Does Your Audience Trust You?
“Better to trust the man who is frequently in error than the one who is never in doubt.”– Eric Sevareid
Trust is the foundation of your personal and professional relationships. If you violate that trust, your relationship with the other person will be severely damaged, maybe irreparably.
You may not have realized it, but you have a relationship with your audience based on their trust in you. How does your audience place its trust in you?
They trust your presentation will be as advertised. They trust you will present information they can use to improve their personal and professional lives. They trust you will look out for their best interest in your presentation.
An audience’s trust in you can make your presentation wildly successful. Your audience’s lack of trust in you will make your presentation a dismal failure.
Speak Like Advertised
It is a given your audience expects your presentation to be as it was advertised. There is nothing more discouraging to an audience and will make them lose trust in you faster than your presentation being starkly different from how it is advertised.
There are two inviolate rules when your presentation is advertised.
The first rule is you need to ensure your presentation description matches what you will present.
The second rule is you need to ensure the description of your presentation wherever it is advertised is the same, exactly!
There are over one million words in the American English language. A slight change of words in your presentation’s description anywhere will cause audience members to feel your presentation was not as advertised.
So build the trust with your audience by ensuring your presentation is delivered as advertised.
In addition to speaking as advertised, trust with your audience will be greatly strengthened by presenting them information in a way they realize will benefit them greatly in their personal and/or professional lives.
Speak Information from Which Your Audience Will Benefit
In this complex world of ours, your audience does not have time to waste listening to a presentation that does not have immediate results for you.
Taking the time to learn your audience’s expertise in your presentation topic, what they are seeking from your presentation, and what they need from your presentation is worth every minute.
If you don’t, your presentation will be as successful as trying to pin the tail on the donkey in a pitch black room or trying to fly a plane without instruments or baking a cake without a recipe. The chances of success are minuscule.
The logical place to start is determining your audience’s expertise in your presentation topic, what they are seeking from your presentation, and what they need is to ask them.
Find out before your presentation who will be attending your presentation and ask them what is important to them about your topic. Also ask whether they agree with the premise of your presentation or not and why.
You can also read publications in the industry of which your audience belongs. These publications will give you a good idea of what your audience is reading. There is also a good chance you will find an article on a topic similar to your presentation topic.
Finally, seek information on what the daily frustrations are of your audience. If you can formulate a solution to those frustrations, you will have an audience focused on what you’re are saying.
Speaking as advertised and presenting information that will benefit your audience builds their trust in you.
You will also build audience trust in you if they know how much you care about making your presentation as relevant to them as possible.
Look Out for Your Audience’s Best Interest
There is a saying you may have heard. Your audience doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much your care. Your audience wants to believe you are looking out for their best interest.
Are you looking out for your audience’s best interest? Do you take great care in presenting information to your audience that will greatly benefit them? I am talking about you caring enough to give them several ways to apply your knowledge immediately to better their lives.
Your caring should go further though. Do you read your audience’s body language well. Even when they are saying they get what you’re saying, their body language may be telling you something different.
You always have a choice to decide what to believe – your audience’s words or their body language. Always believe their body language. It never lies.
Your presentation is 100% about your audience. You need to meet them where they are and lead them to where you think they should be concerning your topic. Audiences engage with speakers empathetic to their situation.
Your audience trusts your presentation will be as advertised, you will present to them information they can use to improve their personal and professional lives, and that you will look out for their best interest.
If you do these three things, you will increase the trust of your audience in you. That is never a bad thing!
Call to Action
Be consistent in the description of your presentation and do exactly what this description says
Always be thinking how you can make the information in your presentation of practical benefit to your audience
Show in your words, your body language, and your tone of voice you have the best interest of your audience at heart
“Keep your promises and be consistent. Be the kind of person others can trust.”– Roy T. Bennett
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DiBartolomeo Consulting International’s (DCI) mission is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence colleagues and other technical professionals through improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence.
Contact DCI at
Office – (703) 815-1324
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