Getting to Know You: Audience Analysis 49 When Stacey's new friend returned with her mother, Stacey was still staring curiously into the vase. "Oh, those are my father's ashes," her friend said. This startled Stacey so badly that she dropped the vase and scattered the ashes. "Oh, no...I'm, oh! I, can't...didn't mean to..." she stammered. "It's okay, dear," the mother said. "The vase was from Wal-Mart." Stacey caught her breath enough to say, "But...but your husband's ashes...." "Well," the mother said, "looks like he'll just have to get off his lazy butt and get the ashtray from the kitchen from now on." As this story shows, you should never assume. For example, if the audience is one you're familiar with, they're apt to think they can anticipate the content of your speech. That's because they know you and think of you as one of their own. Suppose, for example, that you have the reputation for having a great sense of humor. If you decide to deliver a serious speech, your audience is likely to be startled and unsure of your intent. Take this into consideration when you plan the content of your speech. Country Mouse and City Mouse If members of your audience come from a variety of places, you can draw on your common expe- riences as visitors to the city. People will take your speech more seriously if they feel you're trying to meet their specialized needs. Stranger in a Strange Land If you're speaking to a group of total strangers, however, you have to be that much more careful