Some say good presenters can visualize the audience naked, but I say great speakers strip for their audiences.

Great speakers and presenters are not afraid to bare their souls. They strip away all masks and illusions to allow audiences and prospects to see them for who they are. Audiences walk away not only with increased knowledge, but some insight into the presenter as a person.

Whether to sell, educate or inform, every speech or presentation must have a goal, and key to reaching that goal is generating trust. In order to trust us, people must know us, like us and believe we are credible.

Presenting speaks to one of our greatest fears—people may not accept us as we are. It's no wonder so many of us would rather eat glass than speak in front of a group.

Each person has a unique presentation style, and while some elements work well, others do not. Regardless of the presenters' skill, I have found most presenters can increase their likeability, credibility and authority by at least 25 percent by unlocking the “30-second window.”

Within 30 seconds, most of us form an immediate impression and then spend the next 30 minutes justifying our impression. Think back to a person you met on a blind date, first interview or social situation. Did you make a snap judgment as to whether or not you were going to like him or her? Most of us do.

We do it to others, and others do it to us. Most audiences decide whether or not they like us before we utter our first word.

For some, the “30-second window” is a breeze. These rare men and women have naturally high “likeability factors,” a face, smile or presence to which people instantly warm. Most of us, however, have to win audiences over, fast.

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Randy Siegel Randy Siegel coaches executives throughout the country in personal communications skills including presenting, speaking, messaging, interviewing and image enhancement. He can be reached at