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It's that day and time. It's time to get up in front a group and deliver your scheduled speech. (Hopefully you've organized your main points and documentation - worked on the presentation and practiced your delivery - before now.) Who are the people listening – or not listening – to you? Why are they there? Audience analysis involves identifying the audience and adapting your presentation to them. This doesn’t mean “saying what they want to hear.” Audience adaptation should guide your content development and approaches to delivery. Audiences can include reluctant attendees, indifferent visitors, agreeable supporters, and angry or fearful dissidents. The “we have to be there” mindset. For instance, I would contend that students in a public speaking class – and their motivation to listen to you – is somewhat mixed. (Hey, they’ve “got” to be there regularly, right? We refer to this as a “captive” audience.) In my experience, here are some of the... read more

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