Join Tatiana Kolovou for an in-depth discussion in this video Communicating credibility, part of Communication Tips.
- Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where projecting the utmost credibility is essential to our success. Maybe you're in front of a group of people who are skeptical of your abilities or knowledge. Maybe you're the only woman or minority at the table. Maybe you've been given that rare opportunity to present to the higher ups, and you want to make a great impression. Whatever the reason, there are a ton of ways you can enhance your credibility. Obviously you'll need to be an absolute expert on your subject matter, but also consider things like how you dress, your posture, avoiding those pesky, ums and uhs.
Let me tell you about one often overlooked way to build your credibility. Use declarative statements rather than questions. Now I can just hear you saying, oh no, not a high school grammar lesson, but stay with me here. A declarative statement is simply a sentence that announces the way something is. It provides information, whereas a question, of course, is where we seek information. While it's subtle, people who provide information make an impression of being more credible than those who seek information.
Imagine saying to that group of managers who you really want to impress, "would you like to hear more about my proposal?", versus "let me tell you more about this proposal.", or there you are in front of that group of skeptics, which sounds more convincing, more credible? "Don't you think this plan will work well?" or "This plan will work.". When I first learned about this technique, we were having some troubles with the water heater in our house, it was old, and I had to decide if it was worth repairing, or should just be replaced.
So when the repair person showed up at the house, I started to ask, "would you please give me an estimate for repair before you begin any work?", but then I thought, nope, if I ask him for an estimate, there's a 50/50 chance he'll say no. He could give me some song and dance about how he won't be able to tell anything until he tears into it, and so on. I need to be taken seriously here, so, switch up the question, "would you please give me an estimate before you do any work?" into a statement.
Can you do it? How would you tell rather than ask for what you need? Did you say something like, "I will need you to give me an estimate before you do any work." That's what I said in real life, and it worked. Now, think about an upcoming situation where you need to project a ton of credibility. Go through what you might say in your mind, are there any questions that you could change into statements? Or perhaps I should say, find those questions, and change them into statements.
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