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Audience Analysis Paper

Essay by   •  August 10, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,089 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,871 Views

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Audience Analysis Paper

Presenting information to a group of stakeholders, including managers, salespeople, and customers can be as easy or as difficult a task a person can undertake. To make the presentation easy the presenter must prepare by familiarizing himself or herself with the material briefed and become a subject matter expert. If a person does not know what he or she is presenting or has no in-depth knowledge he or she will not present a confident image to his or her audience. A presenter must present a positive, confident, and knowledgeable image to the audience.

Audience analysis is a big part of a presentation, knowing the audience will help the presenter in preparing and presenting his or her presentation. Koegel (2007)stated, "The quickest way to connect with an audience is by demonstrating that you understand their business, their issues, and their concerns" (p. 128). To learn more about the audience do your homework, take time to research and study the audience. By doing so a presenter will be better prepared to speak to the issues, concerns, goals, and fears that are important to the audience. Some characteristics a presenter should try to ascertain about his or her audience is their educational level, who are the decision makers, the diversity, and culture of the audience.

Knowing the education level of your audience helps you present your message on a level the audience can understand. Presenting information to people with PhDs, the presenter will definitely want to be a subject matter expert, whereas presenting information to lay people, the presenter would need to talk to them on their level so the audience would understand the message. Presenting information to lay people using a large amount of technical jargon only confuses the audience, and the audience will tend to ignore or tune out the presenter. Know who the decision makers are concerning the information being presented and direct most of the presentation to them, also ensure the decision makers are sitting in a prominent position to see

and hear the presentation. Know the diversity of your audience, what ethnic group they belong to, what their idealistic views are, and how they fit in the big picture. Know the culture of the audience, what countries they are from, what their taboos are. An example is some countries do not like to shake hands. "Culture provides patterns of acceptable behavior and beliefs. The successful intercultural communicator is:

o Aware of the values, beliefs, and practices in other cultures.

o Sensitive to differences among individuals within a culture.

o Aware that his or her preferred values and behaviors are influenced by culture and are not necessarily "right."

o Sensitive to verbal and nonverbal behavior.

o Flexible and open to change." (Locker & Kienzler, 2008, p. 448).

Learn as much about your audience as you can. Talk with people within the organization. Listen for information you can build into your presentation. Read their marketing materiel and brochures and browse their Website. Use an Internet search engine for information on individuals who will attend the presentation. Peruse annual reports for company values, mission statement, and performance numbers. Scan periodicals for information pertaining to the company or its competitors. Watch for television reports, visit their stores or offices, and obtain a copy of their most recent newsletter. Become familiar with terminology they dislike or avoid and discover what terminology they prefer. An example would be "We don't use the

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