When a presentation is being given, it is crucial to analyze the audience. If the presentation isn’t analyzed good, the probability of the audience hearing the message that the speaker is trying to present is lowered. Addressing their needs and questions is a must in order to keep their attention and interest in what the speaker is explaining. However, this can be very harsh in large audiences and oversimplified in the more smaller audiences. In order to keep the audience engaged and intrigued, techniques, and possible problems must be anticipated to create the most presentable presentation possible.
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In order to give an effective speech, several factors must be included. The time of day can give hints about how to speak with the audience. According to “Speak Up!” by Douglas M. Fraleigh, a body clock refers to the time of day when the audience will be listening to the presentation. During the cultural arts speech, the students class took place in the morning and almost every student has already passed the groggy state from being up so early. As a speaker, less energy was required to keep the audience into it. Discussing the time of day can give the speaker a preview of the class and allow him or her to get used to everyone in the room. The size of the classroom also shows the speaker must give his speech. The shorter the group, the greater the opportunity is to interact with your audience (Fraleigh 123). In a classroom, the speaker shouldn’t have to raise his voice to reach his audience. During the art speech, the audience was only about 25-35 people and it was easy to speak at a smooth tone. It is also necessary to know whether the audience is neutral. This is based on the demographics such as gender, age, ethnicity/race, and style/class. Demographics refers certain characteristics of your listeners (Fraleigh 130). However, these are all assumptions until you actually meet person. In an audience situation, this is hard. If the wrong assumptions are made during the speech, the audience can quickly turn aggravated and as a result the speaker can choke up and lose his validity. In Comm three, the point of the cultural arts speech was to show the audience of a certain culture that was important to the listener. The location of the speech can also influence how interested the audience is (Fraleigh 127). If the audience can get up and leave whenever they want, its very important to keep them as interested as possible. There are plenty of techniques that allow the speaker to more effectively explain his speech to the audience.
One of the best techniques that a speaker can use is the body clock. Depending on the time of day, the audience may be less interested during the morning rather than it being the afternoon for example. Using comedy or anecdotal references can help get the audience’s attention. Asking main questions to the audience can help wake them up and increase their interest (Fraleigh 126). Another important idea to consider when giving a speech is knowing how much people are their as your audience. Smaller audiences are easier to communicate a more factual message because there are fewer people to address. Larger audiences have more deeds and thus the speaker must make a more generalized message in order to stand his ground (Fraleigh 123). Entering possible audience questions into the speech can help shrink the time and convey the message. It is also important to pay attention to the middle group, meaning that a speaker shouldn’t speak about specific needs, rather they should explain the picture overall. (Fraleigh 124). Analyzing demographics can also help show the people the intended message. In order to go against different age groups, one way is to tailor the material, such as examples and quotations, to different age groups. To go along with different genders, it is important to stay away from stereotypes and to never use sexist language that would offend the audience (Fraleigh 132). This can make certain members of the audience turn away. The race and ethnicity of an audience also helps with what the speaker should say. Addressing the main points of each race/ethnicity is important in order to bond with them. A technique to address this is to check the background of the audience and edit the speech carefully (Fraleigh 136). In almost every presentation and speech, there are problems and potential problems that must be said.
If the speaker has the chance to choose the time of day that the speech is presented, this can provide a advantage. However, if that isn’t it then the presentation should be good for the time of day. For example, if the speech is in the morning, the audience is most likely not to be as interested because they will all still be groggy. Another problem is the size of the audience. With a big audience, it is harder to address personal needs and questions. Therefore it is way more harder to answer as many answers to questions as possible (Fraleigh 123). Another big issue is not understanding the demographic of the audience. If the wrong ideas are thought, the audience can turn hostile. Whether the audience is mobile or stationary can also start a problem. If people are constantly going in and out, the presentation must be precise and get to the point as fast as possible. If this isn’t shown, the message cannot be effective.
In the end, situational characteristics, speech delivery techniques, and other problems are critical to an audience. Important factors such as time, the size of the audience, demographics, and the location can give the presenter the info needed to give the best presentation he or she can. Different techniques, if used right, allow the speaker to adapt to his or her audience and give the best facts to keep them intrigued. If the problems are said before the speech is given, the audience’s attention can be kept longer and more effectively so keep that in mind being an audience.
- Fraleigh, Douglas M., et al. Speak up!: An Illustrated Guide To Public Speaking. 3rd ed., Bedford/St. Martins, 2014.
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