Because Trust Is A Must

Building Trust

Building trust with your audience is part of being a strong leader.

People throughout the world are pretty trusting.

When we come into this world we’re very trusting.

As we get older we lose some of that childhood trust.

Life happens. People break promises. Our expectations for things don’t work out.

The Trust Value

Humans look for stability in life. We want to feel in control of life even if it’s just an illusion.

Stability, consistency, reliability and other characters define people that others trust. When we know what someone is likely to do we feel we can trust him or her.

For leaders, building trust has value. When people trust what you’re going to do you can move forward with initiatives knowing you have the full support and participation of team members.

Without trust you’ll struggle to move forward as the team pushes back.

The Challenge for Speakers

Leaders deal with trust issues nearly every day.

On any day at the office a business leader will deal with skepticism, indifference and disagreement. It’s a challenge for anyone in a leadership position to earn the trust of a team.

Some people will trust you within six seconds of meeting you while others it could take six years.

It’s the job of every leader to find a way to build trust with a team.

I’ve worked with many leaders in various industries and businesses and have found a few key ways leaders can build trust whether it’s with the team at the office or with a brand new audience at a speaking engagement.

Here is how you can build trust.


We follow people that have confidence.

There are three ways to build confidence in yourself and what you’re doing.

Preparation is the first method for building confidence.

When speaking to an audience preparation involves doing background work on what will be in your presentation. It includes knowing every detail about the items in your presentation. You need to know the likely questions that will be asked and prepare proper responses.

Practice is the second component. You’ve already built experience as a leader. You don’t reach a leadership role without experience and knowledge. Use positive experiences from the past to built your self-confidence.

Also practice for your speaking engagements. Run through on your own. Go through speaking to others. The people that are confident in their ability are often those that practice the most. They have a sense that they deserve success the most because they have put in the most time.

Mindset is the third component of confidence. To build confidence around others and in front of large groups act as a confident person would. Stand up tall with your shoulders back and your eyes staring directly at every audience member.

It seems obvious, but acting confident on the outside lets your inside know that you’re ready for the big moment.

Core Values & Authenticity

Successful leaders follow a strict core value system at their firms.

Leaders are consistently presented with choices. Some choices are easier than others, but making decisions based on the core values of the firm is a characteristic that develops trust.

When people know how a leader will react when presented with choice they feel they can trust that person. Those that disagree with the core values will leave or will be asked to leave.

Leaders that break core values also risk breaking trust. This can lead to downfall in the firm and it can start with a leader straying from core values and losing authenticity.

Even Temperament

Another characteristic of strong leaders is having an even temperament.

Not getting too excited or too depressed during good and bad times provides a peace in the business setting. Others might get high and low when things happen, but it’s the job of the leader to provide a rational outlook on every situation.

Again, people are looking for consistency. They want to trust that you’ll handle a situation with control and having an even temperament is a way you can show others that you’re in control over your emotions.


When leading a business and giving presentations to an audience, you’re dealing with motivation from people on all sides of the equation.

First are your motivations, which often align with the best interests of your firm. There are also motivations of each individual in the audience.

Ideally you want to find the alignment of those motivations to show the audience how the company’s interests align with theirs.

For example, leaders often have to sell an audience on changes for the company. It might be launching a new product or it could be the implementation of a new system.

Your motivation is for the company to remain competitive in the industry.

Those in the audience may resist the change. Remember, we appreciate consistency. We like to feel in control. New products and new systems are a potential threat to the way things currently work.

The leader must align motivations.

In this situation the leader would explain how the new product and the new system would provide new opportunities for growth. It’s a chance for team members to grow personally and professionally as the business strives to achieve new growth.


The best leaders truly care about those in the audience.

You’re not on the stage for your own benefit. You’re there to help others and to make their lives better whether personally or professionally.

People can tell if your care is authentic.

The decisions you make. The points you mention in your presentations all reflect whether you care about yourself or about the good of the team.

Give Your Trust To The Audience

The final step to building trust with an audience is to give your trust to the audience.

If you focus on personal experiences that have led to mistrust you’ll find it difficult to earn the trust of others because they will know that you don’t trust them in return.

It’s cliché to say that “You get what you give” in life, but it’s a very true statement.

Each time you speak think about giving.

Give away information.

Give credit to others for accomplishments.

Give ownership and responsibility.

Show each person in the audience that you trust them and they’ll show you trust in return.

These key steps have worked for leaders I’ve worked with and it’s also worked for me. Knowing you have the trust of others is an empowering thing. It’s leads to confident and satisfying leadership.

Posted in Executive Speaking Skills


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