- Engage with a tough crowd: That difficult audience will respect you more if you engage with it, rather than dodge questions or limit back-and-forth.
- Don't brag on yourself: That's a special risk when you have to introduce yourself, so learn how to dial down those credentials and make yourself known without bragging.
- Beware those "but" sentences: Some speakers' words undermine their credibility in ways that may go unnoticed on the podium but hit home with the audience. Hint: If we can hear a "but..." coming after a strong declaration or denial, you may be in trouble.
- Don't over-apologize: If you apologize too much, do a "sorry" audit of your speaking--then check out Tina Fey's advice for how to skip the apologies and dive in.
- Learn how to establish credibility when you're new or young: Many young executives feel their age and looks work against them (and their voices, too), but you can learn tactics for combating that image--and they don't all involve putting on a strong-looking suit.
- Look beyond your bio: It takes more than a stellar resume to establish your credibility with a new audience, a skeptical group, or other difficult crowd. Instead of over-emphasizing your expertise, look for qualities and experiences you share with your audience, and work them into your talk early. Establishing a connection is an important type of personal credibility that can do more than any resume to put your thoughts across.
- Be bold, rather than too respectful: You can take a speech from good to great by making sure you're not too tentative and lacking in opinion. Check out these tips on how to be bold when you present or speak. It's related, but not limited, to apologizing. We'll respect you more if you take a stand. Try the 6 strongest speaker statements as a start to being bolder.
- Stop spreading myths about women and speaking: There are 4 persistent myths about women and public speaking, most of which are used to diminish their credibility--and thus, their access to the microphone. You can help a sister speaker by avoiding these myths, and correcting others when they're repeated.
- Use your second language with care: Language can hurt your credibility, particularly if English is not your first language and you speak it with an accent, research shows. I've got tips based on reader questions about how to present in your second language, with tactics you can use to boost your credibility.
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