08/24/2011 02:01:00 PM EST
Are You Credible When Making a Presentation?
Whether you are making a pitch to
your boss, a client or prospect, or a speech to a more general audience,
credibility is a crucial ingredient. Joey Asher reminds us in an article on Law.com
of the importance of ethos in any presentation.
Asher succinctly points out four
simple tips to boost your credibility on such occasions:
- Develop relationships in advance. It's always a good idea to build relationships with
decision-makers (asking for more details about their needs is one way),
especially before making a sales pitch. Also find out prior to your
presentation to a trade group what your audience wants to hear by
conducting phone interviews with several members beforehand. Then you can
refer to them by name when you present - great ethos there, I'll tell you
from personal experience;
- Don't read notes. Know
your talk or presentation well enough that you don't read your material.
It doesn't mean you can't sneak a peek at your notes now and then, but the
important thing is to have as much eye contact as possible. And eye
contact is absolutely necessary to ensure listener attention and
- Allow lots of questions. It's a good idea to encourage questions, and as many
as necessary. It "shows an openness that makes your audience believe in
you" according to Archer; and
- Respond with short, crisp answers. I certainly agree that shorter answers are more
credible than long ones. Responding blah, blah, blah or yada, yada, yada
only results in boring, boring, boring. Not to mention a credibility gap
as the questioner shuts down.
Pretty simple tips, but extremely
important from the standpoint of gaining ethos for your presentations.
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