Credibility is a highly important quality one has to possess so that the audience is receptive and alert to what you are about to say as a speaker or a corporate trainer. Persuading listeners is absolutely mandatory when one stands before an audience and a combination of honesty and credibility can help you to do so.
Leading training specialist and Compere in India, Gaston Dsouza says that credibility is a speaking quality which has to exist in the audience’s mind that the speakers. The audience has to be on your side and convinced about your capability of the chosen topic. The following 5 ways can prove to be quite valuable in your quest to gain credibility with the audience:
Introduce yourself with a full name and title
Though many speakers have their reputation preceding them even before they begin their talk, most of us have to build credibility in front of the audience. The audience needs to know about our expertise on a specific subject so that they become receptive to the rest of the information.
Always state your full name and title while giving a formal introduction to the audience. Avoid shortening your name as this will dilute the impact your name makes. When your name is followed by a detailed title, the audience is able to connect it to the topic or discussion that is about to follow and perceives you as someone who is knowledgeable about it
Establish the right credentials
Your audience is here to listen to an expert who knows more about the subject matter than most of those present there. By establishing your credentials in a subtle, yet emphatic manner, you tell your audience that you know your job well. Tell them about the number of years of
experience you possess, your educational qualifications etc. Building value about your knowledge and experience will prove to be the key towards making the audience receptive. However, do not do this right after your introduction as it may sound pompous and arrogant.
What’s in it for me?
A large portion of the audience is attending your session in a “What’s in it for me?” mode. They need to know how the session and the time they spend attending it is going to benefit them. The earlier this is established during the session, the better it is. Tell the audience how your expertise is going to benefit them as individuals, as a group or as an organization or solve their problems. The audience needs to see you as someone who is standing on the podium for their benefit and this will lead to instant credibility.
Connect to the audience’ world
You have already established that you are here for the audience’s benefit and now it is time to walk the talk. Relate as much as possible to the audience’s world, their challenges and their problems. Use terms like “Isn’t that something you see every day in your industry or that makes perfect sense to you, doesn’t it?” This will help the audience to visualize you in their world, working with them in solving their real-world problems.
Demonstration is the key
You could be a keynote speaker or a party host in Mumbai and your primary aim as a speaker is to engage the audience in front of you and influence them, and not merely disseminate information. Add illustrations, stories and examples to your information so the audience retains it and uses it.
These steps will not only endear you to the audience but will help you build credibility with your audience.