An audience analysis refers to the process of using a target audience’s demographic and situational information to determine their interests, needs and background. Audience analysis ranges from the selection of the topic all the way to the presenter’s voice level during presentation. Whether your audience comprises enemies or friends, customers or competitors, one cannot overestimate the importance of audience analysis.
Audience analysis can help achieve valuable insight about your listeners or readers, which can help in developing and choosing a meaningful and relevant topic. It can also be of help in creating a writing plan that is tailored effectively to your reading audience, with appropriate style, language, content and tone.
In analyzing your audience, there are three main areas to consider. These are dispositions, demographics and knowledge of the topic. In addition, one should also consider how age, social-economic status, sex, political preferences, and so on affect your reader’s or listener’s expectations, attitudes and opinions about you and your topic. Anticipating the informational needs and interests of your audience is also beneficial in effectively conveying your ideas to the listeners and readers. In most cases, audience analysis gets complicated by at least three factors: unknown audiences, mixed audience types and a wide variability within one audience. In such a scenario, one has only two choices. One can choose to write an all-inclusive document that all audiences can understand (not an easy task), or you can divide your document into sections. Each section will have a heading to alert your target audience of the message one wants to pass along.
Finally, the presenter ought to put himself or herself in the shoes of the listeners and view the presentation from the corresponding point of view. In so doing, the presenter can accurately extract the desired reactions. This also helps the presenter to envision probable questions and formulate appropriate answers hence conveying confidence and gaining trust from the audience.