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How to build credibility with your audience

posted 11 Mar 2015, 03:43 by Unknown user   [ updated 23 Mar 2015, 02:57 ]
A common error in public speaking - particularity in the academic world - is to list the people you have worked with and the projects you have worked on.  Instead, sprinkle information about these throughout your presentation. People don't remember lists, they remember stories.

To build credibility try these two steps :

Step One
Think about and write down your answer to ...
What you are trying to achieve by presenting to this audience?
and 
What impression are you trying to leave in the audience's mind?

Step Two
Think about and write down your answer to ...
Who is the audience?  
What do they want?  
Why are they listening to you?
And 
What information can you give them to make you credible and to leave the impression you want?  

If they are in industry they are going to care about other players in their industry you have worked with, the cost savings you made for them or how easy it was for them to implement your proposed solution.  They are not going to care about academics you have worked with, for instance.

By contrast, if they are academics they are going to care about other universities you have done work with, papers you have written, or journals that have published your work. They are not going to care, necessarily, about the industry you have worked with.  So, it's always about the audience and what you are trying to achieve by talking to them.

Start your presentation with a sweeping statement or a few interesting sentences or questions relating to the problem you are solving in your presentation by saying some shocking results you got during your research or project.  That will give the audience a very quick idea if  you are worth listening to for the rest of the presentation.