per week.
Audience analysis before the speech: As you are starting to prepare your speech, you decide to send a survey to the audience members to determine some information about them. Eighty percent of the audience members respond to your survey. Your compilation of the responses to the survey questions are indicated in the following table:
Question% of Respondents Who Answered Yes% of Respondents Who Answered NoDo you live more than 10 miles from your workplace?70%30%Does the majority of the type of work that you do involve working on tasks that could be done from virtually any location?50%50%Is your work performance judged primarily on tasks you perform versus managing others?80%20%Do you believe conserving energy is an initiative that you should try to support?70%30%Does your work environment contain more potential distractions than your home environment?40%60%
Audience analysis during the speech: While you are delivering your speech, you pay attention to the nonverbal signals the audience members provide. The following table summarizes the audience member behaviors that you notice:
Your StatementAudience BehaviorAllowing workers to telecommute at least one day a week can lead to increased employee productivity.One audience member crossed their arms and looked at the clock on the wall.Telecommuting saves gasoline and helps reduce traffic and air pollution.A few audience members maintain eye contact with you and nod.Allowing employees to telecommute potentially allows employers to reduce their real estate footprint.About half the audience members look confused.Setting up a home office and adhering to a normal work schedule is one way to be productive when working from home.Most audience members look interested, and a few sit up straight and have questioning expressions.
Audience analysis after the speech: After you finish your speech, you go into the lobby where refreshments are being served. As you wait in line, one of the audience members approaches you and says:
“I enjoyed your speech. There are a few points that you made that I am not sure I agree with, but overall I can see some potential value in allowing employees to telecommute one day per week. Can you recommend any sources where I might be able to find data to show to some other managers at my company that support your claim that allowing workers to telecommute can lead to increased productivity?”
Step 2 Answer the questions.
Copy the following three sets of questions about the case study and paste them into a document, then address the following:
Which survey question and corresponding results provide the most evidence of audience support for your goal prior to the audience members hearing your speech? Justify your answer.
Which question and corresponding results provide the most evidence that it might be difficult to achieve the goal for your speech? Justify your answer.
What would you do during the speech preparation phase to maximize the likelihood of convincing this audience that your position is valid? Provide some specific steps you would take to prepare your speech to meet the needs of the audience based on the survey results.
Which audience behaviors during the speech seem to indicate support for the statements you made? What could you do during your speech delivery to capitalize on the apparent support?
Which audience behaviors during the speech seem to indicate opposition to the statements that you made? Describe what you would do during your speech delivery to try to overcome the apparent opposition.
Do any of the listed audience behaviors imply anything other than support or opposition? If so, which behaviors? What would you do during your speech delivery to respond to this behavior or these behaviors?
Assume you are going to deliver the same speech to a different audience the following week. Based on the verbal feedback you receive after the speech from the audience member, what steps would you take to improve the speech for your next delivery?
If none of the audience members approach you after the speech, what would you do? Why is it important to get feedback from audience members after you deliver a speech?