Audience Analysis Checklist

Guidelines for Conducting an Audience Analysis for a Speech or Report

Revision Checklist
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Before composing a speech or written report (and then again when you revise it), focus your thoughts and your approach to a subject by conducting an audience analysis. The better you know the members of your audience beforehand, the better you'll be in achieving your purpose and meeting their needs.

Your answers to the 20 questions in this checklist should help you conduct an effective audience analysis.

Depending on your subject and the rhetorical situation, some of these questions will be more or less important than others. If you're unable to answer a particular question, skip it. Also, feel free to add--and respond to--questions of your own.

Keep in mind that the primary purpose of this analysis is to help you communicate forcefully and persuasively with the people who will be listening to your speech or reading your report.

 

  1. What is the approximate size of your audience? Are you addressing just one or two people or a sizable group?
  2. What information do you have regarding the demographic makeup of your audience (age, gender, education level, ethnicity), and how might you use that information to develop and shape your speech or report?
  3. What personal and professional traits do you have in common with the members of your audience?
  4. Are there any cultural considerations that may influence how your audience responds to the speech or report?
  1. Will your audience expect to be entertained as well as informed?
  2. Will you be targeting certain members of your audience, and if so, which members?
  3. In regard to the subject of your speech or report, how much knowledge or expertise will audience members already possess?
  4. Will audience members recognize your authority and implicitly trust your credibility (or ethos), or will you have to earn their trust by demonstrating your knowledge or expertise?
  1. What preconceptions or biases regarding your subject might be held by some members of your audience?
  2. In general, will your audience have a favorable, unfavorable, or neutral attitude toward your subject?
  3. What common misconceptions about your subject will you need to correct during the course of your speech or report?
  4. In general, will your audience have an interest in your subject, or will you have to generate that interest?
  5. What expectations will your audience have regarding the length of your speech or report?
  6. What expectations will your audience have regarding the format of your speech or report?
  7. To follow your line of reasoning, how much background information will the audience need?
  8. What key questions will your audience expect you to answer?
  9. What key objections are audience members likely to raise?
  10. To connect to the needs and interests of your audience, what particular appeals should you include in your speech or report?
  11. What tone or general attitude do you want to convey to your audience--objective? authoritative? collaborative? supportive?
  12. What do you want your audience to know or be able to do as a result of listening to your speech or reading your report?
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Your Citation
Nordquist, Richard. "Audience Analysis Checklist." ThoughtCo, Mar. 16, 2016, thoughtco.com/audience-analysis-checklist-1691821. Nordquist, Richard. (2016, March 16). Audience Analysis Checklist. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/audience-analysis-checklist-1691821 Nordquist, Richard. "Audience Analysis Checklist." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/audience-analysis-checklist-1691821 (accessed October 18, 2017).