In the grand theater of life, when all lights are on you, are you able to connect with your audience? Are you able to communicate trust? Credibility isn’t just about what you say— and it’s not just about how you present yourself. It’s about who you are! The most remarkable communicators understand this, utilizing the power of both authenticity and skill. Allow me to pull back the curtain and reveal the five key qualities of a credible communicator.
5 Qualities of Credible Communicators
1. BE GENUINE
Communication is so much more than just sharing information with others. Meaningful and impactful communication happens when we share part of ourselves in a real way.
That is the level of honesty that is required in order to make a connection with people. In the age of the internet, authenticity is no longer just a virtue; it’s a necessity. And it’s also a choice.
Brene Brown says in her book The Gifts of Imperfection, “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true self be seen.”
In my opinion, there is nothing more refreshing and empowering than watching someone courageously live out who they are through their message in an authentic way. Your audience, whether it’s a room of employees, a board of directors, or a theater full of spectators, can smell insincerity from a mile away.
People are not looking for perfect communicators. They are looking for honest ones. Speakers who are open and real in their communication are really attractive because they share their failures as well as their successes. Everyone can relate to that.
2. STAY CONSISTENT
Inconsistency is one of the quickest ways to dilute your message and confuse your audience. This isn’t just about consistency in what you say, but in how you behave and react. Predictability, in this context, is a strength. When your audience knows what to expect from you, they’re more likely to take your message to heart.
What you repeatedly do tells others who you are. In the words of John C. Maxwell. “Nothing is easier than saying words. Nothing is harder than living them, day after day.”
Consistency is where you show others you are in it for the long haul and you are committed to showing up for the service of others.
3. LEAD BY EXAMPLE
One of the first promises I made to myself when I started speaking on stage was that I would never talk about or teach something I did not wholeheartedly believe in. Also, I’d decided that I’d never teach something I didn’t experience myself or didn’t try to live out on a daily basis.
The age-old adage, “Actions speak louder than words,” couldn’t be more apt here. True leaders don’t just stand on a pulpit and preach. They get their hands dirty, walking alongside those they’re leading, showing that they don’t just talk the talk.
Think of Mahatma Gandhi who led India to independence not just through his words, but by living his message. He practiced non-violence and simplicity, making his leadership all the more compelling.
4. BE COMPETENT
You could be the most genuine person on the planet, but if you don’t know what you’re talking about, why should anyone listen? A credible communicator must master their craft, be it the art of communication itself or their specific area of expertise.
You cannot give what you do not have. If you haven’t developed high competence in an area of your life that you want to teach or speak on, then the first step is to work on becoming more knowledgeable in a specific area.
First you’ve got to become good at what you do and then teach others from the overflow of your life and knowledge. Competent people earn the right to speak into the lives of others, despite what our current world might have us believe.
5. DEVELOP AND MAINTAIN TRUSTWORTHINESS
Trust is a person’s greatest asset. Reputation is everything. Trust isn’t given; it’s earned. And once you have it, you’ve got to maintain it. Which is easier said than done.
The truth is that developing trust with others can take a long time, on the other hand breaking trust can happen in an instance. This is why being honest, especially with yourself, is so important in order to develop trust not only with yourself but others as well.This means admitting when you’re wrong, being accountable for your actions, and always striving for honesty in your communication.
In 1984, Johnson & Johnson faced a crisis when seven people died from poisoned Tylenol capsules. Rather than deflecting blame, the company swiftly accepted responsibility, recalled 31 million bottles, and developed tamper-proof packaging. Their transparent communication and swift action not only salvaged their reputation but bolstered trust in the long run.
My simple conclusion:
The bottom line is, being a credible communicator isn’t about charisma or an expansive vocabulary. It’s not even about how you present yourself. It’s about being real, being consistent, leading with actions, being competent, and holding the sacred trust your audience bestows upon you.
Cultivate these qualities, and you will build a great reputation, widen your reach, and grow your revenue as a result!
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September 11, 2023
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