January 5, 2010

Before you can influence someone, you need to gain his or her trust.  They need to respect you as someone who knows what they are talking about.  Try giving them a piece of information they know to be true, suggest an opinion they already hold or express an opinion with which they can sympathise.  All of these things will help to build a level of trust between you and your audience. 

You need to establish credibility early on in your presentation as someone who knows what they are talking about. Exactly how you do that will depend on your audience and what they think is credible.

Relating a personal anecdote helps to build trust between you and the audience, as they feel you are sharing something personal with them.

In the situation where your audience are likely to have an objection to part of your message, there is little point in trying to evade the issue.  Confront it; bring it out into the open.  By recognising the potential objection, your audience will not only realise that you are telling the truth and want to hear more, they will think you are astute and someone who can be trusted.

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