“I Trust You!” How to be a Credible Speaker in any Communication Settings?
Speaking in front of a crowd is very much like building a relationship with your audience members, resting on trust. Your audience member should trust you, and your speech/presentation should engage them. In short, will your audience like you? Understanding the answer to this question will help you to unpack your path to becoming a credible speaker – someone the audience will trust and listen to as well. While your speech content still matters to some degree, part of building this credibility involves that trust between you and the speaker.
We would go beyond that to also say that building this trust is a communicator’s responsibility. Your audience members have taken time out of their schedules to afford you this stage time to present. How will you use this time? Framing this as a responsibility means that you should place your audience member’s interest as a focus. Your speech or presentation will always aim to build towards that goal. We know though that building trust is not easy (as it is with many relationships!). In communication settings, various factors can affect that level of trust in you as a speaker.
Today, we will share three broad techniques you can apply to help you navigate that trust-building process with your audience!
💡 Technique #1:
Build Your Expertise, Experience, Excitement
One powerful way of ensuring that your audience members trust you is for them to trust that you are good! Your audience will buy into what you are sharing in your speech/presentation, only if you can deliver value to them. A hollow speech/presentation for the sake of it is unlikely to endear yourself to the audience. Instead, taking the effort to tailor your content to suit your audience’s tastes will create a strong foundation in the trust-building process.
The three ways you can build this engagement is through the 3E Approach – expertise, experience, and excitement. Expertise is straightforward – if you are good at what you are sharing about, the audience is more likely to trust you. Show your expertise, not through bragging or achievement-listing but highlighting why they should listen to you (as opposed to others). Sharing your Experience involves drawing the audience in with your signature stories or tales that define your tribulation. Share your journey with your audience – include them in the growth process. Finally, creating Excitement means convincing the audience members about your passion for the topic. This does not need to be an extroverted, high-energy delivery! Instead, let your audience see this passion through the details in your presentation and content!
💡 Technique #2:
Build Empathetic Body Language
Moving beyond the speech/presentation content, your body language can help you to establish that trust link with your audience. Of course, we are not referring to physical contact! Instead, aim to use body language that draws the audience into an imaginary huddle and address them as a collective. One of the strong traits of a successful speaker is his/her ability to make the audience feel like a united community – one that everyone hopes to be a part of!
One example of such body language is the optimal use of facial expressions. Our facial expressions are not one of the easily-observable body language traits when we present. For example, what we think is a broad smile may come across as an awkward attempt in a large-scale audience. Aim to optimise your facial expression usage by understanding how your face will appear with different emotions. Experiment in front of a mirror to see how wide your smile is or whether those late nights are taking a toll on your eyes!
Beyond facial expression, your hand gestures can help to create a collaborative and facilitative atmosphere. A simple open gesture such as a palms-up gesture or wider hand positioning can help put your audience at ease. Think of it as the 5-star treatment – your audience members are the stars of the show and you want to ensure that you reach out to them and invite them in. Create a welcoming atmosphere for them to trust you and join you on the journey.
💡 Technique #3:
Build Permanent Bridges
Your mindset and intent are important facets of your speech/presentation, even if it is something intangible to your audience members. Trust us, your audience can tell if you were forced to deliver the speech or presentation – that may be the barrier in the trust-building process. Instead, aim to build permanent bridges with your audience as a primary goal. Your relationship-building process is not limited to the event itself. It should continue to grow even after your speech/presentation is over.
One method of achieving this is by having a clear Call to Action for your audience. A Call to Action is a measurable, simple, and achievable act that the audience members can follow up with at their own time. This helps to create commitment between you and the audience and is more likely to be seen as an indication of a long-term, sincere interest in your audience. Beyond that, your speech/presentation message will stay in your audience members’ minds, well beyond the conclusion of your speech!
* Be The Catalyst of Change Through Your Speaking Skills *
Be Credible and Incredible!
Speaker credibility is often an underrated aspect of a communicator. You may lose trust in that speaker, politician, or even a teacher just from that one unpalatable presentation. The danger comes when you no longer have an opportunity to re-create that first impression and vindicate yourself as a communicator. We believe that it is easier to create a strong, credible first impression than to remedy an unfortunate, bad impression. With this in mind, we hope the three tips above will help you pave your way to becoming a more credible speaker!
If you’re keen to take your public speaking & presentation skills (either business/corporate presentation or kids in-class presentation) to the next level so that you may public speak and present with flair and charisma, feel free to check out our offerings below!
For more about our Public Speaking Course for Adults :
For more about our Public Speaking Course for Kids / Children: