Suppose you do research on X. You’re giving a talk about it — perhaps a job talk. Maybe your research is mediocre. But you think research on X is incredibly important. Fine — just make that clear. Everyone in the audience will like you for being able to appreciate the work of others, that’s so rare. When you point them to other work that is great, you’re helping them. Suppose you’re teaching a class. Find the parts of the subject that you feel strongly about. Do your best to convey how strongly you feel. Better positive than negative but negative works. (Ask Nassim Taleb.) Avoid the parts you don’t feel strongly about.