Your audience's response to every message you send depends heavily on their perception of your credibility , a measure of your believability based on how reliable you are and how much trust you evoke in others. With colleagues and long-term customers, you've already established some degree of credibility based on past communication efforts, and these people automatically lean toward accepting each new message from you because you haven't let them down in the past. With audiences who don't know you, however, you need to establish credibility before they'll listen fully to your message. Whether you're working to build credibility with a new audience, to maintain credibility with an existing audience, or even to restore credibility after a mistake, consider emphasizing the following characteristics: Honesty. Demonstrating honesty and integrity will earn you the respect of your colleagues and the trust of everyone you communicate with, even if they don't always agree with or welcome the messages you have to deliver. Objectivity. Audiences appreciate the ability to distance yourself from emotional situations and to look at all sides of an issue. They want to believe that you have their interests in mind, not just your own. Awareness of audience needs. Let your audience know that you understand what's important to them. If you've done a thorough audience analysis, you'll know what your audience cares about and their specific issues and concerns in a particular situation. Credentials, knowledge, and expertise. Every audience wants to be assured that the messages they receive come from people who know what they're talking about. To establish credibility with a new audience, put yourself in their shoes and identify the credentials that would be most important to them. Endorsements. If your audience doesn't know anything about you, you might be able to get assistance from someone they do know and trust. Performance. It's easy to say you can do something, but following through can be much harder. That’s why demonstrating impressive communication skills is not enough; people need to know they can count on you to get the job done. Communication style. If you support your points with evidence that can be confirmed through observation, research, experimentation, or measurement, audience members will recognize that you have the facts, and they'll respect you.