WHAT ARE SOME QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK TO LEARN ABOUT
THE SPEAKING ENVIRONMENT?
Firstly, let’s look at some advantages of knowing about the environment in which you will be speaking. In your speech class, you know what the room looks like, it’s an advantage. But in a new speaking situation, you will not have that advantage. Therefore, you need to visit the place you will speak to examine the physical setting and find out, for example, how far the audience will be from the lectern. Physical conditions can have an impact on your performance, the audience’s response, and the overall success of the speech.
So, what are some questions you should ask to learn about the speaking environment? There are 10 questions that you should keep in your mind:
1. What are the physical arrangements for the speaking situation?
2. How will the audience seating be arranged?
3. How many people are expected to attend the speech?
4. Will I be expected to use a microphone?
5. Will I speak from a lectern?
6. Where will I appear on the program?
7. What is the room lighting like? Will the audience seating area be darkened beyond a lighted stage?
8. Will I be on a stage or raised platform?
9. How close will I be to the audience?
10. Will I have adequate equipment for my visual aids?
These questions can be divided into five main groups: furniture arrangement, seating arrangement, microphone availability, number of people present, room lighting and decor. They may affect the way an audience responds. You should learn them carefully and be willing to adapt. The more you learn about the speaking environment, the more you control your result of the speech.
In conclusion, it is useful to find out as much as you can about the speaking environment. And 10 questions above that I’ve just presented can help you. The audience analysis and adaption do not end when you have crafted your speech but continues as you deliver your speech.