How do psychologists gain a patient’s trust? In the article, “Use This Formula to Quickly Gain Anyone’s Trust,” Lisa Evans shares four steps gleaned from Wharton School of Business Professor Maurice Schweitzer’s book, Friend or Foe, that can be applied to any professional relationship.
As I read through these steps, I realized these are the elements I help people incorporate into their presentations because they help lower that invisible wall that sometimes separates the speaker from the audience. They invite trust.
When these elements are combined with your authentic voice and artistry, you can inspire others to not only open their hearts and minds to your message, but to act on your recommendations.
Our dog, Scout, trusts us because we have given her reasons to do so. We’ve shown ourselves to be trustworthy through our actions. We can do the same with our audiences! 
What does it take to invite the trust of your audience or listener?
1. Establish credibility. Exhibit your competence. Answer the question — why should I listen to you? As a speaker, you can answer this question in your introduction by sharing some compelling information about the subject, and yourself. In your presentation, you want to immediately address the relevance to your audience and, relatively early on, demonstrate your expertise.
2. Demonstrate warmth. One of my favs and so important. We want to like each other, and warmth goes a long way toward fostering that. Create connection. Smile. Share a kind or humorous comment about getting to the location or who you’ve met along the way. Make eye contact. Be human.
3. Reduce the status difference. Level the playing field. One of the most important things you can do is help your listeners experience you as part of the group. You might have the microphone, or the stage, or the floor, but you’re also part of the group. You might be in charge, but you don’t want to emphasize that power or status.
4. Make yourself vulnerable. Ah, the big enchilada. The thing makes most of us quake in our boots, and the thing that endears us most to our audience. Tell a story about the time you didn’t get the girl in the end, when you had to learn a tough lesson, or when you experienced something embarrassing like having to sing karaoke when you don’t sing. Better yet, sing. Having said that, first establish your credibility or you could come off as a victim, or goofy (and not in a good way:-)).
We all know gaining trust is not as simple as following these steps, but we can open the door. What is simple is setting a genuine intention to share what you know in the best way you can to serve your listeners. These elements support that effort. It always comes down to your intention, and our audiences can detect that in an instant.
As a presenter, inviting your audience to trust you is job number one. You can put your trust in that! 
I’d love to support you to develop trust in your skills so you can engender that trust in others. You can reach me at