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Part II: Planning Your Presentation > Analyzing Your Audience

Chapter 8. Analyzing Your Audience

When analyzing your audience you have four items to consider:

  1. Values— What is important to the group? Different organizations have different value systems. Giving a presentation outside your organization is probably very different from presenting internally. Even different departments within an organization can have different values.

  2. Needs— It is important to find out in advance of the presentation what the group thinks they need; this may be quite different from what you thought they needed. The speaker then must find a way to resolve the discrepancy.

  3. Constraints— These are things that might hold the audience back from doing what you want them to do or from knowing what you want them to know. They include the following areas:

    1. Political: Internal politics can be a constraint. If you must get support from competing factions you must take that into consideration when organizing your presentation. In addition, personality clashes and other forms of conflict may interfere with your success.

    2. Financial: Whenever you ask for anything that is going to cost money you will encounter resistance. You must factor this resistance into your presentation and find ways to overcome it.

    3. Knowledge: All of us have our own area of specialization. We must be careful not to use technical language, abbreviations, acronyms, buzz words, etc., that people in the audience might not understand. If in doubt, ask the audience if they are familiar with the terminology and define it if necessary.

  4. Demographic Information— Things like the size of the audience, location of the presentation, etc., may also influence the organization.



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