Speakers need confidence, not arrogance

Speakers serve their audiences better when they’re confident. Arrogance is a turn-off. Yet, arguably they are simply two sides of the same coin. Which are you?

I recently had an insightful conversation with my friend Lois Creamer. (Actually, I think every conversation I have with Lois is insightful.) We were talking about personality types, and she pointed out two different, each with  large egos, who come across differently because of differences in “people skills.”

If you are to succeed as a speaker, you have to have (or develop) enough ego or confidence to stand in front of a group and present your ideas. This is the challenge shy people must overcome. (Remember there is a big difference between being shy and being introverted.) Unless you can gain this to an effective degree, you will not mount the platform in the first place.

The difference, therefore, seems to lie in how you view other people. If you have a high regard for both yourself and your audience, you come across as confident. If you have a high regard for yourself and a low regard for your audience, you come across as arrogant.

People skills go beyond simply regarding others highly, but they have their foundation in that regard. If you view others as beneath you, you will not bother to develop people skills. If you do regard others highly, people skills will develop naturally.

Humility and confidence can live together. Humility and arrogance can’t.

Confident speakers generally do well, even when their platform skills may be lacking. Arrogant speakers can do well also, but only so long as audiences mistake them for confident speakers.

What do you think? Have you met speakers who lost their authority with you through arrogance?

Share this, please!
Share

Author: Donn King

Donn King works with people who want to forge top-notch speaking skills to increase their influence and impact so they can advance their career or business. He is associate professor of communication studies at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, as well as a speaker and writer. His background includes ministry, newspaper, radio, small magazines and other publications, as well as co-authoring a textbook and blogging.