A good presenter will try to identify an audience and find out more about the audience before presenting a speech. This action not only helps the presenter to stay relevant but also saves time that would have been used to inform the audience about things they already know (Reeves & Hedberg, 2003). Identifying the needs of the audience helps the presenter to select the points that are important to the audience and discard the issues they do not care for. One of the tools a presenter can use is conducting an audience assessment.
How would you conduct an audience assessment in this situation?
The first step in conducting an audience assessment is to analyze the people and find out what they stand for. With the knowledge of what I need to find out, my next step is to conduct interviews. An informal interview involves asking a respected person in the community or a group of people about their views about cars. Useful information can also be gathered from the local institutions of administration such as the city hall, the chamber of commerce and libraries. Posters and notices around the community can give an impression of the activities the community treasures. The use of questionnaires is another way to gather information about the community in a formal manner. Moreover, driving around the community to see what type of cars most people have and the current dealers in the market can also form part of the audience assessment.
What means might you use to get to know the people in the community?
In a community with 40,000 people, the best people to use to gain information are those in authority or key community figures. For example, a school principle can provide valuable information about the families because he is in habitual contact with the community’s inhabitants. The other individuals to connect with are leaders. Not all leaders will provide the relevant information therefore sampling is necessary. These leaders may include mayors, the local sheriff, presidents of clubs, the local pastors and outstanding businessperson. These leaders may also provide information on other people to contact.
What kinds of questions would you ask them or ask others about them?
Before participating in an assessment, it is imperative to know the kind of information required for the presentation (Reeves & Hedberg, 2003). First, it is essential to find out if the people value cars or not. Similarly, I need to know what issues they are facing. Secondly, I need to understand the age group and the gender of the people who are likely to attend. Their education background and the resources available in the community are also important factors to consider. Thirdly, I need to understand the experiences that the people have had with cars and what type of cars they buy. What attitudes do the people have towards cars? Do they trust the dealers currently operating in the community?
Why are these questions relevant to your presentation?
These questions are useful for gathering information about the community in order to gain a general impression about the community. Furthermore, the questions will help me find a way to address the issues that the community has had with cars in the past. For example, if the community is used to buying lemons, I can assure them that I will not deal with lemons by offering guarantees.
How will knowing your audience help you to best deliver your speech, provide handouts, use audio/visual equipment, and other elements of your presentation?
Knowing the audience improves the communication system and provides confidence (Reeves & Hedberg, 2003). The assessment process will help me build the strength of the audience by addressing their needs. Presentation is a two-way process. Once I have the understanding of what the community needs in a car, I will know what message to convey in order to be relevant and efficient. In addition, I will be empowered to present a good argument in case the need arises.
Reeves, T. C., & Hedberg, J. G. (2003). Interactive learning systems evaluation. Englewood Cliffs, N. J: Educational Technology
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