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Dynamism of Ethos: Audience Perception in Presentations

As we’ve discussed previously, Ethos is an important pillar of classical rhetoric that focuses on an audience’s perception of a speaker.

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Just like presentations, it can be described as dynamic in nature or a perceived phenomenon. A crowd’s perception is subject to change, even within the confines of one discussion.

Let’s talk about these stages in the chronological order of your credibility’s perception.

Initial Credibility

Your listeners will always have their own idea of who you are based on what they see of you– even before you begin your speech.

Without much to base their opinion on, they’ll use your reputation and credentials as a foundation to judge your speaking competence. They may be in the dark about your personal details and qualifications, but they can still form initial impressions on your credibility.

This can be affected by how you are introduced, how you dress up, how you carry yourself, and how you make use of body language techniques.

An introduction that plays up your achievements and credentials can give a boost to your Ethos.

Similarly, how you dress up and take the stage shows how well-versed you are in social norms and communication practices. If ever you blunder through your start, don’t worry. You still have the next part to get back into your groove.

Transactional Credibility

As you get into the meat of your speech, your audience molds their ideas of you based on how you do as a speaker.

Even subconsciously, they can continuously form additional assessments or modifications of their initial impressions. This can give you a second chance, in case you had fumbled your initial impression.

If you started with a high level of credibility, you’ll lose a lot of it if you come ill-prepared. In turn, a disappointed crowd may feel misled and promptly tune themselves out.

If you had started with a low level of credibility, then this is your opportunity to make up for it with a well-planned and executed presentation.

Being aware of verbal and non-verbal ways give you an edge when changing or improving your listeners’ perception. Staying composed will let you use these techniques when it matters most.

Terminal Credibility

How your audience views your aptitude and mastery as a speaker is the terminal credibility.

Have you experienced being pleasantly surprised at how much you enjoyed a conversation with someone you had previously doubted?

This is how it feels when your opinion of that person zooms from the extreme lows to the extreme highs. Your presentation’s beginning is useless if you don’t end it on a high note. A strong ending makes your message more reliable and improves your initial credibility for your next speaking opportunity.

If you keep this going, you’ll build a reputation to keep audiences hanging on to every word you say.

Conclusion

Knowing the dynamism of Ethos ensures that you can maintain a natural course of improvement towards being a better speaker– whether in the short term or in the long term.

Need a presentation deck to match your speech? Check out our portfolio for inspiration, or contact our slide design experts for a consultation with a free quote.

 

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References

Speaker Credibility.” Changing Minds. Accessed July 10, 2015.
Presentation Ideas from Ancient Greece: Explaining Ethos.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed July 10, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “Man Speaking Into Microphones” by www.audio-luci-store.it on flickr.com

3 Lenses of First Impressions During Business Presentation

The moment you begin speaking, people start building their own opinion of you. This first impression usually answers the questions “Who are you?” and ‘What do you do?”

Answer these questions accurately to ensure that your business presentation always starts off right.

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There are many interesting ways to enhance your audience’s perception of you and your message. In fact, social psychologist, Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson believes that people see you in different lenses: the trust, power, and ego lenses.

We’ve taken these three lenses of a first impression as an inspiration to help you jump-start your business presentation – all the way through to success.

Trust Lens

You don’t want your audience to perceive you as indecisive and unreliable. Draw people to listen to you by building your credibility and demonstrating warmth and competence.

Presentations that are built on trust have a competitive advantage in establishing strong business relationships.

Looking through this lens not only lands you a positive impression but also protects your brand reputation, increases customer loyalty and gains the respect of your competitors.

Power Lens

This impression lens determines your worth to your audience. Since people seek benefits they’ll get from your presentation, ask yourself: “What does my audience need to hear from me?”

Tailoring your message in a way that serves your audience’s needs is ideal for boosting your discussion’s perceived usefulness. Make this your daily mantra to establish a favorable image and to build new networks.

Ego Lens

The ego lens lets your audience reflect on whether you’re proposing competition or an alliance.

Don’t worry if they happen to see you as both friend and foe. Instead, treat it as a strategic way of making your business grow. If they see you as an ally, they’ll see something in you that they need, hence encouraging them to do business with you.

If they see you as a foe, they’ll find strengths you have that they don’t have – which they also need, increasing their perception of you as the unbeatable expert in the industry.

Experiencing a point of distinction proves that you’re bringing valuable professional insights and strategies to your listeners.

Conclusion

Positive impressions make up a big part in influencing your audience and predicting the success of your presentation. Explore these three lenses of first impression to prove yourself worthy of your listeners’ time and attention.

Get their trust to build a strong relationship with them, reassure them that you’re capable of delivering what they need, and that you are the best person or company to approach to solve their needs. Once you pass through each lens, there’ll be nothing that’ll come between you and landing a sales deal with your client.

Once you pass through each lens, there’ll be nothing that’ll come between you and landing a sales deal with your client.

Need help with your business presentation? SlideGenius can help you craft a professional PowerPoint content and design that leverages your brand.

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References

10 Ways to Make a Positive First Impression during Presentations.SlideGenius, Inc. September 10, 2014. Accessed July 7, 2015.
DR. HEIDI GRANT HALVORSONAccessed July 7, 2015.
Presentation Tips: 5 Easy Ways to Establish Your Credibility.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2014. Accessed July 7, 2015.

 

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