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Audience Analysis

COM285 |
January 24, 2011 |

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Many business messages are meant for a large audience such as stakeholders, managers??™ salespeople, as well as customers. Though the members of my audience may share the same interests, there are distinguishing factors such as their level of understanding and their needs. It may be quite challenging to meed the needs of everyone involved. Conducting an audience analysis would be beneficial and help ensure the message is effectively conveyed.
* Characteristics of the audience
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* Knowing that communication must always be designed with the audience in mind, I should first consider the characteristics of my audience. My audience consists of a group of stakeholders, including managers, salespeople, and customers. Before presenting my quarterly sales information, I must consider the audience??™s knowledge of the subject. Though the managers and salespeople may be quite knowledgeable with jargon or terms associated with the sales information, I may have to clarify some information to be certain the customers understand. I will consider their age, race, gender, and educational background. I have to be careful to avid using words or terms that may be offensive to any person or group. My audiences??™ interest in the sales information will be taken into account while preparing the report. Subsequently, I will have to bear in mind exactly what the audiences needs are in regards to this sales information. In addition, it would be beneficial to consider addressing certain specific needs or interest of my audience. Last but not least, I have to think about what my audience expects to learn in regards to the sales information. It is important that the audience is enlightened and all their concerns are addressed.
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* Communication channels
Effective communication relies on selecting the appropriate communication channel for your message. Communication channels refer to various sources used to send messages to a person or group. Communication channels used for business communication vary, but may include face-to-face meetings, letters, telephone conferences, e-mails, videoconferences and websites.
In order to determine which communication channel is most appropriate, I have to consider factors such as if I need feedback or the content and purpose of the message. For instance, I can E-mail the expected delivery date of a package to a customer. E-mails are quick and efficient; that??™s a major plus in the business communication world. Countless businesses rely on teleconferencing to discuss their business matters. Circumstances that may call for an emergency meeting and/or avoiding travelling expenses may employ the use of videoconferencing. Videoconference is an effective communication channel because it is interactive and provides audio and visuals to all parties connected. Though modern telecommunication is soaring, there are still a few incidents that call for face to face meetings or letters.
Considerations to keep in mind given the diversity of the audience
Given the diversity of my audience, there are countless things to consider prior to presenting the sales information. There are many differentiating factors to keep in mind such as race, gender, educational background, economic position, people with disabilities, and people who have physical limitations. When planning the audience seating arrangements, ask if there is adequate access for wheelchair users. Provide an extra-wide aisle for wheelchairs to sit amongst the audience. Wheelchair users should not be forced to occupy the very back of the room, or the very front row, if they do not wish to. If using written materials, make copies available in a twenty-four-point font size. This is a standard large print text size, and will enable most people with low vision to access my valuable talking points. If you are making a presentation using slides or video, make a point to read the text as I go, or provide a brief narrative of the content. This can be accomplished smoothly and with discretion, so as not to needlessly draw attention to any individual. For attendees who are deaf or hearing impaired, allow for seats to be reserved up front if I am not using a microphone, or near speakers if using amplification. Ask my assistant, sergeant-at-arms or the facility set-up crew to help attendees identify these seats. If a sign-language interpreter will be needed, be sure to provide an extra seat. All of these distinguishing factors are worthy of being considered because showing no regard could marginalize the listeners. It is of great importance to use inclusive language and avoid ethnocentrism when addressing a diverse audience.
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In efforts to ensure that my message is most effective, I need to consider all the above aspects of business communication, and set a clear objective of the communication. I have to present my information in a clear concise manner. I understand that I may encounter multiple audiences; people with different level of understanding and different reasons. In order to meet their needs and expectations I have to choose the appropriate tone and communication channel. In addition, I have to consider the characteristics and diversity of my audience. Incorporating these considerations into organizing and presenting clear information will ensure the message to be effective.

References
Importance of Communication Channels in Business | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6511827_importance-communication-channels-business.html#ixzz13NXkeHaP
Locker, K., Kienzler, D. (2008). The Building Blocks of Effective Messages. Retrieved from Locker, K., Kienzler, D., COM285-BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS website.

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