Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Monday, November 27, 2017

Specificity Builds Your Credibility

Filed under: Speaker Tips — Larry James @ 10:30 am
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Patricia Fripp, Guest Author

In the speaking industry, I am known for a phrase: “Specificity builds credibility.” I learned it from one of my colleagues in Silicon Valley, David Palmer. Every day I listen to intelligent, experienced engineers, leaders, experts in every field, and they are sloppy speakers.

If you want to build your credibility, listen to what you say. Record casual conversations, your side of the phone call, and the way you lead meetings, and you will find how often intelligent people use the word stuff. Stuff is debris and rubbish. What do you mean?

In everyday conversation, of course, we do not prepare what we’re going to say, and it is more logical to be non-specific. However, the best and most important conversations and presentations are better if you review and build skills into your everyday language.

The question I ask my clients more than any other is, “Specifically, what do you mean by thing?” I recently listened to an expert. I am a big fan of his expertise on marketing, and for the first hour I listened to every comment he made and every time he said thing, which was about 25, I considered two suggestions of what he probably meant.

The next big offender is tons. You do not get tons of ideas; you get three pages of notes or 16 actionable items. After a networking event I hear people say, “Oh, I met tons of interesting people.” No, you didn’t. You met two dozen interesting people with whom you probably had seven meaningful conversations; two you will follow up for business conversations; and two you are looking forward to seeing socially.

Be specific. Specificity builds your credibility, and the more credibility you have in any position you hold, the more you will succeed.

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Patricia_Fripp.jpgCopyright 2017 by Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE. For additional help with your presentation delivery read: “Sometimes It’s Better Not to Speak,” “Are You Speaking Too Quickly?,” and “Public Speaking – Delivery Strategy.” These are just a few of the many complimentary resources on



Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at:

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