An important element of persuasive public speaking is personality. Does your personality attract or repel your audience?
Usually listeners can easily sense a presenter’s attitude toward them.
Does he like people or, while he speaks, does he have a hidden dislike for his hearers? Is his smile genuine? Does he really mean what he says, or is he merely putting on an act? Typically, although not always, an audience can spot this.
Ethical speaking is not acting. Instead it is a sincere transmission of a person’s truthful thoughts and feelings. Let a speaker be fair with himself and others. If he desires to act, he belongs in live theatre. There the audience expect pretense, but a convincing presenter should reveal his true self to audiences.
When a speaker’s congeniality and friendliness reveal a genuine liking for people – all people – an audience captures his spirit and is predisposed to react positively.
Will Roger’s passion for people – all people – was contagious. His genuine attitude, “I never met a man I didn’t like,” was highly persuasive and added much to his worldwide popularity. Although Rogers was a humorist and his speeches were
not always supposed to be persuasive, his personal quality of friendliness and congeniality is a convincing element which inspires an audience to recognize a presenter as a human being. And this of course is required before a person can wish to have his ideas and feelings acknowledged.
Listeners are normally willing to like a presenter who appreciates them. On the other hand they might ignore an unfriendly presenter.
Whenever a speaker does not like a particular person in his audience, his hatred or wrath is sensed by other listeners, causing them to question silently, “Why are you angry at me?” -
This is somewhat like an manager who, after having an disagreement with, his wife, passes his unpleasant disposition around to everyone in the office. Or like a businessman in a speaking training course who.stated, “I hate all females!” ‘His declaration was sincere. The hatred was clearly evident in his face and tone of voice. He really hated just 1 individual, but – his ex-wife who had left him suddenly to marry another man. However because his wife was a female he had shifted his hate for her to all women. And in fact the men in the audience sensed his undesirable attitude which is surely not a persuasive element in public speaking.
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