Before composing a speech or written report, focus your thoughts and approach to a subject by conducting an audience analysis. The better you know the members of your audience beforehand, the better you’ll be in achieving your purpose and meeting their needs. Keep in mind that the primary purpose of this analysis is to help you communicate forcefully and persuasively with the people who will be listening to your speech or reading your report.
When you start to analyze an audience, try to identify its type. These tend to fall into four categories: a.) Executives, who make decisions regarding product development and its role in the company’s overall success may have little technical knowledge but a firm grasp of how to position the product as a business asset; b.) Software developers, who are less concerned with sales and marketing activities, need to know other details, such as the specs and installation instructions; c.) Experts will have in-depth technical knowledge. They are most likely to have designed and developed the product in question. They’ll be interested in emerging trends and new technologies; and d.) Users will have the least technical knowledge. They simply want the product to work and ‘do something’ for them. They have little interest in its business goals, marketing promises, or technical architecture.
Identify the audience characteristics and remember them while writing. Before you begin writing, consider important characteristics such as:
Ask for information about educational background to assess the audience’s reading ability and its willingness to read. In most cases, simple language and terms offer the best approach for all audiences.
Knowledge and experience levels
Use professional and educational background to determine the audience’s knowledge and experience on a subject. Use this information to evaluate what readers know and what information they need.
English language ability
Consider the audience’s...