I've always thought that key to success is the ability to change your behaviour to suit your audience. This weekend, we went down to a lovely little restaurant on the south coast. The weather was cold and windy but the rain wasn't too heavy and it was a very pleasant weekend.
It was my partner's birthday and they celebrated this fact by piping the words "Happy Birthday" onto the dessert place in chocolate. It was a nice touch and most importantly, pitched perfectly for the recipient. We've all been to restaurants where they dim the lights and play "Happy Birthday" really loudly over the PA and bring out a cake covered in candles. Everyone cheers and sings and it's a jolly lot of fun. Except that me - and most people I know - wouldn't find that a lovely birthday treat - it'd just be crass and unpleasant.
The sign of a good restaurant is one which can judge the situation and do it just right for the recipient.
But it's not just restaurants. The best entertainers are the ones who can vary their delivery and material to match the audience. The best comedians are the ones who can tweak their act to match what works for a particular audience. The best magicians are the ones who change their patter to match what resonates with a particular audience. It's no good just rehearsing patter which is fluent and informative. It has to resonate with the audience. If the audience don't connect with the material then no matter how smooth and rehearsed it is, they just aren't going to buy into it.