Audience Analysis

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This weekend, Chiara Ojeda and I finished rebooting our online Professional Communication and Presentation class.  I built a new deck of Audience Analysis slides for a 10-minute video lesson, and I plan to expand these significantly for my on-campus class.  These are only five slides out of my 15-slide deck.

Please take a look and let me know what you think about the new slides!

audienceanalysis1 audienceanalysis2 audienceanalysis3 audienceanalysis4 audienceanalysis5What would you include in a lesson on audience analysis?

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5 thoughts on “Audience Analysis

  1. I would add that it’s more than segmentation analysis, it’s also about personality analysis. For example, take two basic personality types like introverts & extroverts. Extroverts likes lots of discussion during a presentation, that’s how they process information which means a presentation from stage (or where any communication is one-way and they have to sit & listen) is likely to frustrate them. On the other hand, introverts process internally and prefer to prepare their mind to be ready for information; they like some pre-reading material and to know something about the topic before it’s delivered. Both of these present problems a presenter must know how to handle at the analysis stage in order to get an effective result.

  2. Hi Alex! You know I’m big on needs assessment and keeping things tied to your audience, so audience analysis is something I’m regularly considering. While you can consider the full range of audience demographics (age, gender, socio-economic background, race, religion, professional background, etc.) I think we often times (and rightfully so) only consider those which are relevantly tied to the content and goals of our presentations. For most of my professional presentations, I’m generally not concerned with demographics such as age, gender, socio-economic background, race, or religion as they have little bearing on the design of my presentation and the ability to reach the audience (on the other hand, I may decide to alter HOW I present to the audience based upon these and other factors). Professional background, however, is usually the most significant bit of information for me.

    I think we often times need to make a best guess (unless we can get the info before hand) about what the audience wants to get out of the presentation and what their background is relative to the subject matter. This can often times be obtained by speaking to the organizer of the event or a few attendees ahead of time, or through a pre-presentation survey.

    Gary’s comment leads me to mention that we need to also be prepared for a variety of learning styles in our audience. If you’ve never done a Four Lenses analysis, I strongly encourage you to do so. It’s a simplified Meyer’s-Brigg’s, essentially. When I ran a state-wide training program I brought this to all of my instructors at a workshop (one of my instructors was a certified facilitator). In this workshop they got to do the self assessment which helped determine their personality strengths, and through that we had a discussion of their teaching and presentation styles. Then we considered how learning styles were influenced by personality types and how we needed to be sure that our presentation styles could be modified to ensure that we reach all audience types. Fascinating discussion.

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