Talking with a friend the other day about the importance of an audience liking the presenter. In many cases, there is no context for whether to like the presenter or not (they may not know him until he comes up to speak, for instance). But in so many cases, there is a way for that first impression — a spoken word on entering the room, a lead email, being available, even a smile — to be positive.While most speakers don’t — and shouldn’t — make likability the primary objective, whether an audience likes the speaker has a great effect on whether the primary objective can be reached. Therefore, unless there is another motive or purpose, it is usually in the speaker’s best interest to promote good will and to be liked by the audience. They are much more likely to accept the message, give a pass to mistakes and/or glitches, and even will defend a speaker in the face of hecklers if they are liked. These are all worthy of making that at least a secondary objective.
When in doubt, do likable things so that you are liked by your audience.
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