Audience Analysis


When preparing his presentation, a speaker should take one most significant aspect into consideration.

His audience.

Audience analysis helps to make presentations more effective in many ways. Understanding the audience allows to choose right arguments, lexis, and examples to reach listeners and make them get the point.

There are several questions every speaker should answer while working on a presentation’s idea and content. They are as follows:

How many people are going to listen the presentation?

Rule: Bigger audiences pay less attention and ask tenuous questions.

If the audience consists of…

  • 1-5 people: a presenter should be ready for numerous in-depth questions.
  • 5-20 people: a presenter should be ready to answer in-depth questions and prepare to attention activation.
  • 20+ people: they won’t ask in-depth questions, but it’s important to stimulate their interest.

Who is the audience?

A speaker should think over these questions while preparing a presentation:

  1. What is their motivation? Do they want to listen?
    It will clear out the attention to pay for activating feedback, adding figures to speech, and mental conditioning.

  2. How competitive are they?
    A speaker’s preparation to stressful situations and depends on this aspect. Also, it helps to understand whether humor will be appropriate during a given speech.

  3. What is their social status?
    Audience with high social status is death on criticism, moralizing, and prescriptions.

  4. What is their average age?
    Depending on the audience age, a speaker can decide on verbal devices to use for better engagement. It’s always essential to speak the same language with listeners; otherwise, the presentation will not be as effective as a speaker expected.

  5. Are they mostly men or women?
    Different hooks and verbal devices work for men and women, and every good presenter should take this nuance into consideration.

  6. What is their mentality?
    Questions 4,5 and 6 define your strategy of picking right samples for your speech.

  7. Do they have any expectations from the presentation?
    Presentation structuring with audience’s expectations in mind is more effective by times.

Answering these questions will help to analyze the audience and choose the right type of presentation (informative or motivational), as well as determine the depth of presentation, arguments and lexis to use, hooks to catch the interests, etc.

What are relationships between audience and reporter?

When preparing a presentation, relationships between a speaker and his audience are important to take into consideration, too.

The following questions will help to analyze the audience deeper:

  1. A presenter’s image: Is he recognizable? What is his status?
  2. Did he have any previous positive experience with this audience?
  3. Did other speakers succeed with the given topic for this audience?
  4. Does the audience have any prejudices concerning the topic?

Answers to these questions will help to find out a required level of persuasiveness. Blase listeners are hard to persuade. In this case, a speaker should prepare strong arguments for each idea he’s going to share with the audience.

What are the details of organizational process?

This one is about time management and event conditions. The following questions should be solved here:

  1. The season and day of presentation.
    It helps to predict what lightning and temperature will the auditorium have, as well as the audience mood.

  2. The duration of presentation.
    It helps to choose the optimal information capacity of a presentation.

  3. Equipment (both needed and available).
    Knowing the list of devices and instruments available, a speaker will understand what resources he needs to involve for his presentation improvement.

  4. The order of reporters’ speeches.
    It helps to predict the audience mood. Also, it lets presenters prepare a reference to previous presentations to engage listeners.

  5. Foreseeable level of audience fatigue.

Speaking to the audience, a presenter can’t ignore their number, demographics, mentality, social status, and interests. When preparing a presentation, audience analysis should become a significant aspect determining the presentation’s success.