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Who Is LISTENING? Learning Your Audience

by Aujene Jecole

Learning your audience is the key to any motivational piece. The reader must know they can trust the food being presented before them. The first step before conducting any sort of literature is to identify the type of audience presented before you.


1. Sympathic

The goal of a sympathic audience is to simply validate their position on the topic, by getting them to have reason(s) following behind it. In other words you are simply reinforcing their beliefs. More than likely this audience will already agree with you! If the goal is to secure a sympathic audience, try appealing to positive emotions using rhetorical appeals of pathos and providing a clear call to action.

2. Ambivalent

An ambivalent audience requires a bit of persuasion. This is type of audience has formed a opinion and not really looking to change it. It's sorta like convincing a lazy teen to get a job! It's possible but they must see the value of your reasoning. These types of crowds can be swayed by logical reasoning. In order to gain the trust of an ambivalent audience it is important to remain fair and objective while using copious evidence.

3. Apathetic

Defintion of Apathetic: showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern. (source: Definitions from Oxford Languages) Apathetic audiences need water thrown on them to be awaken. Apathetic audiences tend to not really care at all because the objective simply doesn't matter to them. The goal is to help the reader develop the intended concern relating to the topic by constructing postive and negative emotional appeals. It is important to study the audience to figure out what the reader cares about. The tone of the writers masterpiecs must be in accordance to the revelance of the reader.

Dealing with an apathetic audience will force the writer learn more about the audience.

4. Ignorant

Ignorant audiences might be one of the easiest audiences to persuade because they have not formed an opinion yet. The reader is searching for anwsers and your job as the author is to guide them. It is important to use evidence of counter arguementation to display fairness. Avoid campaigning bias statements because it can lead the reader to questioning your creditibility. Help the reader by providing resources in good faith that will lead the person(s) to their own conclusion. Allow the reader to develop their individual opinion. The author's goal for an ignorant audience is to simply inform.