Here is an example of someone who tried to speak in a different accent and someone who spoke naturally and the impact it has on being persuasive or not
For instance, a college student talked with a decided eastern accent. Although he’d perfected this accent well, and he was a clever actor, his speaking wasn’t natural for him. Investigation uncovered that this student was a native mid-westerner however that he hated his “hill-billy” environment. He signed up at Harvard University, but after a few months went back to his native haunts. He brought back with him, however, the Harvard method of talking. Even now he has continued speaking in that manner, most likely not realizing his unnatural-ness, clever as it is, has detracted from his ability to persuade. Once in class he said, “My ten-year-old son said, ‘Fathah, if I talked like you the boys just wouldn’t play with me at all.’ So I haven’t encouraged him to talk like me because evah pe’son must be himself!”
Audience members want to feel that a presenter is genuine, trustworthy, and dependable. And in most cases, however not at all times, they can tell when he lacks those particular qualities. No matter how loudly a public speaker yells, “I am sincere, honest, and dependable!” or no matter how much he purposely attempts to impress individuals with his virtues, his persuasive efforts will usually be fruitless unless those commendable qualities are an ingrained part of his personality. The very fact that a speaker tries consciously to impress his honesty upon an audience may be proof that he lacks this attribute.
Capable personality articulates a subtle, sub-conscious, yet a highly persuasive, language.
For instance, by no stretch of the imagination can Homer Osborn, a grower in Southern Indiana, have been called a 2nd Winston Churchill. He didn’t know the power of words, neither was he very skilled in presenting! However he did possess some basic personal qualities which added definitely to his persuasiveness when from time to time he did address people in his community:
1. He was as genuine as a gold nugget.
2. He thoroughly believed every thing he explained.
3. He was very humble but believed in himself and in others.
4. His honesty, frankness, truthfulness, courage, earnestness, and optimism induced people to trust and to really like him.
5.Even though he never attended college, his knowledge and good common sense was admired.
6.People knew they could rely upon him and what he said as certainly as they might anticipate a sunrise in August.
7. He had a firm, sensible faith in God to Whom he turned for extra wisdom and strength.
When you speak in public you want to put forward the best you but not a “fake” you. If you are struggling with public speaking or presenting at work or speaking up in meetings, try out our free e-course on speaking with confidence by typing your name and email address in the box to the right.