Thursday, February 11, 2010

Public Speakers Guide to Crediability

One of the most important factors in any speakers success is creditability. While there are many other elements of success, soon-or-later it will always bottom-line out to, "do you know what you are talking about."

Your expertise on your topic is imperative.

And, if you were ever tempted to, , , never, never, never get up front and try to snow your audience. Here are three approaches that will help you establish your expertice in your chosen field.

Become an Expert
It might seem insane to have to mention this, but each day hundreds of presenters get up front and try to speak about something they have only a surface knowledge.

What a pity?

Read a Lot. A generation ago, Brian Tracy said, "unless you have read one hundred hours on a topic, don't try to speak on that topic." My idea is "several hundred hours."

Collect Quotations. You should collect at least 100 quotations from the movers and shakers in your field or industry. Then edit them down to your "top ten" guotes and don't be afraid to use them everytime you discuss your topic, either in private or in a public presentation.

Become a "name dropper" for your cause. Ultimately you should get to know these speakers, authors and experts.

Hint; the internet, (blogs, Facebook and Twitter, etc) will help. Interview Them. And the internet will help here.

Collecting interviews will give you the instant credibility you are hunting. Your personal relationship with these experts willl make you look good to all of your audience, for a long, long time.

Work in Your Field
Nothing will hone your expertice more than hands-on experience. Get in there and work with the people. Share their pain and apprehension. Learn what their problems are.

Then help them solve these problems. Get to know their customers. Serve them. Make them happy.

These solutions and customer service issues will become an effective and workable part of your presentations.

"This Is How It Works"
There is an old pop psychology known as Transactional Analysis (TA). Its' teachings have been around since the late '50's. Their gurus were Eric Berne, Thomas Harris and Claude Steiner, etc.

Best sellers like I'm OK, You're OK, Games People Play and Passages were their "holy books," and bannered their ideology.

I was a bit of a fan nof the movement, watching everything their gurus did. And came to an amazing conclusion. It was not the quality of the psychology they taught that was their great success.

It was their classic use of visual aids that put TA over the top.

Their three circle, Parent, Adult, Child (PAC) model is second to none in all history of educational modeling. That visual aid, and the handfull of other graphics Berne, Harris and Steiner were what really drove the movement.

In the seventies, I was working in a church environment where I saw a lot of TA taught. I've seen many people who barely knew the inner workings of Transactionsal Analysis (TA) who were very popluar teachers of its concepts.

By turning and walking to the whiteboard, and confidently say, "this is how it works." So often it was the person who best used the visual aids Berne, Harris and Steiner used that most positively effected their audiences.

By developing the skill of "drawing your message," you are well on your way of a sound level of credibility.

There seems to be magic in drawing what your are saying. It is a craft every speaker should develop, regardless of at what level you speak or how long you've been doing it.


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