Gathering Information for Audience Analysis: Research & Observation

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  • 0:01 What Is an Audience Analysis?
  • 0:53 Demographics
  • 1:15 Psychographics
  • 1:36 Situation
  • 2:41 Ways to Perform Research
  • 3:44 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kat Kadian-Baumeyer

Kat has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management and teaches Business courses.

An audience analysis is an essential step in writing and presenting a speech that is meaningful to an audience. The speaker will look at several traits, characteristics and conditions of his audience to best suit the speech to their needs.

What Is an Audience Analysis?

Sometimes, a public speaker has to be like a detective because he has to uncover clues about his audience in order to put the puzzle pieces together and create a good speech. The puzzle pieces, in this case, are all part of an audience analysis, which is the process of determining through verbal and non-verbal cues whether the audience is actually interested in what you have to say.

A speech made by a speaker who took the time to explore the complexities of his potential audience will be one that is audience-centered rather than speaker-centered. An audience-centered speech carries more value to the audience simply because the speaker took the time to understand his target and create content that they will identify with. It is not as complicated as you think. The speaker can use demographics, psychographics and situation.


To better understand the audience, demographics, which are common traits the audience possesses, like age, income, education or even stage in a life cycle, can be used. For example, when speaking to a group of people who care about a cleaner planet, the speaker can use demographics to determine if there is a specific age group who find this important.


Psychographics can also be used. By learning about a group's beliefs, values and lifestyle, the speaker will have a better understanding of the kinds of things these people hold dear to them. Now that the speaker figured out the traits, characteristics and belief systems of his audience, there is one last thing to consider - the overall speaking environment.


This is the situation and involves the number of attendees, the venue, the stage or speaking setup and any other physical attributes that may affect the speech. The occasion is important as well. A ceremonial speech, like a toast on a special occasion, will take on a jovial tenor. On the other hand, if the speech makes you the bringer of bad news, it will require a more serious quality.

Control over the audience is a speaker's ultimate goal. The physical setting has much to do with the degree of control a speaker has. If the audience is facing the speaker, he can gain more attention.

If the attendees are seated at round tables, chances are good that some attendees will have their backs to the speaker. This is less desirable because the speaker will have less control over analyzing their cues.

The speaker would be prudent to pop by the location to scope out the physical elements of the room prior to the event. He will have a leg up on the best way to charm his audience. I know, you are thinking, 'where do I find this information?' It's easy.

Ways to Perform Research

Now that we understand what we need to do to be a more prepared speech giver, let's look at the places this information can be found.

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