Just so you know? If you’re an expert in something, you are in danger …

You are in danger of being too smart, too knowledgeable, too experienced, and quite possibly too immersed in your subject matter … and therefore potentially disconnected from your audience’s interests. You are in danger of being boring. Yes, even you.

TMI (too much information) is the scourge of subject matter experts, so beware. Select information judiciously. That a bit of info is interesting and compelling to you is irrelevant. Interesting and compelling are in the eyes of the beholder, your audience. Think about where they’re coming from, what their interests and biases are, and what they might grab onto and remember. If you’re a subject matter expert, you’ve got more than enough information to go around, so be super selective and let what you know about your audience be your guide.

Even just being aware that you could be one of these people – that you might have “the expert problem” – will help you stay out of boring-speaker quicksand!

Beth Levine