I totally agree. I re-learn the lesson "never judge a book by its cover" everyday. But it's naive to think that we live in a world where first impressions and presentation don't count. (i'm not saying you're naive, i'm just playing devil's advocate.) It is in our nature to judge people but appearances and pigeon-hole people - it's a survival mechanism. In the past when survival wasn't as easy as it is today, we needed to categorise things/people into friend or foe. Doing this today is not necessary, but we still do it, though we can override it after some conscious thought.
So, if we know that we are going to be judged on appearance and presentation' surely it would be best to put ourselves across well, so that our viewpoints are taken seriously. If this wasn't the case, then why do politicians, celebrities and others with lots to gain/lose spend so much on image consultants and communication specialists. Because they've quickly realised that if they want to get ahead, then they've got to look and act the part, aswell as having the brains to back it up. Yes, it's ashame that appearance and not actually raw ideas that count, but that's life. I'm not going to let my voice be lost because i didn't put myself across well.
I refuse to believe that a Head of State would deliberately portray himself as a "dumbass." That's all i'm going to say, because i don't want to get into a George W discussion.
When i think about communication, i think of it in terms of people listening to my point of view, rather than me learning something.So here's my point - getting people to listen to you and take on your view point is dificult enough, why make it harder for them by speaking incomprehensibly. In this cut-throat world, people need only the slimmest of excuses to discount you, why make it easier for them to dislike or discredit you by annoying them with garbled speech and generally being a "dumbass."
Bottom line is that no matter how intellgient you are, people still have to decide to talk to you before they can hear what you've got to say. Whether they talk to you will, in part, involve their impression of you. It's their loss if they decide not to converse because of appearances and presentations, but isn't it your loss too, that you've missed out on an opportunity to speak?