Presentation credibility: How to be authentic as a speaker

In communication, credibility is the foundation of success. People who are credible in their words and actions are trusted. For a presenter, an authentic presentation appearance is the prerequisite for conveying the core messages. If you are untrustworthy when addressing the audience, you can save yourself the trouble of a PowerPoint presentation right away.

Credibility is about trust. When you are credible as a speaker, listeners trust your knowledge, judgment and message. Credible presenters have a much easier time getting their ideas across successfully. However, credibility is something that has to be earned and requires time, patience and consistency.

But what is credibility and how can you get it?
If you want to work on your credibility as a speaker, we have a few tips that can help.

Show strength of character

Think of the people in your life in whom you have placed deep trust. The likelihood is that they all have one thing in common: They have a strong character. People with strong character have core values that they simply do not stray from. They stand up for what they believe in, even if that belief contradicts groupthink. To build and strengthen your own character, take some time to get to know yourself better. What is closest to your heart?

It is equally important to make sure you are a person of integrity. When you make decisions, are you doing it for the right reasons? When you make mistakes, do you own up to them and correct them? Or if you make a commitment, do you follow through?


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Continuously expand your expertise

Your audience wants to learn from someone who has extensive expertise. The more genuine knowledge you have, the greater your credibility. Building expertise is not just about acquiring more knowledge in principle, but more importantly about focusing on an area or topic that is fundamental to your concern. For example, if you are an expert in presentations, you should, if possible, comprehensively master all aspects of this subject area. It goes without saying that as an expert, you need to stay up to date on your industry, trends and developments.

It’s also important to admit what you don’t know. This means that there is a lot of information that is not readily available to you. So if you want to remain credible, you should never pretend or guess at an answer that is not part of your expertise. False information is a surefire way to undermine your credibility and reputation.

Always be authentic and transparent

If you are one hundred percent honest, others don’t have to wonder what your intentions or motivations are. You can build trust with your audience by being open about your values and goals. A good way to create transparency is to also give your audience some information about yourself. If the person behind the presenter is recognizable, this strengthens the confidence of the audience.

Respect your audience

Many speakers focus so much on what the audience might think of them that they forget that they also have feelings for their listeners. And these feelings are definitely perceived by the audience. It is important to remember that you may not always agree with the audience and that you may want to change their minds about your topic. But you should always make sure that you respect your audience.

Use credible data and evidence

Depending on the topic you’re talking about, your audience may need concrete data, facts, or research to believe your message. Facts, figures, recognized authorities, etc. all have varying degrees of credibility. Familiarize yourself with your target audience in advance and choose the appropriate evidence that will be particularly well received by your audience.

Embody your message

Mahatma Gandhi is said to have said, “Be the change you want to see.” If you embody your message through your knowledge, character and credibility, your audience will trust you.


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