By Dan O'Hair, Hannah Rubenstein, Rob Stewart
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Extra info for A Pocket Guide to Public Speaking
6 • Analyzing the Audience 39 If listeners are negatively disposed toward the topic, • Focus on establishing rapport and credibility. • Don’t directly challenge listeners’ attitudes; instead begin with areas of agreement. • Discover why they have a negative bias in order to tactfully introduce the other side of the argument. • Offer solid evidence from sources they are likely to accept. 5 If listeners hold positive attitudes toward the topic, • Stimulate the audience to feel even more strongly by emphasizing the side of the argument with which they agree.
Unless you have prior information about the audience’s political values and beliefs, you won’t know where your listeners stand. Gender Gender is another important factor in audience analysis, if only as a reminder to avoid the mineﬁeld of gender stereotyping. 10 Making assumptions about the preferences, abilities, and behaviors of your audience members based on their presumed gender can seriously undermine their receptivity to your message. QUICK TIP Be Sensitive to Disability When Analyzing an Audience One out of every ﬁve people in the United States has some sort of physical or mental disability;11 14 percent of those enrolled in college and graduate school are counted as disabled.
It steers clear of invective, or verbal attacks designed to unfairly discredit, demean, and belittle those with whom you disagree. Ethical speakers avoid 4 • Ethical Public Speaking 25 arguments that target a person instead of the issue at hand (ad hominem attack) or that are built upon other fallacies of reasoning (see Chapter 24). QUICK TIP Follow the Rules of Engagement Verbal attacks, irrational arguments, and other so-called conversation stoppers breach the acceptable “rules of engagement” for public conversations.