Chapter 4 Summary

Two people conducting survey research.
After selecting and refining the speech topic, the next most important consideration is to determine how that topic will be received by the intended audience. This reflects the principle of audience-centered speaking, or the act of carefully and mindfully tailoring one’s presented information to the knowledge levels, beliefs, values, and opinions of the audience. As a means to adapt the information to an audience in this manner, speakers must first start with collecting information from that audience. This data collection can happen passively (eavesdropping, public information, conversations prior to the speech, etc.) or actively (interviews, surveys, etc.), but ultimately, presenters must find out what the audience knows or does not know about the topic, and also, how they feel about the topic (attitudes, opinions, beliefs, values, etc.). Once they know what the audience knows and how they feel about the topic, then speakers can work further to refine what information makes it into their presentation, as well as how it gets presented so that the audience memorably understands the message as originally intended.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Messages that Matter: Public Speaking in the Information Age - Third Edition Copyright © 2023 by North Idaho College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book