What type of people are popular in our modern culture?
It is easy to say that it is the pretty people. How else could you
explain the popularity of Paris Hilton and the Kardashian
sisters? Yet, there are plenty of people who are, to put it
mildly, less than physically attractive, and they are still
quite popular. Looks are not the critical success factor.
Yes, you guessed correctly, having the ability to communicate is
the essential success trait shared by popular people.
1. Singing like an Angel: as any parent can tell you, rock
stars are very popular, and yet not always the most
beautiful of people. Some opera singers and singers on
choirs are to put it mildly rather stout of figure. Yet,
they are also quite popular. Of course, some singers are
quite attractive; yet, mere good looks alone are not enough
to be a singing sensation.
In all cases, these performers must have good communication
skills; they have to control their voice to convey meaning and
emotion. In so doing, their talent can make the young swoon
and move the aged to tears with truly great communication
skills in front of a large audience. The greatest singer in the
world, if singing in an open field alone, will not be very popular.
So, they have to audition or create a demo tape/CD, connect with
the right sort of people to advance their career, and make efforts to
promote their work. At every step of the way, communication skills
2. Stellar Acting: from the time of the silent films, actors
have been able to make people laugh, cry, and shriek in
terror. Some actors have been less than ideal people off the
screen; they have not been truly attractive (without makeup
and a fancy wardrobe), they have overindulged in drinking,
drugs, smoking, and other vices and yet they have been
To be a truly great actor, they have to have great communication
skills. Anyone can deliver a line of dialogue; an incredible actor
can convey suspicion with a raised eyebrow, heartache with a
pained look, and rage by a clenched jaw. That they can create
characters so real and so believable that people think that they
are real speaks to their incredible talent.
3. A True Poet: as with any other form of communication,
writing poetry requires talent and that talent can create
emotional reactions in people that are so deep and so
profound that they are moved to tears. That they can do this
with the same words that any person uses speaks volumes of
their outstanding communication skills.
People like Wordsworth, Dickinson and Shakespeare used mere
pen and paper to write some of the most delightful and moving
poetry ever seen.
4. Writing the Great Novel: countless people write books
every year; only a small fraction of them ever get
published, and a still smaller fraction are actual hits. So,
what is it that separates the bad from the good, and the
great from the good? As with poets, they use the same words
as any other author; itís merely that theyíre able to
arrange them to create stories that captivate, that
entertain, and that are true page-turners.
Also, getting that great book written is only the first step. After
that, the author has to get an agent, get a publisher, and then
do promotional efforts like book signing tours and public
appearances to publicise the book. All of these efforts
require good communication skills.
5. A Great Leader: it is said that power is the ultimate
aphrodisiac. Throughout time, there have been charismatic
leaders: Caesar, Napoleon, Mao, Hitler, Churchill, Kennedy,
Roosevelt, Reagan – who have used their communication skills
to move millions of people.
Some of these people have been monsters and caused massive
loss of life, but they have all been popular, adored by legions of
followers. All of them have used their voice, their writing talents,
and even a degree of acting ability to reach the heights of power.
6. Creating Movies, Television and Games: people like George
Lucas and Norman Lear have used their talents to create some
of the most memorable movies and television shows in
history. And then there are computer games, there are even
people who create the stories for such games, and some of
these games are very popular.
In every case, these people need good communication skills to
create a compelling story, pitch it to investors and get it made.
After that, much like a book, there is the entire promotional
process, and this can require substantial efforts on the part of
7. Getting Ideas Before the Public: no matter what sort of
idea a person has, they will not sell it if they cannot get it
in front of the public, and thus get potential backing for
it. It does not matter if it is a business proposal, a movie
script, a treatment for a TV show or the design of a new
You have to present it to someone, and do so in a manner
designed to win over investors and/or buyer. To do this
requires good communication skills; you have to write a
good idea, and then put on a good presentation, which
can entail getting up in front of a group to speak.
8. Captains of Industry: it is said that half of all
businesses fail within a year or starting. So, to be truly
successful in any endeavour, a business owner needs more
than money, talent and ambition. People like Bill Gates,
Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller also have (had)
good communication skills.
They use their oratory skills to entice investors, encourage
their employees, and present new products to potential clients.
This is particularly true of a product that is new and radical;
people are often reluctant to buy something like that, and a
great communicator can win people over.
9. Breaking the Mould: often times, people that come up with
something new and different are seen as groundbreaking. It
can be something as simple as a new style of designer jeans
to a radical form of dance or music, or a new type of
personal computer or iPod.
When they do so, they have to be able to communicate why their
idea is so good to the general public. This means doing
presentations, interviews, and other forms of media expositions
to inform the public about their creation.
10. Inspiring the World: there have also been people who
have truly moved the world, and done it sometimes merely
with the spoken word. Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount,
Mohammad wrote the Koran, and Confucius inspired a nation.
Over the centuries, great religious leaders have inspired
millions of people to dedicate their lives to God, and they
often did it with nothing more than their voice or the
written word. Good communication skills are pivotal to being
a truly inspirational person.
There are popular people in every field of human endeavour.
They can be great statesmen and scientists, and singers and
actors. There have been popular authors, playwrights and
poets down the centuries, and they were always able to
create something and then convince the general public to
accept what they had to offer.
Doing this meant writing, speaking or in some other way
communicating what they had to offer to the public.