[dropcap background=”” color=”” circle=”0″]A[/dropcap]ristotle, the famous Greek philosopher, once said that there are three different modes of persuasion. Logic and emotion were the first two, but more important for our purposes is credibility. Establishing credibility is mandatory for a speaker. How do you gain credibility with your audience?
Using Credible Sources to Increase Your Credibility
This may seem obvious, but the best way to increase your own credibility is by using other credible sources. Know your audience and know who they respect within the industry or regarding the topic that you’re speaking about.
If your speech is about technology or software, use sources like Bill Gates or Larry Page. If your speech is about investing, use sources like Warren Buffett or Michael Bloomberg. Whatever industry you’re in, use sources associated with the recognized leaders of that industry.
A fact is a thing that is indisputably true. Being able to state a direct fact to support your argument will help provide the type of proof that can significantly increase your speech’s credibility.
As we talk about in the proof section of the strong argument pillar, you shouldn’t be making direct statements and expecting the audience to simply believe you. Being able to back your thesis and statements with facts and statistics will provide the type of proof you need to quickly be seen as a credible source.
Numbers are power, and being able to visually display numbers and statistics to an audience is something that can immediately persuade people. Understand that numbers are only power when the audience can visualize and understand those numbers. If they don’t understand it, you may actually lose their attention altogether.
Notice how Hans Rosling uses visual props to easily explain his statistics in this speech. He uses the boxes to easily explain to everyone exactly what he means. Simplicity is key here. The more easily you can make your statistics be understood, the better off you will be.
Strong Arguments Always Win
In the end, this is all about creating a strong argument. While Aristotle was right to put logic and emotion as top pillars of persuasion, it is credibility that will truly win an audience over. Using credible sources, displaying facts, and using easily understood statistics are all essential in order to create a strong argument and therefore a great speech.