After completing the activities in this lesson you will be a…

After completing the activities in this lesson you will be able to:

Explain the importance of the space and place of a speech. ( Analyzing Your Speech Situation, p. 47) 
Explain how the size of an audience can influence a speech. ( Analyzing Your Speech Situation, p. 47)
Explain stereotyping and why people do it. (Who Is Your Audience?, p. 50)
Describe the characteristics of an audience that a speaker should consider before developing a speech. (Who Is Your Audience?, p.50)
List and Explain the three basic concepts for analyzing audience psychology and feelings. (Who Is Your Audience?, p. 50)
Explain the difference between formal and informal analysis. (Gathering Info about Your Audience, p. 62)
LIST and Explain the three types of formal audience analysis. (Gathering Info about Your Audience, p. 62)
Define identification, and explain how to create it with an audience. (Audience Psychology: All You Need Is Love (and Identification), p. 64) 
Explain the importance of identification to public speaking. (Audience Psychology: All You Need Is Love (and Identification), p. 64)
Define beliefs, attitudes, and values, and explain how they differ. (Audience Psychology: All You Need Is Love (and Identification), p. 64) 
Explain audience disposition and how a speaker would analyze it. (Feelings: More on Audience Disposition, p. 69)

Complete the following tasks to meet the objectives for this lesson:

Read Chapter 3 in your textbook. 
Review all chapter Materials for this lesson.
Participate in the Discussion Board for this lesson

Analyzing Your Speech Situation
You will learn to
· EXPLAIN the importance of the space and place of a speech.
· EXPLAIN how the size of an audience can influence a speech.
Before giving your speech, it’s smart to scope out the speech location if at all possible (many times it won’t be). In any public speaking situation, you will have to consider the physical arrangement of the audience in the space before you can make decisions about what to do or say. It’s a good idea to think about where and when you’ll be giving your presentation in order to get a sense of what is and is not possible to say and do. In short: analyzing the speech space and knowing when you will be speaking can give you a lot of useful information for preparing for your speech.
Sometimes the size of your speech location will impose limits on what you can say or do; for example, a small chapel would make it difficult for you to do an interpretive dance as part of your eulogy. If you have to speak in a large room or auditorium, dramatic body movements would work well, but you will want to find out if you will have access to a microphone. In most cases, it’s useful to know the physical possibilities and limitations of where you will be speaking before you prepare a speech.
Elements of the Speech Situation
When you analyze the speech situation, you should consider where you will be speaking in relation to whom you will be speaking to, including the physical space and the general characteristics of your probable audience.
Physical Location
Where and when you give a speech influence how you will relate to your audience. Suppose you want to give a pep talk to your classmates about a group project you are working on for a sociology class. The only space you can find to talk is a very small janitor’s closet, replete with a sink and mops. How would this determine what you can and should say — and how you would say it?
Analyzing the Speech Situation at a Glance

The room has a large window in the center of the wall. The bed by the window has a headboard. A study table on the left of the bed has a computer and a lamp on it. There is a small cabinet to the right of the bed.
Location: Determine where you will be speaking, as well as the time of day. If the room is small, think about making your speech more personal and intimate. If the room is large, consider a more formal approach. The time of day can also affect the dynamics of the speaking situation. For example, if you are speaking after lunch, your audience might be sleepier than usual; if you are speaking during a busy time of day, you might have to consider outside noise.

Technology: The kind of space you are speaking in will help you determine your technology needs and opportunities. Are you planning to show slides? If so, does the space have the technology you need to do so? Is the room large? If so, will you have access to a microphone, so that everyone can hear you?

Audience: Who will be watching and listening to you speak? Factors including age, demographics, gender, and diversity of background should be considered.
Most formal speaking situations will be in spaces created for public speaking: an auditorium, a reception hall, and a boardroom are familiar examples. For this course, you will probably always be speaking in a classroom. This is great news, because classrooms are designed to make it easier to hear and speak. Moreover, if you will be speaking in front of your public speaking class, the audience size is known in advance, and your audience will consist of the same people you meet with week after week!
Keep in mind, however, that most of the speeches you will give in your life after this course will probably not be in a classroom, or even in a professional setting, but rather in a restaurant or bar (giving a toast); a reception hall, church, mosque, or synagogue (speaking at a life event); and other places where people assemble. For these occasions, it’s helpful to scope out your speaking location before your speech if you can, or even to ask the person arranging your speech if you can see a photo of the speech space. If it is not possible to see the space yourself, ask those more knowledgeable about the setting what you should expect. For example, I regularly speak at colleges and universities across the United States. Before I set out, I usually ask the planner what kind of room I will be speaking in, clarify the size and what technology is available, and ask if a photo of the room could be sent to me. Having a sense of the speaking space before the day of the speech makes it easier to visualize success, which, as we discussed in Chapter 1, can have a big impact.
Finally, different physical locations place different demands on you as a speaker. The bigger the space (a large auditorium), the more animated you will need to be as a speaker. You will have to gesture more, and depending on how large the space is, you may even have to exaggerate your facial expressions. The smaller the space, the more subtle and subdued your expressions can be.
Technological Needs
Just as the physical space of your speech directly affects how you relate to an audience, so does technology, which usually includes computers, sound reinforcement machinery, and any other objects used to present audiovisual aids. To enhance your speech, you might want to present a series of Apple Keynote or Microsoft PowerPoint slides to accompany a speech; if this is the case, make sure the space has a computer, a projector, and the software necessary to show slides. If your speaking space does not have the electronic equipment you need, you will need to supply your own or prepare your speech with “low-tech” visual aids that do not depend on electronics.
If you are asked to speak in a very large auditorium or to a bigger audience outdoors, you may have access to a microphone and a sound amplification system. It is always good to know if you will be amplified, because it will influence the style of your delivery.
Finally, we would be remiss not to mention forms of technology we often take for granted: chalkboards and dry-erase boards, easels for posters, and flip boards. For smaller audiences (such as a classroom audience), using a chalkboard or a poster may be just as effective as a Keynote or PowerPoint presentation. When you think about your speaking space, be sure to consider all your technological needs — both digital and analog.
Audience Size
If you are giving a pep talk to five classmates in a very small room, the situation demands an informal speech. It is not likely that you would prepare for days, nor is it likely that you would carefully practice the speech for hours before you deliver it. If, however, you are asked to speak to an audience of five hundred in an auditorium, you will want to prepare your speech carefully and formally. In general, the larger the audience, the more prepared you should be. Indeed, the larger the audience, the more you must rein in informality, slang, and inside jokes. Of course, there are situations in which a small audience requires a lot of preparation (for example, a sales pitch in a boardroom). But in general, the bigger the audience, the more you should prepare.
Group affiliations: God, politics, and beyond
Other categories of belonging can also influence how your audience responds to messages. Two of these categories concern the ones your parents or guardians may have told you were inappropriate to discuss in polite company or at the dinner table: religion and politics.
Unlike the more traditional categories of demography, figuring out the religious and political beliefs of your audience is more difficult. Religious and political beliefs are diverse, and like most of the self-identifying categories we have reviewed, it is often impossible to tell what they might be just from looking at a person. Sometimes the speaking venue can offer indications of an audience’s religious or political beliefs. For example, when speaking at a church, a synagogue, or a mosque, it’s likely that the audience has some association with the religion or denomination affiliated with that venue. In general, however, in most speaking situations you cannot assume the religion or politics of an audience.
Of course, the topics of deity and politics do not exhaust the kind of group affiliations people have. Demographic categories often double as group memberships: people affiliate on the bases of their age, class, sexual orientation, and military affiliation, just to name a handful. Other categories of group affiliation include membership in civic organizations, causes, social clubs, alumni organizations, sports teams (as players or fans), and unions. In Austin, Texas, where I live, there is an LGBT+ bar scene that has become a strong and visible community with political power, influencing how the city is governed. Similarly, there are a number of golf courses in Austin that are almost exclusively used by those with a high socioeconomic status.
Audience Psychology: All You Need Is Love (and Identification)
You will learn to
· DEFINE identification, and explain how to create it with an audience.
· EXPLAIN the importance of identification to public speaking.
· DEFINE beliefs, attitudes, and values, and explain how they differ.
To better understand how to connect with audience members, it’s important to understand them as people — how they think, what they care about, and what they believe in. To gain some insight into what makes people tick, let’s take a quick look at the work of Sigmund Freud, a key pioneer in analyzing the workings of the human mind. Back at the turn of the nineteenth century, Freud, a physician living in Vienna, conducted groundbreaking investigations into how people think and feel, which helped shape our understanding of the human psyche today. Along with creating a form of individual talk therapy he termed “psycho-analysis,” Freud and his colleagues developed a key insight: most people share common motives and desires. Although many of Freud’s psychological theories have been either disproven or critiqued over the past century, many of his key insights have been accepted. When discussing audience psychology, we are concerned with the Freudian ideas that have proven helpful and that have been accepted by scholarly and scientific communities.

Freud argued that deep down, everyone is motivated by unconscious wishes; these wishes sometimes surface in our dreams, behaviors, or speech, such as in slips of the tongue. Ultimately, one way to describe Freud’s view about human desire and motivation is that many, if not most, of our wishes can be summed up as one super-duper wish: we all want to be loved. In the end, most of our dreams are about wanting the positive recognition of others. 7
Although not everyone agrees with all of Freud’s theories (and we don’t have to either — I certainly don’t!), his concept of love can be very useful to an aspiring public speaker. By “love,” we mean that most of us want to be important to someone — our friends, our parents, our romantic partners, and our audiences. Most of us, in other words, like to be recognized. We like to hear others speak our name, and we like to get phone calls and texts from people who are important to us.
But to borrow a phrase from legendary R&B singer Tina Turner, “What’s love got to do with it?” And by “it,” Tina and I mean to ask what love has to do with helping us understand audiences and become better speakers. Returning to the views of Freud and his followers provides some helpful answers. In their view, all people are inherently separate. We all desire love (and connection, and recognition, and warm fuzzies) because at the most basic level, each of us is divided from everyone else. That is, each of us is a discrete animal with our own brain, blood type, body, and so on. According to Freud and others, at about the age of two or so we each realize this fact. We stop thinking that we’re the same as our mothers (or primary parent) and start to understand ourselves as individual persons, independent of our guardians. Once we realize that we are individuals, we experience mixed feelings: on the one hand, it’s great to be our own person; on the other hand, it’s scary! Freud and others suggest that we struggle with these mixed feelings — a desire for independence and a desire for connection — for most of our lives. For example, whether you came to college after leaving home for the first time or are returning to school after a period of work or military service, the transition will offer new freedoms along with change and separation from familiar people and routines. At every stage of life, becoming one’s own person entails a sense of loss, and the joys of independence often come at the expense of a feeling of togetherness. And in just about any speaking situation, you are revisiting this fundamental tension between independence and the desire for connection. This is why public speaking can be both exciting and terrifying!
Good speakers can harness the power of love and foster togetherness by creating moments of identification — when both audience and speaker forget the differences between them by recognizing that they are alike in some fundamental way. Aristotle called this the establishment of goodwill (see Chapter 2), whereas more recent thinkers might describe the connection as establishing “common ground.” Ultimately, successful speakers transport their audiences to a place of understanding through feelings of love. 8
Let’s look at an example of identification in action. Not too long ago I posted the following status update on an online social networking site: “Watching the television show Paradise Hotel. Wow!” Paradise Hotel is a television show that documents single men and women who attempt to stay in a luxury hotel in a tropical location while dating one another. Minutes after I posted my status update, three of my friends responded with messages like, “I know! I can’t believe it!” and “This show documents the worst of humanity!” With these messages my friends were telling me that they felt similar to the way I felt about the show. As I watched, my friends and I bonded over our horrified response. This feeling of bonding is “identification,” and creating it is one of the keys to success in public speaking.
Finally, we can’t mention BAVs without discussing behavior. Like changing values, changing behavior is very difficult. Speakers are more successful when trying to influence beliefs or attitudes and less successful when attempting to change values or behaviors. Understanding that audiences are psychologically predisposed toward maintaining the status quo is important to keep in mind, if for no other reason than it will help temper your ambition as a speaker into something more realistic.
Feelings: More on Audience Disposition
You will learn to
· EXPLAIN audience disposition and how a speaker would analyze it.
All this business about identification and love and BAVs can lead one to think that public speaking is mostly about feelings. If you’re starting to think — or better, feel — that, then you’d be right. Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions about public speaking in our culture is that it is reasoned and works by appealing to our sense of logic. Since antiquity, there has been a focus on reasoned argument in public speaking, but in the twentieth century, there was a tendency to overemphasize logic and reason. To be a good public speaker in our postmodern times, you should focus on feelings at least as much as you focus on logic.
For starters, doing so will allow you to address the whole human being, not just the rational part. Neurologist Antonio Damasio has made his career arguing that human reason functions in concert with feelings and cannot work without them. If the part of the human brain that processes feelings and bodily sensation is damaged, various forms of judgment — such as ethical reasoning — become impaired. 11
For a great example of the connection between reason and feeling, we can look at professional football. No football player has to make more split-second decisions than a pro quarterback (QB). In virtually every play, the QB has about three seconds to make a staggering number of calculations while a bunch of competitors try to pound him into the turf. Where is the most dangerous defender coming from? Where are my receivers? Who can I safely throw a pass to? For many years, football coaches thought that a QB’s decision making was based on the quality of his logical calculations. Before signing with an NFL team, most QBs had to take a specialized algebra test to assess their computational skills. Eventually, however, coaches realized that the best QBs weren’t necessarily the ones who scored highest on the math test; rather, something beyond algebra was shaping the QB’s decision making.
Coaches figured out the “X factor” when they began asking the best QBs how they made their decisions during a play. Although the QBs did in fact make countless calculations and decisions during a play, instead of talking about those decisions, the QBs wanted to talk about their feelings. When QBs described a play, many of them talked about anxious feelings when they looked one way and happy feelings when they looked another — usually right before they threw a successful pass. The interesting point is that the QBs’ feelings tended to line up with the reality on the field — anxious when a receiver was covered, happy when a receiver was open. The decision that led to a completed pass may have been based on the QB’s feelings, but it was still linked to logical analysis, even if that analysis happened unconsciously.
Your job as a public speaker is, in some sense, to deliver a good “speech pass,” based on your anticipation of the audience’s emotional response. From a psychological standpoint, audience analysis becomes psychological audience analysis — an anticipation of audience feelings and an attempt to marshal those feelings in order to change beliefs, attitudes, values, or behavior.
Understanding the demographic characteristics and group affiliations of an audience, as well as the general BAVs they share, can give you a good sense of how the audience will feel about your speech topic. Heck, figuring out who your audience is and what they believe and value should give you a pretty good sense of how they will feel about you and what you’re saying.
Now, let’s say you’ve analyzed your audience and feel confident that you know who they are and what they likely believe and value. What do you do next? Well, that depends on how the audience feels about you, your topic, and the occasion for which you’re speaking — an orientation known as audience disposition . In other words, what you do with this information depends on the disposition and attitudes of the audience. See the handy Audience Disposition chart on page 72 for some dos and don’ts.
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