An informative speech revolves around presenting facts about a subject to an audience. It's meant to inform and give details about the subject in order to expand the audience's knowledge. A large part of making the speech successful is first establishing credibility between the speaker and the audience. Although the subjects of each speech will differ, gaining credibility usually involves the same actions. Following five guidelines should help most speakers establish credibility and win over their audience.
Provide clear and concise information throughout the course of your speech. Perhaps the most important part of an informative speech is providing your audience with easily understandable and digestible information. When writing your speech, you should write down your main points in a logical, sequential order. Doing so will make it easier for your audience to get on the same page with you. This is the foundation of establishing trust and credibility.
Speak clearly and with confidence. It's relatively easy for an audience to pick up on confidence or a lack of confidence. Therefore, you should avoid speaking too quickly or acting indecisively throughout your speech. In addition, you should smile occasionally, use eye contact and speak loud enough so you command the attention of your audience. If you act confidently and speak with enthusiasm, it's likely that your audience will view you as a credible speaker.
Reference a respectable source or sources during your speech to back up your claims. Many times, backing up your claims with a commonly known source such as a book or article can get you over the credibility hump. If the audience is on the fence about trusting you, referencing something respectable can often help you win their favor.
Admit some of your imperfections to your audience. While this may seem somewhat counter-intuitive, in reality, it can be a difference maker. Since everyone has some type of imperfections, admitting your imperfections will often help you establish trust. Otherwise, the audience may become skeptical of a person without any flaws.
Answer the questions from your audience honestly after the speech. The final part of solidifying your credibility is to answer a few questions from the audience afterward. During this time you should be straight forward and transparent with your answers.
Nick Mann has been a writer since 2005, focusing on home-and-garden topics. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.