Topic#1: Factors that impact a person’s “Authority” level and “Credibility” in communication. What are the implications of authority and credibility in effective communication?
What makes a person seem credible to others?
Competence is a cornerstone of credibility. Being competent in your field goes along with being perceived as credible, you can’t have one without the other. A person can have all the right qualifications and expertise needed to perform his/her intended job but without competence they will never be perceived as credible. (Rowse, 2009).
To be credible, you must have the knowledge as well as the belief that you are knowledgeable. To convince others of your credibility, you must first convince them of your competence. (Rowse, 2009).
Factors that build credibility are defined in Graham Jones’ Credibility Pyramid, this pyramid consists of four factors (Rowse, 2009):
1. Knowledge- it accounts for 10% of the pyramid and is at the bottom or base of the pyramid. This coincides with the fact that in order to appear credible to others, you must also seem or be knowledgeable. 2. Focus- focus accounts for 15% of the pyramid. This is where you have to focus on the information you are relaying in a clear and concise manner and have to choose your words wisely in order to maintain the attention of your audience. 3. Enthusiasm- this accounts for 25% of the pyramid. In order to have your audience’s attention and eventually have them believe in your credibility, you must be enthusiastic in your tone and behavior. 4. Care and Concern- at the very top of the pyramid is care and concern. A speaker must show empathy and compassion towards his audience in order to build his credibility. Care and concern toward an audience can be apparent by the tone of voice, body language and mannerisms used by the speaker. Care and concern accounts for a higher percentage than all the other factors separately and can be the deciding factor in...
References: 1. Rowse, Darren. (2009). How to Build Credibility. Retrieved on 1/10/12, from,
2. Eglene, O., Dawes, S., & Schneider C. (2007). Authority and Leadership Patterns in Public Sector Knowledge Networks. Retrieved on 1/10/12, from,
3. Wathen, C. N., and J. Burkell. 2002. Believe it or not: Factors influencing credibility on the Web. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 53, no. 2:134-144.
4. Marieza, T. (2012). What Are the Implications of Authority & Credibility in Effective Communication? Retrieved on 1/10/12, from,
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