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Chapter 7. Communication Myth #1 > Determining the Type of Audience

Determining the Type of Audience

In general, you, the communicator, will face seven types of audiences. They are listed below. The audiences you encounter will be:

1. OPENLY OR ACTIVELY UNFRIENDLY. This audience is your greatest challenge. These people oppose your position so strongly that they are willing to work actively against you—perhaps by speaking out in opposition to you, or rallying support against you and your ideas.

2. UNFRIENDLY. This audience disagrees with your position, but not necessarily to the point of taking counter-action. For example, an audience may not vote for your proposal even though they may not actively campaign against it.

3. NEUTRAL. A neutral audience understands your position but isn’t particularly for or against you. Perhaps these people feel that the outcome wouldn’t affect them either way, so they have no strong preference for one side or another.

4. UNDECIDED. This audience understands your position, but feels torn between reasons to support you and reasons not to support you. An Undecided audience is not neutral; people here do care about the issue involved, but they don’t yet see a clear reason to decide one way or the other.

5. UNINFORMED. If the audience is uninformed it has no solid opinion one way or the other about your position because these people are unfamiliar with it and the issues behind it. An UNINFORMED audience is not the same as a NEUTRAL audience or an UNDECIDED audience—the two latter audiences still understand your position—but an UNINFORMED audience doesn’t.

6. SUPPORTIVE. You like this audience. It understands your position and feels positively inclined toward it, although not necessarily to the point of taking action to help you, yet. or

7. OPENLY OR ACTIVELY SUPPORTIVE. You love this audience. Not only does it agree with your position, but it is willing (perhaps already has begun) to work actively in support of your position or idea.



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