What is speaker credibility?
- not something speaker has or does not have in any objective sense
- speaker may be ignorant or immoral...but what is important is what audience believes-- the speaker has high credibility if audience believes
- Ingrid Bergman said, "It's not whether you really cry; it's whether the audience thinks you are crying"
- Credibility is important to advertising -is Michael Jordan credible shoe sales person?
- Credibility is also important to politician
THREE QUALITIES OF CREDIBILITY
COMPETENCE -knowledge and expertise the audience thinks the speaker possess CHARACTER- the intentions and concern of the speaker for the audience
CHARISMA- the personality and dynamism of the speaker
CREDIBILITY AND CULTURE
- what makes up credibility varies from culture to culture
- one culture may say competence important in choosing a teacher -another culture may say morality, goodness or reputation
- knowledge and expertise speaker thought to have
- the more knowledge one appears to have the more believable -e.g. doctor/lawyer has perceived competence through experience/study
- competence is subject specific
- we may assume if person competent in politics, person is competent in general-halo effect
- however there is also a reverse halo effect-not competent in one field-not competent generally
- one must demonstrate competence to audience-be seen as expert
METHODS TO DEMONSTRATE COMPETENCE
- Tell listeners of your competence -tell your experiences related to topic education/experience, etc.
- Cite a variety of research sources (credible sources)
- Stress the competencies of sources-what have they done?
- Demonstrate Confidence -be comfortable at ease-be familiar with visuals-what ,when, how
- Avoid Apologizing-don't call attention to inadequacies
- we perceive speaker credible if he/she is of high character-honest -can we trust this person? Ask what motives or intentions does person have-- Determine if intentions are thought to be good vs being paid
- Stress Similarity -emphasize the way you are similar to audience - the more similar, the more credible
- Stress Fairness -if persuasive speech, stress that you have looked at both sides -don't omit parts of other side as audience will bring them up
- Demonstrate Long-term Consistency -we become leery of those who flit from side to side -say how long you have believed your point of view
- Stress Concern for Audience -make audience aware of your interest in them -don't be out for yourself
Stress Concern for Enduring Values -demonstrate concern for lasting truths and general principles -your beliefs are related to higher order values
- a combination of speaker's personality and dynamism as seen by audience
- you are perceived as credible if you are liked, friendly pleasant
- we prefer dynamic vs hesitant
- shy may be perceived as hiding something -doesn't believe in self
HOW TO DEMONSTRATE CHARISMA
- Demonstrate a Positive Outlook -stress pleasure in speaking
- Act Assertively -stand up for what you believe
- Demonstrate Enthusiasm -be absorbed in speech-learn all you can about subject -ask yourself how it related to you
- Be Emphatic -use emphatic vs colourless language -use clear gestures
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2003 Karen E.Hamilton