Whenever you speak in front of people you don’t know, there’s one unchanging ritual that occurs: the audience wonders if it can trust you. In this quest, the elements of non-verbal communication have a huge impact because if words allow us to grasp the remarks, the attitude allows us to understand the speaker. Hence, the trust that we will have in you as a speaker will be intimately linked to the consistency between your attitude and your words. Unconsciously or not, your audience will deduce what your level of mastery, sincerity and commitment is.
Mastery. It obviously depends on your knowledge and your ability to formulate the subject that drives you, in a clear and appropriate manner. But the legitimacy you give yourself is crucial. Because, if you don’t trust yourself, your audience will legitimately question whether it should trust you. So, be careful, your level of self-confidence is in fact very easy to deduce from your non-verbal language.
Sincerity. Of course it’s always easier to be sincere when speaking with conviction. But we don’t always have a choice and sometimes we have to pretend. Fortunately, sincerity is not truthfulness; it’s only an appearance. Being an actor is a concrete example. An actor makes his character exist thanks to the sincerity of his performance, putting his entire body and voice into his role. The character exists in equal parts thanks to the actor’s attitude as well as to the text coming out of his mouth.
Commitment. Expressing your motivation and enthusiasm is essential in getting your audience to adhere to your ideas, and making it want to follow you. Commitment is often expressed verbally but it is also something you have to fully live if you want your audience to share your enthusiasm. Speakers who have a strong aura are also those who are able to give meaning to their presence without necessarily needing to verbalize.
The audience needs these three dimensions to grant their complete trust and to nourish the idea that the speaker knows what he is talking about, that he says what he thinks and, more importantly, he does what he says.