How to Build Credibility with Your Audience

create-credibility-onlinePresentations are all about building and maintaining credibility. The idea of creating trust sounds easy, but it often requires more work than you might imagine. For instance, think back on the last 5 presentations you attended. Did the presenter earn your trust? Probably not. That’s my point.

The ideas I’m about to present aren’t rocket science, but are rather helpful reminders of things you already know but forgot you knew. I call them the 6 I’s of Credibility.

Here they are:

1. Ideation

The best presenters think outside the box. They provide something new. They bring novel ideas to the table. They add value to their audience’s lives.

Ask yourself: Am I introducing a new idea to my audience?

2. Information

We live in a Google centric society so anyone can find anything they need at any given moment in time. Your responsibility becomes two-fold: 1) Find accurate and relevant information, and 2) Provide the right information to generate your intended result.

Ask yourself: Am I providing the right information to drive decision-making?

3. Influence

Influence only comes from confidence, and confidence comes from preparation. You need to practice at least 7-8 times before every presentation. Two times the night before and one time the morning of just won’t cut it.

Ask yourself: How can I increase my confidence?

4. Integrity

Anyone can easily spot a poser or faker. Don’t be that guy or gal. Find your own authentic voice and be yourself when on stage. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself and your audience.

Ask yourself: Am I being authentic?

5. Impact

If you asked your audience to invest 30, 60, 90 minutes of their lives to hear you speak, you must have a message that is memorable. You must leave a lasting impression or there was no reason for giving your talk in the first place.

Ask yourself: How can I make my presentation more memorable?

6. Ignition

Every presentation needs a purpose, and you can provide this by ensuring you have a call to action. You need to tell your audience what they need to do now that they have been exposed to your message. If you don’t, you risk diminishing the true value of your talk.

Ask yourself: Do I have a call to action?

Building and maintaining trust is not easy work. It requires awareness, careful planning, and a strong desire to do what’s right and most beneficial for your audience.

Read more: 3 Storytelling Styles That Work With Any Presentation

Scott Schwertly is the author of How to Be a Presentation God and CEO of Ethos3, a Nashville, TN-based presentation boutique providing professional presentation design and training for national and international clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to branded individuals like Guy Kawasaki.

44 Responses to “How to Build Credibility with Your Audience”

  1. Christine Derrel

    Mr Scott, thanks a lot for sharing your wisdom with us readers!!! I hope this will help me make my presentations better in the end!!!!

  2. Brian Miller

    All really good points, particularly the “fail to prepare, prepare for failure point”. Thanks very much for that.

  3. Fred Talbott

    Scott, thanks for emphasizing practice. Just like a music gig, you do it again and again and again until the comfort and flow are seamless. This also helps you be ready for any challenges that may arise during the talk.

  4. Natalia

    Thank you very much, I am just about to have a board meeting with people that know nothing about effective communication, your Post inspires and allows a person to get a clear idea of what it takes to achieve a memorable experience.

  5. Stephen

    Very good of you Bruce! I have learned quit something here!



  6. Ilse

    Great stuff.
    I do believe in credibility so much
    These days it’s so hard to know who to trust- especially when it comes to internet and business.
    The quality of being Believable or Worthy of Trust

  7. Tom McCollum

    Really enjoyed your article! Good stuff––thank you for sharing. I am passionate about presenting, whether its YOU or a presentation.


  8. Abdeslam Koubaa

    A relevant post. Thank you very much for sharing.
    Credibility is priceless, don’t lose it.

  9. linda leyva

    son muy buenas las exposiciones de las cuales algunas me interesan, muchas gracias por permitir acceder a ellas

  10. German Angel Melchor

    This information reached me just at the moment that will initiate a program to promote grateful to share their knowledge

  11. Jenni

    Anyone interested in reading more about trust could look up Lea Brovedani, who has written books about the subject. Along with this interesting article about presentation will give a good foundation to trust.

  12. Dr Ong Geok Quee

    Hi Scott, your 6 elements in presentation tip is not only simple to understand and remember. It is indeed very useful and very good advice. Thanks / Dr Ong

  13. Kazunari Yoshimura

    Great appreciate Mr.Scott, a lot for sharing your wisdom based on your experiences. I have so many of presentation that water related
    Both in domestic and international.hope this will help me make my presentations much better. From Tokyo Japan

  14. Dr Prakash Moghe

    Very interesting thing told in an interesting way. In fact, this logic it applies to personal discussions as well. Thanks for sharing

  15. Ganga Rizal

    went through your presentation and couldn’t stop from commenting. thanks you….you neither wasted your time nor mine……congratulations….and thanks again….

  16. SIDIBE Moussa

    Really informative ! Very hepful for me because I’ve never ever occupied a post of leadership and I don’t really why my friends have chosen me to make such task. Also in a foreign language ( English) that I’ve been studying since 6 months. Your good stuff comes at the right moment to give me confidence and courage in whatever thing I do. Also, I need the sympathy of each one here through your advices in this language which is going to permit me to enrich my live.

  17. teresa

    thank to all on how to build.credibility im really doing the best i no how so please keep me up to date thanks.

  18. carlos mccormick martinez

    gracias por la credibilidad y sus comentarios

  19. lia

    that’s great article, it’s true to make good presentation we have to be confidence and prepare the material well.

  20. reina meléndez

    Sus tips para ser empleados en charlas son fabulosos, nos dan mas confianzas y seguridad al llevar un mensaje en público, gracias por tan importante contenido