EXCERPTS “To the families of those we’ve lost; to all who called them friends; to the students of this university, the public servants who are gathered here, the people of Tucson and the people of Arizona: I have come here tonight as an American who, like all Americans, kneels to pray with you today and will stand by you tomorrow.” “But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized -– at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who happen to think differently than we do -– it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.” “I want to live up to her expectations. (Applause.) I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. I want America to be as good as she imagined it. (Applause.) All of us -– we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations. (Applause.)”
AUDIENCE-CENTEREDNESS Speeches seek to gain responses from audiences Shouldn’t imply compromise Questions to ask yourself To whom am I speaking? What do I want them to know, believe, or do as a result of my speech? What is the most effective way of composing and presenting my speech to accomplish that aim?
YOUR CLASSMATES AS AUDIENCE Instructors are not the only audience members “The best classroom speeches are those that take the classroom audience as seriously as a lawyer, a politician, a minister, or an advertiser takes an audience.” Most speeches will not have immediate impact, but they do count.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF AUDIENCES Auditory perception is always selective Egocentrism – We hear what we want to hear What should you know as a speaker?
DEMOGRAPHIC AUDIENCE ANALYSIS Useful tool, but exercise caution Common Demographic Factors Age Gender Religion Sexual Orientation Racial, ethnic, and cultural background Group membership
RESPECTING AUDIENCE CULTURES Heterogeneity and Diversity What about homogeneity? Assessing audience culture assumes audiences are more than the some of their parts
CULTURAL DIVERSITY How do we operationalize diversity? More than one type? Your own cultural dispositions - egocentrism Gender roles Who can speak Appropriate language Regional differences Negative Stereotypes
CULTURAL DIVERSITY Self-interests Based on results of action of policy Personal interests Beliefs and values Prior understanding Common knowledge and experience
STRATEGIES FOR ANALYZING THE AUDIENCE Formal methods Informal methods Observation, chatting, etc. Simplifying devices Focus on the general public Focus on audience roles or topic fields
SITUATIONAL AUDIENCE ANALYSIS Builds on demographic analysis Unique to the speaking situation at hand Common Situational Factors Size Physical setting Disposition toward topic Disposition toward speaker Disposition toward occasion
ADAPTING TO AUDIENCE Before the speech During the speech