We talk about this a lot in education, but it covers several fields and frankly should be useful for anyone who ever has to talk to anyone for their work.
Just like anything else, educators have to be great at building rapport in a short period of time in order to achieve their goals.
I see a lot of advice for how to build rapport. Things like, "make sure you say everyone's name during the class." But this robotic advice only works if you make your students or audience feel like you genuinely care about their progress.
I suppose you don't have to actually care. I do, but I can't force you to care if you're coming off some sort of serious illness or family drama. But if you want people to find you interesting, what they need is to feel like you're interested.
Yes, to be perceived as interesting, you have to be perceived as interested.
There's a lot more to it than that, of course. Merely seeming interested doesn't mean you can teach a subject or win a vote.
But we sit here and bemoan people who support figures and ideas we don't agree with. It's not that complicated to say that, for complex reasons, people want to feel like they have a voice, and a person who can build rapport can make them feel that way. And if they're unethical, they can make them feel like they have a voice even if they absolutely don't, but that's a topic for another time.
I challenge all of you to develop your ability to create a rapport with people with whom you don't have much in common (because anyone can do it with their friends). You can be the smartest person in the world, but with zero emotional intelligence, you will achieve nothing, unless you truly have a career in which you never have to relate to others (day trading? I dunno).
And of course, even when you have developed these skills, there are still people you won't be able to reach, or days when you're not at your sharpest. The trick is to always keep learning how to connect, how to reach different groups.
Everyone is an acquired taste to some extent. Make yourself more accessible to more people, be able to build rapport in a snap, and it will carry you farther than you might think.