Audience Analysis Paper
Audience Analysis Paper
One of the prerequisites for pursuing a career in the world of commerce and business is the ability to communicate appropriately and effectively. Companies expect their employees and especially their managers to report experience results on a regular basis. Oftentimes theses experience results may include such detailed quarterly sales reports or detailed quarterly production reports. Not only is it important for an individual preparing to deliver these reports to identify the information required for the report accurately, it is also extremely important that the individual consider to whom the report will be directed. In other words it is important that the individual considers his or her audience. Frequently, the audience for such reports will include a company??™s stakeholders such as executives, managers, sales personnel, and customers. Knowing how to connect with a target audience is essential for an individual to communicating effectively.
Whether an individual is planning to address a group verbally or in writing, he or she must know how to address his or her audience. Surely there are several approaches to analyzing an audience. An individual may begin by identifying whether he or she is identifying an individual or members of a group. When the audience consists of people within an organization, such as stakeholders, the audience may be analyzed as an individual (Locker & Kienzler, 2008). The reason that members of an organization can be addressed as an individual may be the fact that the individuals within the organization have a clear understanding of the background information associated with the report. In the event that the individual preparing to address a group wants to know more about a member of that group, he or she may collect additional information by talking to the members of the audience.
In addition to talking to members of the audience an individual may also choose to use such tools as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The tool takes into consideration different personality characteristics that cause individuals to interpret information in diverse ways. The varying perceptions and conclusions determined by individuals often create different reactions (Myers & Briggs Foundation, 2009). The tool applies four pairs of dichotomies to identify diverse characteristics among individuals. One of the dichotomies is Extraversion-Introversion that identifies if an individual is motivated by interacting with others, the extraverted type. The introverted type is motivated from within. The additional dichotomies include Sensing-Intuition, Thinking-Feeling, and Judging-Perceiving. The Sensing-Intuition dichotomy measures the way that an individual absorbs information. The Sensing type of individual absorbs information through his or her senses; he or she prefers that which is real and tangible. The Intuitive individual prefers to collect information by looking at the details and focusing on the associations between the details (Locker & Kienzler, 2008).
Additionally, the Thinking-Feeling dichotomy identifies the way that an individual makes decisions. The Thinking individual takes into consideration the possible logical consequences of his or her action or decisions. The Feeling individual makes decisions based on empathy. In other words, the Feeling individual considers the impact of his or her decisions or actions based on how they may impact others. The Judging-Perceiving dichotomy identifies how an individual orients his or her self with his or her surroundings. The Judging individual prefers a planned and orderly way of living. Likewise, these individuals seek closure. The Perceiving individual enjoys flexibility and spontaneity, enjoying the potential possibilities (Locker & Kienzler, 2008). Possessing the ability to identify such characteristics of the individuals in an audience affords the person responsible for addressing them the ability to communicate effectively and persuasively. Examples of how these characteristics help individuals communicate with audiences include the fact that judging types prefer to have important points and information presented up front. Studies show that some 75% of U.S. managers are judging types. Likewise, 80% of U.S. managers are thinking types who prefer logical reasoning (Locker & Kienzler, 2008).
One of the most important ways that an individual can communicate effectively is to be empathetic. In other words, the individual must put his or her self in the shoes of his or her audience members. The types of characteristics that the individual should think about include the consideration of how the individuals in the audience may react to the message. The individual should also consider how much information the members of the audience need, potential obstacles the may need to be tackled, positive aspects that can be highlighted, the appropriate language, organization, and message form, and finally the how the audience will apply the information (Locker & Kienzler, 2008). The considerations aforementioned will help any author deliver an effective message to any type of audience.
An additional consideration of much importance to the effectiveness of a message is the communication channel. Communication channels refer to the way that the information is presented, such as written messages or oral messages. Individuals charged with the task of presenting complex or extensive data containing specific details may best be conveyed in a written format. Messages intended to persuade audience members, modify plans, address conflicts and create harmony, and promote immediate action or response may best be conveyed orally. Oral communication enables the individual producing the message the ability to use emotion to persuade the audience (Locker & Kienzler, 2008). Returning to the example of the individual given the responsibility of presenting quarterly sales results to an in-person audience consisting of managers, sales staff, and customers, the individual should be empathic and considerate of the different members of his or her audience.
Additionally, the individual preparing the presentation should consider the fact that the customers present during the presentation may be unfamiliar with some of the terminology used within the organization and an effort should be made to ensure that the message is received as intended by the entire audience. Consideration of the characteristics of individuals and groups included in an audience can surely produce benefits. Likewise, choosing the appropriate medium by which to address and audience, verbally or orally, may also influence the effectiveness of the way that the message is received. Empathy may be the best way to ensure that a message is effective. Not only will empathy enable a messenger to deliver an effective message, the consideration of the audience may also produce persuasive results as the audience may note the effort made by the individual responsible for the message. Effective communication is an essential part of being successful and operating a successful business.
Locker, K.O., Kienzler, D.S. (2008). Business and Administrative Communication (8th Ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Myers and Briggs Foundation. (2009). Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Basics. Retrieved December 14, 2009, from http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/