Since 1977, over 10,000 Spokespersons Trained.
Part 1 - Delivery

Chapter 4
Personality Projection

“Our judgments when we are pleased and friendly
are not the same as when we are pained and hostile.”

The role of spokesperson is easiest when the audience likes you. It is important to remember that audiences tend to accept ideas from people they like and reject equally good ideas from people they dislike. In almost all public appearance situations you want the audience to like you. To achieve this you usually must like them first; you must take the first step toward the listeners.

To a large extent, audience rapport (see Part V) is the result of what you say. How you say it, however, may on occasion completely overshadow the “what.” The evaluative process occurs upon arrival at the meeting place and your first spoken word.

Are you friendly and pleasant? Or cold and aloof? The first words out of your mouth combine with the way you look and whatever background knowledge the audience has about you to create an “image” in their minds. This is the initial image or first impression you communicate to the audience. If you communicate a sleepy, uninvolved image or attitude, the audience will respond in kind.

The audience will mirror your attitude, your warmth, and your enthusiasm. If you don’t care, neither will they. I encourage you, therefore, to douse your presentation with a large bucket of interpersonal warmth. This is not to suggest that you should be phony or contrived. As speakers, we simply want our audience to see our good qualities – the same qualities we greet friends with.

Don’t be patronizing. Don’t be condescending. Don’t be frivolous. Just be the best possible you: a real live, warm human being. Even the most serious of speaking assignments can be enhanced by empathy and compassion.

Don’t confuse enthusiasm and friendliness with the kind of showmanship that is characterized by the television-commercial used-car salesman who speaks in a frenzy of excitement. This will only undermine your credibility.

Be sincere. Be genuine. Be likable. These goals can be achieved by an honest interest in communicating your message, combined with an effort to project the friendly aspects of your personality.

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