What to do if you don’t believe you’re the expert
I’m not the expert on the topic. How should I present myself to this audience?
Okay, so you’re not Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking.
No one expects you to be the world’s greatest expert on the topic – unless you described yourself as such in your self-promotional messages. I recommend that you don’t do that even if you think you walk on water.
Let’s assume that you didn’t misrepresent yourself. You’ve been asked to deliver a report or presentation on a topic of interest to your audience.
Your audience must believe that you are credible before they will listen to you or believe you. It’s important that you believe you are the right person to speak to this audience at this time about this topic. You must believe in yourself. You must also know your limitations.
Don’t lie. Don’t claim false status. Simply present your message based on your experience, perspective and opinion. Be clear about which forms the basis for your points.
You can be both effective and honest with these phrases:
• Here’s what I know
• Here’s what I’ve experienced
• Here’s what I believe
When challenged, admit what you don’t know or haven’t experienced. Don’t dwell on the lack. Instead build upon what you do know and have experienced.
• What experts did you talk to?
• What studies did you read?
• What anecdotal reports did you collect?
• What patterns have you noticed?
• What analyses have you conducted?
If you’re not the expert then present yourself as the reporter or interpreter of experts.George Torok was a shy student who learned how to speak in public. He has delivered over 1,000 professional presentations. He trains professionals, specialists and sales teams to deliver Superior Presentations. He coaches executives and leaders to deliver million dollar presentations. Visit www.SpeechCoachforExecutives.com or www.Torok.com © George Torok. You may reprint or quote this information as long as you quote the source and link back to this site. www.QuestionsAboutPublicSpeaking.com