Sometime in the 1980's I read the book by Robert Ailes, "You Are The Message." He was President Reagan's speech writer. In the book he explains how he evaluates and helps people in their public speaking. #1 shocker for me:
He watches a video of the speech/talk/presentation without the sound. He says in only a couple of minutes he can tell a host of things about the speaker (remember, without hearing anything!). He can easily tell Does this person like me? Does this person like his/her subject? Is this going to be worth my time to listen to?
As I re-read Ailes' book last month I was reminded again the importance of the visual. We are a vastly more image-based culture than 30 years ago. In the minutes before I step up to teach a class or lead a seminar, or address a large audience, I think of, and pray for, the persons who will be sitting in front of me. May they know that they are liked (by me) and that I like this subject (alot!!).