Understanding Audiences

Introduction
Understanding Audiences is a task that is often performed by technical writers in a project's early stages. It consists of assessing the audience to make sure the information provided to them is at the appropriate level. The audience is often referred to as the end-user, and all communications need to be targeted towards the defined audience. Defining an audience requires the consideration of many factors, such as age, culture and knowledge of the subject. After considering all the known factors, a profile of the intended audience can be created, allowing writers to write in a manner that is understood by the intended audience.

Audience Analysis
Audience analysis involves gathering and interpreting information about the recipients of oral, written, or visual communication.
Writers can also use conversation to help them to complete an audience analysis. Conversation allows the communicator to consider the multiple cultural, disciplinary, and institutional contexts of their target audience, producing a valuable audience analysis.
•    Knowing your audience— age, gender education level, religion, language and culture and group membership —is the single most important aspect of developing your speech.
•    Analyzing your audience will help discover information to create a link to establish common ground between you and the audience.
•    A key characteristic of the audience in public speaking situations is the unequal distribution of speaking time. What does this mean? The speaker talks much, much more and the audience listens often without asking questions or responding with any feedback.

Audience Theory
There are two types of assumptions about audience. Some of great communications experts say audience is passive whereas some say audience is active. The following theories and modes based on these two assumptions.

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