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How to Build Credibility and Trust as a Virtual Speaker

Building credibility and trust as a speaker is a lot more involved than simply including your credentials on your opening slide.

There is a science to earning respect with an audience and a few key steps to get you there:

  1. Arrive early - Greet your audience as openly as you would in person. Hiding behind slides and not being visible is ill-advised. Instead, turn on your webcam and be ready to present before your audience joins the virtual meeting room. 

  2. Lead with something relatable - a story or scenario that you have experienced that lets your audience know you have been where they are. This lets them know that you are a trusted advisor that can get them where they want to go.

  3. Give them something first - Before you ask them to trust you, give them something of value, determine what is keeping them up at night and let them know how you can solve that problem.

  4. Provide solutions - It’s one thing to identify the problem, but unless you’re giving proven solutions, it won’t matter to your audience...they already know where they need help, that’s why they’re listening to you.

  5. Deliver your message clearly - as a Subject Matter Expert, not a know-it-all...that means, use real examples or case studies and methodology that worked for you, rather than just spouting knowledge and facts. Contextualize and synthesize your expertise with the specific problem at hand.

  6. Use body language - People will more readily trust a speaker with open body language, especially in virtual presentations. It's important not to close yourself off or make yourself small or sit still with only head and shoulders in front of a webcam. Practice power posing or shiftED’s Power Propeller before the presentation to optimize your openness.


These and other presentation tips can be found in our guidebooks. If you'd like more tips on how to build trust and credibility with your online audience, get in touch! 


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