Anybody striving to become an influential communicator is going to need to built trust.   Trust is crafted in the same way you craft a house.  Over time.  Here are some ways to build trust as a communicator.

How does a communicator lose trust?  Let’s count the ways.

The fastest way to lose trust is for the speaker to have one persona ON stage but a completely different one OFF stage.  Listeners wonder—which is the authentic voice?

Second, the communicator loses trust when he or she fails to prepare to identify a MAIN idea and solid DIRECTION.  A wandering voice that’s adrift will take the listener on a cruise to nowhere.

Third, the communicator loses trust when he is inconsistent and apathetic. Lack of FOCUS and lack of passion create a disconnect that’s hard to recover from.

Other ways to create a connection vacuum include: overwhelming a listener with too much information, setting a bad example in life of the topic you’re addressing, ignoring the influence of Holy Spirit, and coming across as a know it all.

Jesus example of STRONG communicator, in contrast, is one to follow.

In John 17:17, Jesus prays to His Father. “Sanctify them by the truth. Your word is truth.”   Jesus know the Word of God is the guidepost and the beacon to live the fulfilling live that honors God.

Every teacher loves to hear these words, “Right on,” or  “You are speaking words of truth!”

As a communicator, building trust is essential in order to effectively convey your message and connect with your audience in order to make an impact.

Here are some key principles that can help you build trust:

  • Do your homework.  No teacher has to explain to his class how much he has prepared beforehand.  The class will inherently observe how much the teacher studies by how well prepared he or she is.
  • Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15 NASB
  • Speaking from your own voice.  Without coaching, one of the biggest temptation speakers fall into is to copy the style of someone else they respect.  While picking up good speaking habits might be worth consideration, every speaker has a unique voice based upon their own calling, flow, and context.

Ask yourself, What is my calling? And what are my strengths?  “Am I honest and authentic?  Is my message and behavior CONSISTENT or do I vary my message and walk?  Do I live what I teach?

Remember the wild story from the book of Acts where there the sons of the Jewish priest Sceva did not speak with the authority of the Lord. When they tried to remove a demon, without a relationship with Christ, this is what happened:

 But the evil spirit responded and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know of Paul, but who are you?”  And the man in whom was the evil spirit, pounced on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. Acts 19:15-16 NASB.                                                                                                                                                                      

Most speakers who miss the mark will not usually get beaten up afterward, but this is a good reminder that self-reflection is vital before we speak. We need to  look in the mirror to consider, “Who are you and how are you going to connect today with the listener?”

Empty yourself and be filled with the Spirit of Christ.

Jesus emptied Himself and took on the form of a servant. (Philippians 2)

Consider, how can you serve the receiver of the message today the most? Listeners are more apt to receive your words when you speak with true focus, true compassion, and true understanding.

Other ways to build trust include: avoiding overstatements, spending time getting to know your listener during breaks, learning the names of the audience, and getting feedback after the speaking even to learn how to better connect.

Character matters as the speaker stands on his story.  So abide together with your listener keeping a consistent style, rhythm, pace, and flow.

Keep your focus as a speaker so others don’t lose theirs.