Five Ways To Be More Credible When Doing A Presentation Or Speech
When doing public speaking you want your audience to see you and your content as credible, but most speakers don't pay much attention to creating that. There are a number of techniques you can use to come across as worthy of listening to, so you can increase your impact as a speaker.
Be Perceived As "Similar" To Audience Members
The more the audience sees the speaker as similar to themselves, the more credibility they assign. Use their language when possible, and dress accordingly, but also to convey an air of professionalism. The exception is if you are a world wide recognized guru, and in that situation you still don't want to highlight how "different you are".
Make Forceful Points, But Not Absolute Points
Clearly you believe what you are saying, so make your main points forceful, but keep in mind that if you sound too dogmatic or inflexible, the audience will see you as credible, and may even challenge you publicly.
Present Points On Both Sides
Show you are fair and cover points, and pro's and con's related to your message, NOT just the pro's. If the audience sees you as selling a particular agenda, they will immediately downgrade your credibility.
Soft Peddle Your Expertise
A mistake inexperienced speakers make is to try to shove their own expertise and experience down the throats of the audience. When speakers constantly highlight their qualifications, or expertise, it has the opposite effect. Establish your expertise by NOT talking about how good you are, but SHOW them how good you are via your logic, power of your words, and so on. (I ask those introducing me at speaking engagements NOT to introduce me as an expert.)
Handle Questions and Challenges - No BS
Audiences look at how you handle those that disagree with your message. Mess that up and you'll lose any credibility you establish. Be honest, and as transparent as possible, and DO NOT OVER EXPLAIN, because over explaining will sound defensive, and defensiveness will destroy credibility. If you don't know the answer, say so. If someone disagrees, do not argue. Make your case quickly, then move on.
Simple tips, but you need to be prepared before you go in. Have a plan to deal with questions, and disagreements. Never oversell.
There are more techiques you can use to enhance your credbility as a speaker, and deal with tough, resistant groups who may be hostile. Below is a preview of our Public Speaking Mini-Guide- Dealing With Difficult Groups.