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Are You Credible and Believable?

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How to Create a Commanding Presence – Strategies for Building Charisma and Connection to Communicate Powerfully and Persuasively – (Part 14 of 16)


(…continued from last week)

Being Credible or Being Approachable

A major component of having a powerful presence is having credibility, or approachability and being charismatic. Being credible or being approachable.

You can be credible and believable, or you can be charismatic, approachable and likable. But you cannot use the skills of credibility at the same time you’re using the skills of likability and charisma. If you do people will think you are either lying to them or you’re trying to con them. You can move back and forth between them fairly quickly but you cannot do them at the same time.

One of our US presidents got in trouble with the media again and again because he would have this tough message to deliver, but while he was doing it he was grinning at the camera and acting like a good old boy. It did not work. You need to watch out for that as well.

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On the news the other day I saw a general talking about a war going on in another part of the world. While doing that, there were times when he was pleasant, friendly and smiling with the reporters. But the majority of the time while delivering bad news, his facial expression and the tone of his voice changed. He became much more serious, spoke with authority, kept his face more solemn, more firm voice tones, and more.

Think about a newscaster. When those TV anchors are delivering the news if it’s more upbeat and positive news they change the way that they look. They are more approachable, more likable, more friendly. If they are talking about some bad thing that happened or a disaster that occurred their facial expression, tone of voice, etc. become more serious.

So we are going to talk about two different levels of making credibility and approachability happen. One is by how you speak and the other is by how you use your physiology. Again, you can be credible and believable or you can be charismatic and likable but you do don’t do these skills at the same time together. If you do it creates confusion or distrust in people who are watching you.

Presence & Credibility—Speaking

First, let’s look at credibility in speaking. When someone wants to be more credible they hold their head more still, erect, not moving much, not nodding. There is less inflection to the voice. It isn’t that there isn’t up and down there’s just less inflection.

The voice tones are more straight out, more clipped, more matter of fact tones. On the end of sentences, if you want people to believe you, use a down intonation. Use brief sentences, more clipped, matter of fact tone, less inflection and down intonation on the end.

When you are speaking with someone and you want them to give you credibility you make less listening notices. Credibility is more distant. You are holding people back. You make fewer listening noises.

Presence & Charisma—Speaking

Now on the other hand if you want to be more charismatic in the way you speak, and you want people to like you and go along with you, where the credible person holds their head more still, the approachable person nods their head more. As you’re talking they may be nodding repeatedly.

Have you done that? Think about it. In having a great conversation with someone you were probably bobbing and nodding up and down a lot as you were talking, right? It shows the connection.

There’s more infection in the voice, it’s more up and down. It’s more pauses, it’s more engaging, there’s also an up intonation on the end of the sentences. It’s more friendly, it’s more up, pleasant so to speak.

Normally in speaking when someone is in this approachable mode they tend to lean forward a bit, they make more listening noises, they use the person’s name, they ask questions and they dialogue more.

Practice this, this skill is huge. To be able to do this effectively will give you a presence just with your voice that very people have. This is a masterful skillset to own. Do it, pay attention, use your voice like a professional speaker does.

(to be continued…)


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