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The outer circle: Projecting verbal credibility

From: Building Trust

Video: The outer circle: Projecting verbal credibility

We know non-verbal messages effect our credibility. >> so, you know, you guys might think this sounds kind of stupid. Ed, who's headed up five successful launches now >> yeah.

The outer circle: Projecting verbal credibility

We know non-verbal messages effect our credibility. But what about the words themselves? Do people also craft opinions about us in those first few seconds based on words we use? You bet. Let's watch again as Preston and Samantha and Dan continue their meeting. See if you can identify verbal busters and boosters. >> so, you know, you guys might think this sounds kind of stupid. But, you know, what I was thinking might explain what's going on is the the, the, the prelaunch campaign that marketing did, you know? >> The marketing campaign is unlikely to have caused the increased call volume.

The campaign only ran on the west coast and the highest call volume, which is 89% to be exact, came from the mid-west region. Ed, who's headed up five successful launches now said that the volume is unrelated to the campaign. But I'm, I'm curious, what are your reasons for associating the increased call volume with the campaign? >> yeah. Well, you know I, I get what you guys are saying, but I was thinking maybe it's social media at work. Who knows how quickly people in the MIdwest might hear about us from a campaign we run in the West? I mean I live on the West coast, but I've got Facebook friends, you know, all over the place.

I mean like really, really spread out. Like I did a count and I actually have fewer social media connections geographically close than >> Alright, I bet you found some additional non-verbal busters and boosters, but let's focus in on the ways we can build our credibility verbally. Dan engaged in some classic verbal credibility busters such as fillers. Frequent fillers are you know, and like. Dan also uses qualifiers, which weaken the authority with which he speaks.

Look at this transcript of Dan's first comments to the team. He qualifies what he's about to say, which might make Preston and Samantha doubt his message before he even states it. If Dan believes what he is saying is true, why cast doubt with his word choice? Do you often use words such as maybe, kind of, sort of, or might? Try to eliminate these words from your vocabulary, and just say what you believe. Say what you know. Tag questions serve the same purpose as a qualifier.

Only they come at the end instead of the beginning of a statement. They add no value to Dan's remarks, but they do lessen his perception of credibility. >> What I was thinking might explain what's going on is the the, the, the pre-launch campaign that marketing did, you know? >> We want to avoid over answering when asked a question. Instead of making Dan seem knowledgeable in confidence, he ends up sounding a bit desperate, as though he's grasping to say anything that might save his sinking ship.

>> Who knows how quickly people in the Midwest might hear about us from a campaign we run in the West. I mean I live on the West Coast, but I've got Facebook friends, you know, all over the place. I mean like really, really spread out. >> Did you also catch how the overuse of adjectives weakens the perception of trustworthiness? And oh, those filler words and tentative word choices are killing him. In contrast to Dan, we hear Preston exhibit several proven credibility boosters in his word choice. Did you notice how Preston leads his comments with a clear claim? An arguable statement that sets up what he believes.

Then he continues by supporting that claim with his evidence. >> The marketing campaign is unlikely to have caused the increased call volume. The campaign only ran on the west coast and the highest. >> One of the most common mistakes speakers make is beginning with evidence, and then ending with the claim. This can be confusing. It leaves others wondering where exactly you're going with your data, and why it's important. Claim first, then your evidence. Preston also uses a credibility builder called external authority when he brings up Ed.

>> Ed, who's headed up five successful launches now, said that the volume is unrelated to the campaign. >> If you personally haven't had time to build up your credibility with someone, you can get backing and support from a colleague who has. Preston probably did his homework. He knew that Samantha and Dan both admire and trust Ed. So he got Ed's opinion on the matter, and used it to support his own ideas. Is this something you can do to help build the credibility of your messages? Finally, did you notice how concrete and how detailed Preston was? >> The campaign only ran in the West Coast and the highest call volume, which is 89% to be exact, came from the Mid West region.

>> The trust building power of concrete details is undeniable. When listening to witnesses in a court room, jurors are more likely to believe someone who includes concrete details, even if those details aren't relevant to the case. Two-second judgments. Judgments of our dress, our appearance, our posture, our word choice, they all matter as we are building trust. Is that fair? Maybe not. Is it reality? Definitely. So here is my wild stretch challenge for you.

Ask a friend to secretly video record you with his or her phone when you aren't aware you're being filmed. Then go back and using the credibility busters and booster checklist, see if any of these areas might need just a little tweaking. I teach these behaviors every day to college students and business professionals. You'd think I would have mastered them after all of these years. But every few months I record myself giving a speech or leading a meeting. And every time, I find an improvement that I can make to project more confidence, more authority, more authenticity.

So record yourself, or have a secret camera recording. Pop the popcorn, and watch that movie. It might be a little painful, but I promise there is no better way to learn what your unconsciously saying to others. And no better way to make minor adjustments that have major payoffs.

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Building Trust

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