Let's say I am demonstrating to a person "how to flip a chair" by flipping a chair for him. What is the person who is being demonstrated to called?

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    Of interest, not duplicate: english.stackexchange.com/questions/117530/…
    – cobaltduck
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 13:42
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    I was going to say a "flipping idiot", but probably "flipping novice" is more appropriate.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 1:20
  • conceivably, you are the "presenter" (or indeed "presentor") and the other is the "presentee". this would only work in certain situations but it would be, uh, best in those situations.
    – Fattie
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 12:53

12 Answers 12


That person would be called observer.

What is observer? Well, a person who watches or notices something.

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    Maybe even 'beholder' if you want to be more poetic. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
    – Zikato
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 8:22
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    observer fits, but does not seem to convey the teaching aspect of the demonstration that seems implicit in this question. I would go with 'trainee'
    – Michael J.
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 11:41
  • In this context, the one who demonstrates something is called "observee" . But it is user very rarely so that google Chrome underlines observee as a typo.
    – ozgur
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 16:00

Audience could also work in some contexts, especially if you are doing something to delight or entertain others.

E.g. David's card tricks were a hit at the party, because his audience was willing to go along with his silly antics.


If it's a demonstration, the viewer could be the -- viewer.


How about a viewer or a spectator?


A student, if the purpose is to teach.


One important word not mentioned here yet is witness. the person you demonstrate to would witness you "flipping a chair for him". witness also refers to someone who testifies in court for what they have witnessed.

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    I don't think you deserve a down-vote for this, but the the audience was made up of several viewers who were each an observer, and they witnessed the chair flip Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 12:07
  • The viewing audience was made up of several witnesses who each observed the chair flip!
    – Jander
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 17:31

I would use the term that fits the role or relationship. Are they there to learn or to evaluate? Or is the demonstration more of a dog and pony show intended for a general audience. Or are you accosting people on the street hawking your toy robots?

If you were just looking at the mechanics of demonstrations, I'd probably use recipients, audience, or participants in apposition to demonstrator.


There is the perfectly good word demonstratee ... it's not common but it is part of the English language. Given it's logical connection to demonstrator the meaning should be apparent to people who don't know it and it ties in to your view that you are demonstrating (as opposed to showing or teaching...).

  • Indeed, if the desire is to get the word for the person/people for whom a demonstration is performed, that is the precisely correct word. Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 13:05

Tutee may be an appropriate description, if the demonstrator can fairly be described as a tutor.

  • Isn´t that just as wrong as "tutoree"? Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 7:10

The term neophyte may apply depending on the context. Oxford dictionaries has:

A person who is new to a subject, skill, or belief:
four-day cooking classes are offered to neophytes and experts

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    @J Woodchuck Can you explain which context and provide an example from a reputable source. Even short answers should show support.
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 3:41
  • Sorry, I'm new to this site. Does oxforddictionaries.com suffice? (oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/neophyte) A sample they provide is: "four-day cooking classes are offered to neophytes and experts".
    – Woodchuck
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 3:58
  • Seriously? I got downvoted for this? Um, care to explain why?
    – Woodchuck
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 4:01
  • @J Woodchuck I'm not the downvoter. But prior to the downvote, your answer was flagged, which prompted my comment to to you. The down vote may be for lack of support, or it may be that someone thought it wasn't a good answer. The downvoter should have explained the issue. Normally, either an edit fixes the issue, or the answer may be deleted. Sorry that you got hit by a random drive-by downvote on your first answer.
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 4:08
  • @JWoodchuck Comments are transient, so it's always good to include your source in the answer itself. I've edited to include it. Thanks! Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 4:14

In many education contexts these days, the word learner is used.


monitor, onlooker, inspector, receiver/recipient, beholder, examiner .....

The wealth of possible terms offered emphasizes the value of Phil Sweet's advice of April 25: each of the candidate terms has nuanced meaning that fits its context; select the one that best fits the role or relationship you are describing

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