Audience Psychology: Understanding the Motives of the Audience
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Audience Psychology: Understanding the Motives of the Audience

It is an accepted fact that people act from motives. For this reason, if you want your audience to perform your will, you must understand the springs of human conduct.
             audience motives

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It is an accepted fact that people act from motives. For this reason, if you want your audience to perform your will, you must understand the springs of human conduct.

While human motives center on life, health, security, ownership, pride, love, duty, justice, etc., in the study of audience psychology, we shall concentrate on the following compelling motives that stir audiences to action:

Self-preservation: This is a powerful drive in every human individual; however, it does not always dominate human actions. Man's concern for self-preservation impels him to be more concerned with food, shelter, and clothing. For instance, all the subtleties of sex attraction are bound up in the survival of the race. Our desire for comfort, to be free from pain, to be clean, to supply bodily needs - all these are a few of the desires that come under self-preservation. For this reason, if you present a speech telling your audience how to preserve self, you are most likely to get their interest and attention and you can easily elicit favorable responses from them.

Power: The appeal to be a leader is a strong one. In people, there is the tendency to command others and things. In human interrelationships, we are ambitious to make the most of the abilities we have. For this reason, an audience is more likely to be interested in a speaker whose subject deals with power.

For instance, young people are anxious to improve their physical powers (they want to know how to overcome an enemy through karate or martial arts, or how to dive beautifully, or how to hunt, or how to be a speed racer). On the other hand, college men and women are ready to listen to speakers who will tell them how to develop mental power.

Remember that power, prestige, and desire for position are motives that will help you secure action from your audience.

Property: By virtue of the economic system under which we live, we put a premium on the value of ownership. From the cradle to the grave, the struggle for possession engrosses our attention. Ownership, therefore, is a reward for conduct which our economic order considers good. The desire to own is so strong in people that any speech directed to helping them acquire things for themselves and for their own use is a strong motive that will impel your audience to action.

For example, housewives in remote places would want to own computers or refrigerators operated by batteries. A good sales man who directs his sales talk towards this end - of owning something that will not only give convenience but also entertainment - will surely win his audience and will increase his sales.


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Comments (3)

Nice read worth sharing. This is really inspiring and I love it. Thanks.

Interesting educational, and useful article writen well by you. Promoted

Nice share an very well done!