If you live in the United States, you already know that public trust is at an all-time low. Social media is littered with fake news and personal opinions treated as fact.
In the wake of this mess, even businesses that try to stay out of politics have lost consumer trust through no fault of their own. People treat companies large and small with suspicion, wondering whether a political agenda or mistruth lies behind every message and presentation.
According to the new 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, institutional trust (of the government, the media, and businesses) is down 37 percent in the United States this year, worse than any other country. Despite this, one group of people has not only survived the trust purge, but flourished: experts.
From CEOs to professional journalists to industry specialists, trust in experts is at an all-time high. People want to turn to others who provide a measure of calm in an uncertain world. An energy company that publishes a press release on a new business venture might be treated with suspicion, but if an environmental expert praises the move, those with environmental concerns will feel more comfortable.
What makes an expert, though?
It’s not the qualifications or accolades — it’s the ability of the person to engage an audience in open, honest dialogue. The people who tell the best stories are treated as the most prominent experts.
Consider Gary Vaynerchuk, famous for his storytelling pizazz and engaging seminars. People listen to him because he talks like someone who knows what he’s talking about. If he came off as meek, uninformed, or rambling, no one would care what he had to say.
Think about the last presentation you gave, or the last meeting you held. Did people see you as an expert, and pay attention? Or did bulky slides and an uncertain story prevent you from demonstrating your knowledge effectively?
Whether in sales or internal operations, expertise means everything. No matter how deep your knowledge, however, the first step to becoming an expert is to present like one.
REX CASTLE is a co-founder at friendsTED. He has over 3 decades of human resources, training, public speaking and slide design experience. He also has published 3 books:
- Selecting the Brass Ring: How to hire really happy, really smart people (and pay them really well)(the complete work),
- Why not WOW? Reaching for the spectacular presentation, and a parable of his complete work,
- The Brass Ring: How to hire really happy really smart people (and pay them really well).
His passion is working with organizations to increase ROI through creative and replicable models for everything from hiring to leadership to presentation. He is a strategic thinker, thought provoking facilitator and exceptional business partner.
Rex is employed in the technology industry where he is responsible for social media, online help systems, online training systems and assisting the sales professionals in their presentations and slide design. He also has years and years of experience in the manufacturing and finance industries. He is well-traveled and has lived in numerous areas across the United States, but calls Lubbock home and spends most of his spare time with his first grandchild, reading, and enjoys woodworking.