5.6 Enrichment

Discussion Questions

  1. What are some ways that you can establish common ground with your classmates as the audience?
  2. Ceally wants to educate his college classmates about the increased use of profanity in contemporary music. He would like to play sound clips of some of the most offensive lyrics to illustrate his point. Would you advise Ceally to play these songs, even though doing so might offend or upset members of the audience? Why?
  3. Tynisha wants to convince her audience that we need a ban on alcoholic drinks at sporting events. Her survey results suggest that nearly 85% of her audience wants to continue the current policy of allowing alcohol sales at athletic events. Should she change her purpose to fit the existing attitudes of her audience? Why or why not? How can she establish common ground with this audience?
  4. What are some ways you can establish ethos with your audience before, during and after your presentation?
  5. Why is it important to understand the demographics, psychographics, and interests of your audience? What are the pitfalls of not conducting any audience analysis before speaking?
  6. Think of other areas of life in which audience analysis (or something like it) is essential (for example: needs assessments, strategic planning, individualized education planning). Why is it important to first understand the unique needs of a group before offering information or solutions to problems? How can we use our understanding of audience analysis to inform our communication in other areas of life?


  1. Identify your values. On a sheet of paper, take a minute to write down how you would spend a million dollars on others. Next, take a minute to write down how you would spend a million dollars on yourself. Finally, review your two lists and identify common themes. What you choose to spend your money on reflects your values. Here are a few ideas of some of the value categories that may include things you would buy: items for your family, home, community, health, education, adventure, luxury, or nature/environment. These would be some of the values by which you live your life.
  2. Form six groups. Each group will be given a different type of product (i.e. cereal box, pizza restaurant, big-box store, movie, TV show). Groups perform an audience analysis including demographics and psychographics on the target audience for that product. Finally, groups create and deliver an advertisement to their target audience. Discuss the following:
    • Who was the target audience intended by each group?
    • Was the class able to determine the type of audience (demographics and psychographics) each group was targeting? How?
    • In this activity, what do the cereal boxes, restaurants, stores, movies, etc. represent in the public speaking situation?
    • Why is it important for speakers to imagine/analyze their target audience before creating or delivering a speech?


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