Public Speaking: Credibility

Who and what you are is important. If the audience perceives a conflict between what you say and what you do they’ll tune you out.

If you speak on goals, then you must be a goal setter. If you speak on change, you need to exhibit flexibility.

The general rule for character is this: Be authentic. There are several ways to align your message and your character during your talk.

1. Real life examples.

When you tell a story from your life to illustrate the principle you are teaching, people automatically trust you more.

2. Fellow Journeyman or Journeywoman.

Maybe you have not reached the peak level of your message. Let the people know that you are on a journey with them.

3. Q & A: Let the audience test you.

Speakers who refuse to answer questions decreaseshis/her credibility. Opening yourself to audience questions proves that you trust your advice and authority.

4. Life changes.

Show how what you’re talking about has changed the lives of others. Use their stories to prove your character. It will reveal proof from an outside source that what you speak about is true for more than you.

5. Be honest.

If you say that a story happened to you – guess what – it needs to have happened to you. If you give a statistic, you need to be able to prove its validity. Honesty is not the best policy…it’s the only policy if you want to keep your character in tack.

A public speaker who displays weak character should quit speaking and take a seat. It’s not that what he or she might say is not true. It may be true and extremely valuable. But when we don’t trust the source, we tend not to trust the results.

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Paul Evans is the creator of the Instant Speaking Success System. He had helped over 35,000 public speakers go from dull to dynamic.

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