How to Build Trust While Presenting

How to Build Trust While Presenting
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To Be Heard, You Must Build Trust While Presenting
Often overlooked in business presentation skills training is the essential ingredient of trust. Until your audience trusts your character and competence, your message will be diluted.  While they may “hear you,” your target audience will not be motivated to act or think differently as a result of your presentation unless they trust you and your message.

To build trust while presenting and influence others, audiences tell us that that you must have the “chops” to inform them, an unselfish and other-centered motive, and an understanding of what matters most to them personally and professionally.

How to Build Trust While Presenting
Though there is much to be learned on how to deliver an effective business presentation, we contend that the first goal of presenting must be to build the trust of your audience. Only then will they listen and be ready to be influenced.  Here are the five key attributes of communicating and building trust effectively:

  1. Know-how
    The audience needs to believe that you know how to do your job or have expertise on the subject you are discussing. Otherwise, why would they want to listen to you? You need to demonstrate that you are competent and have something worthy to share.
  2. Clarity
    Another part of building trust is when the audience can easily follow what you are trying to say and why you are saying it. If your point or your logic is unclear, they may become confused and tune out. Make sure that your pace, structure, and vocabulary are chosen to elucidate at the right altitude, not confound.
  3. Compassion
    The best presenters know how to care about their audience. Show your compassion by spending time beforehand understanding who will be in the audience, what interests them, and why. Prepare content that will be meaningful and relevant to their unique situation and concerns.
  4. Authenticity
    Successful presenters are not know-it-alls. They are willing to share their humanity and vulnerability. This is how they connect with the audience on a personal and more intimate level.
  5. Integrity
    People with integrity are honest, principled, straightforward, and consistent in their behavior. Do you do what you say you will do? Are you steadfast in your message and beliefs? If so, your audience will respect and admire who you are and what you have to say.  You must believe in your message if you want your audience to do the same.

The Bottom Line
These five attributes to build trust while presenting are also signature attributes of good leaders. As you train new managers to deliver persuasive messages, make sure they understand that their direct reports are their audience at all times. People leaders must have competency, clarity, caring, authenticity, and integrity.

If you want to learn more about how to give better business presentations, download How to Present to Senior Executives Like a Rock Star


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