Trust. We desire it in all of our relationships whether it is our spouse, parent, or best friend. Why should presentation environments be any different? The best presenters know how to build and maintain trust with their audience. They establish it in the beginning, hold it throughout their talk, and finish with it.
Are you curious how you can create and maintain trust? I've got six recommendations for you.
Presentations that are built on trust add value. Plain and simple. The speaker has the intentional goal to improve the lives of their audience. The lift them up, and they empower them with information they did not before the session.
The question to ask yourself: "Am I adding value?"
We live in a very Google-centric society where anyone can find anything they are looking for at any given time. So, you have two main challenges: 1. Is your information accurate? and more importantly, 2. Does the information you are providing help with the business decision making process?
For instance, if you are asking your audience to invest time to hear you make a pitch, is the information you are sharing empower them enough to make a decision when you are done or do you have gaps in your content that are still left unanswered.
The question to ask yourself: "Is my information empowering them to make a decision?"
Influence. We all seek it because we all want to make an impact on the people in our life. In the case of presentations, the only way you are going to be influential is if you are confident. And, confidence comes from preparation.
The elephant in the room on preparation is how many times should you present. My answer to this question is something I like to call the "Plus 10" rule. Simply, take the number of minutes of your talk, add 10, and that is how many times you should practice your talk. In other words, a 30 minute talk (plus 10) would be mean you should rehearse 40 times.
The question to ask yourself: "Did I practice my talk enough?"
We've been told most of our lives to "just be yourself." It sounds generic but there is a reason why this advice continues to live on. Integrity is accomplished by being you and not someone else. As an audience member, it is super easy to pinpoint that poser or faker. You don't want to be that victim so you need to be diligent about tapping into your public speaking strengths and let them shine.
The question to ask yourself: "Am I authentic with my message and approach?"
This next section is all about the headline - did you make an impact on your audience? Solid presentations are memorable. They create discussion. They create wonder. They get people talking about important issues. It is your responsibility as a presenter, to create those memorable moments for your audience by crafting a message and providing a delivery of that content in the most impactful way.
The question to ask yourself: "Is my presentation going to be memorable?"
And finally, we have the last component which is all about ignition. This concept is about whether you have actually ignited your audience to do something. To put it in a business context, did you include a call-to-action. Every presentation must have a call-to-action. It's the entire reason why your talk exists so make sure you provide a mission and purpose behind your message.
The question to ask yourself: "Do I have a call-to-action?"
Building trust is an effort which takes time and intentionality. However, it can be accomplished in a presentation environment if you apply the above six principles. They will give you an amazing foundation to work from and you should be earning and maintaining credibility with every person in the room.
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