What makes you credible?

One of the chief concerns I keep having to pound into the minds of students is that we, as audience members, must be able to trust you when you present information. For this reason, you need to make yourself the most trustworthy person about your topic.

Herein lies the question: HOW DO YOU DO THAT!?

The two major areas of credibility from your text include demonstrating knowledge and showing concern for your topic. That’s what I’ll focus on in this post.

We start by demonstrating knowledge. You can show that you understand a topic through your research, your word choices, your explanations, the details you provide… The list goes on and on. But here are the essentials:

  1. What sources can you give us to help us look up more information?
  2. What terms need to be explained to help us clarify concepts?
  3. How can you simplify ideas so that we understand more effectively?
  4. Why does something work this way? Tell us about processes.
  5. Explain best practices (what has proven to work again and again).

When we talk about concern, we are talking about why you, as the speaker, care about a topic. It’s the basics as to why you chose this topic over any other option. To help guide you, here are a few questions:

  1. Why did you select this topic?
  2. Do you have experience with it? Tell us!
  3. Help connect US to the topic… why should we care about it?
  4. Show us how we can connect with YOU.

Start with this. In the next post, I’m going to talk about credibility of our sources, and why that has an effect on your own credibility.

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