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Adapting Your Message to Your Audience

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Presentation on theme: "Adapting Your Message to Your Audience"— Presentation transcript:

0 Understanding your audience is fundamental to the success of any message. You need to adapt your message to fit the audience’s goals, interests, and needs. Analyzing your audience can be done in a sensitive, empathic, and ethical way.

1 Adapting Your Message to Your Audience
To learn how to Continue to analyze your audiences. Begin to adapt your message to your audiences. Begin to understand what your organization wants.

2 Adapting Your Message to Your Audience
Start by answering these questions: Who is my audience? Why is audience so important? What do I need to know about my audience(s)?

3 Adapting Your Message to Your Audience
Start by answering these questions: Now that I have my analysis, what do I do with it? What if my audiences have different needs? How do I reach my audience(s)?

4 Kinds of Audiences Initial Audience Gatekeeper Primary Audience
Secondary Audience Watchdog Audience The initial audience first sees your message and routes it to others. A gatekeeper is someone who can stop your message from getting to the primary audience and may be the initial audience. Secondary audiences may be asked to comment on your message or implement its ideas once they are approved. Watchdog audiences have no power to stop a message or act directly on it but have political, social, or economic power.

5 P What are your purposes in writing? A Who is (are) your audiences?
PAIBOC P What are your purposes in writing? A Who is (are) your audiences? I What information must your message include? Your purposes come from you and your organization. Your audience determines how you achieve those purposes, but not what the purposes are.

6 PAIBOC continued B What reasons or reader benefits can you use to support your position? O What objections can you expect your reader(s) to have? C How will the context affect reader response?

7 The Communication Process
The Communication Model Perception Interpretation Choice/ Selection Encoding/ Decoding Channel Noise To communicate, a person must first perceive a stimulus and then interpret what has been perceived. The person then chooses the information he or she wishes to send and puts it into a form for the audience. That action is called encoding. The message is transmitted through a channel, such as a memo, a phone call, or an message. The audience receives the message and decodes, or makes sense, of it. At any stage of the process, noise may interfere with communication. Noise can be physical, such as illegible handwriting, or psychological, such as the audience disliking the speaker.

8 Audience Analysis Factors
Empathy Knowledge Demographic Factors Values and Beliefs Personality Past Behavior There is no “one size fits all” approach to analyzing audiences, but key factors are important. Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and to feel with that person. Even people in your own organization won’t share all of your knowledge, so anticipate what audiences will need to know. Demographic factors include such measurable features as age, race, income, and educational level. Values and beliefs, or psychographics, include habits, hobbies, and lifestyles. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is one of several popular assessments to gauge personality. Studying how audiences have behaved in the past may suggest how they will react in the future.

9 A group of people who share assumptions about
Discourse Community A group of people who share assumptions about What channels, formats, and styles to use. What topics to discuss. How to discuss topics. What constitutes evidence. Your reader’s reaction is affected by his or her personal preferences as well as by the discourse communities to which he or she belongs. Each person is a member of several discourse communities, which may or may not overlap.

10 Organizational (Corporate) Culture
Norms of behavior in an organization are revealed Verbally through the organization’s myths, stories, and heroes. Nonverbally through the allocation of space, money, and power. Two companies in the same field may have completely different organizational cultures, and organizations may even have subcultures. Observe your own organizational culture to understand how to analyze others. Look for how people behave and dress, what the organization values, and why some people are considered heroes.

11 Adapting Messages to an Audience
Strategy Organization Word Choice Document Design Photographs and Visuals Adapt your message carefully to the needs of your audience. For instance, a good strategy is to make action on the message as easy as possible and to protect the reader’s ego. Messages should be organized to help the reader understand the message immediately. Choose words your audience will know, and avoid words that sound negative, defensive, or arrogant. Good design in business writing uses lists, headings, and a mix of paragraph lengths to create white space. Photographs and visuals, if any, should be bias free and more than simply decorative.

12 Gatekeepers and Primary Audience
To reach, focus on Content and choice of details. Organization. Level of formality. Use of technical terms and theory. When you write to multiple audiences, use the primary audience and the gatekeeper to determine the level of detail, organization, level of formality, and use of technical terms and theory.

13 Written Messages Make it easier to Present many specific details.
Present extensive or complex financial data. Minimize undesirable emotions. Paper messages are more formal than messages, and many spoken messages are followed up with written ones.

14 Oral Messages Make it easier to
Answer questions, resolve conflicts, and build consensus. Use emotion to persuade. Get immediate action or response. Focus the reader’s attention. Modify a proposal unacceptable in its original form. Oral messages are common in business, but scheduled meetings and oral presentations are more formal than chats in the hall or a phone call.

15 Communication Channels
Channels vary according to Speed. Accuracy of transmission. Cost. Number of messages carried. Number of people reached. Efficiency. Ability to promote goodwill. Paper messages are more formal than messages, and many spoken messages are followed up with written ones.

16 For Written and Oral Messages
Adapt the message to the audience. Show the audience how it will benefit from the idea, policy, service, or product. Overcome any objections the audience may have. Even when everyone in the organization has access to the same channels, different discourse communities may prefer different ones. Choose the written or oral channel that best serves your audience.

17 For Written and Oral Messages continued
Use you-attitude and positive emphasis. Use visuals to clarify or emphasize material. Specify what the audience should do.

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