discussion question 1772

How would persuasion be different if we did not have a free and open society.

Motivation and Audiences In order to be persuasive, every speaker, every motivator must first know his audience. Failure to accurately identify the needs of the audience will result in the message being rejected. This principle applies in politics, religion, business, and motivation. At heart of every speech is an understanding of who the members of the audience are and what they need to hear. Fortunately for hundreds of years, people have been studying how to motivate an audience. In the early days of democracy, the young Greek men would attend schools where they learned how to effectively persuade their audience. At that time, the most important audience was the group of law-makers. Every wealthy young man spent his early years studying these skills. Unfortunately, the young women were not given the same privilege. The study of motivation has continued throughout history. Today the science looks at many different ways to motivate. These theories of motivation are critical for every person to learn who wants to have an impact on his audience. Fortunately your textbooks will lead you into a study of these theories. One of the easiest ways to identify an audience is to look at the demographics. If you look at the age of your audience, you will gain insight into their life experiences. Someone who went through World War II will have different life experiences than someone who experienced Viet Nam. A younger person may only remember Iraq and the World Trade Center. Many young people only remember 911 as a historical event. Their perspective would be different. Like it or not, men and women are very different. You would approach an audience differently if you were talking to all men, all women, or a mixture of both. You need to consider the religions of the people with whom you are speaking so as not to offend them. Today it is probably extremely important to consider someone’s political party in order to understand some of their key values. The economic status of your audience will also impact how they receive you. Someone who works at Wal-Mart may be more concerned about losing $ 600 than a CEO is about losing $ 60,000. You have to consider your audience before forming your message.

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