When Abraham Lincoln was learning the influence game, he watched human beings, right down to the most minute facial gesture. That became one source of his effectiveness as a game-changer. His edge in that was that, born poor, he could do that observing unnoticed.
Ronald Reagan leveraged his experience in acting to pick up on every signal his constituencies were giving off.
Not overeducated, Steve Jobs had no pre-set mental models for how he filtered the world and all the people in it. That's how he learned the power of mystique. Being open not only bored others. It took away from one's own aura.
Public speakers have to listen before the speech. Yes, they or their staff should go out to the big boxes, the commuter trains, school board meetings, and bars where they are going to give a talk.
Forget a set script. Instead, create a point outline. Modify remarks during delivery based on audience responses. You bet, it's playing to the audience.
After the speech, engage in a conversation with the audience. The question and answer period is not to showcase one's own knowledge base and insight. Provide a Twitter or Email address to continue to receive input.
There's a glut of talk. There's a scarcity of listening.