Your audience represents a set of beliefs, attitudes, and values. This set may be homogeneous or very diverse. Any knowledge of this set, however, will be a guide to the audience's likely future attitudes and beliefs. For example, you are not likely to change an audience's position on gun control in one speech if most of its members belong to the NRA.

One medium of communication whose users have tried to develop a very precise sense of their audiences is periodicals. Their subscription base (and advertising revenues) depend on an accurate assessment of their readers' beliefs, attitudes, and values. Publishers of periodicals believe that we are what we read.

You can get a sense of the spectrum of possible values and beliefs by looking at a sampling of politically oriented periodicals. Such a spectrum can be modeled after the traditional left-centrist-right continuum. In general, as one moves from left to right politically, the value of government intervention decreases. Explore the links below at your leisure to get a focused sense of the values that you will base your speeches on.


Ultra Left






Ultra Conservative

Radical Right



Socialist Review

In These Times

The New Republic

The National Review



To see where you yourself lie on the political continuum, take the survey available at the Political Compass or this one at Idealog.

Another convenient source of arguments from a particular political perspective across a wide range of issues is the think tank. Read an interesting account of think tanks in a recent article from The Economist. For particular think tanks see the University of Michigan's Political Science Resources: Think Tanks.