Credibility is vital for communication. It determines the trustworthiness and impact of a message. Audiences should feel the information they receive is accurate and well-researched. The informer should appear both knowledgeable and passionate. Only then will people take an interest in, and be motivated by, the topic at hand. Reversely, without credibility a speaker looks foolish or dishonest, damaging his or her own reputation and portraying their message in a negative light.
In the end, credibility comes down to people’s individual perceptions of someone else. However, there are many ways to establish credibility and gain respect from others. It is important to take into consideration an audience’s values and biases. Recognize the societal and cultural norms of different settings. Also, abide by the standards of the means of communication used. Then communicate accordingly.
Much thought and effort go into setting oneself and one’s message up for success. But it allows people to take issues seriously and recognize the validity of new perspectives. Credibility is an essential component of effective communication because it fosters integrity and responsibility.
Take it from someone who was in the business of mass communication for a living. Ed Murrow was a well-known American broadcast journalist. Addressing the subject of credibility, he stated, “To be persuasive, we must be believable. To be believable, we must be credible. To be credible, we must be truthful.”