How to analyze two completely different audiences for the same speech?

Q: My speech class assignment is to give my perspective of gays in the military to a group of senior citizens in a church. Then, give the same speech to a group of college students and explain how to change my approach. Any suggestions?

A: Great question, and tough assignment! The basics of your speech would stay the same regardless of audience. Give your honest opinion, not what you suspect your professor might want to hear. Avoid personalities and sweeping generalizations. The death of a speech like this is the phrase, "As we all know..." or a similar term. Your delivery would depend on the audience and the feeling of the room. Are they a conservative group of church going seniors, or free loving baby boomers in a New Age setting? Likewise, are the students liberal free thinkers, or students at a conservative religious institution? Once you gauge the feeling in the room, adjust from there. There is really no way you can decide on your delivery until you are actually in the room. The more conservative the audience, the more 'subdued' and factual your delivery. Appeal to such emotions as traditional home and family. For a more liberal audience, you can be, for want of a better word, more flamboyant. And give my regards to your professor for a great assignment!

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