Naga Chokkanathan

Why Not? – Being An Expert

Posted on: March 5, 2010

Once, a famous writer was asked to speak in front of a huge audience. He immediately asked, ‘How long my lecture will be?’

The organizers responded, ‘1 Hour,’

‘Well, then I would charge 500$ as my Fee.’

‘Oh no, we don’t have that much budget’ said the committee chief, ‘Can you please shorten your talk to 30 Minutes?’

‘Sure. In that case, my fee will be 1000$’

Sounds Strange? Nope, it makes sense when we listen to this advice from Dale Carnegie, world famous writer and lecturer: When speaking on a topic, Make sure you know at least 40 times more than what you say in front of your audience.

This simple one-liner gives us many insights. Mainly, it teaches that an expert should know many things in his/her topic, But if he/she tries to say everything to everybody, it will be an easy shortcut to disaster. No need to prove your expertise by showing ‘quantity’, we all know ‘quality’ is more important than that.

Hence, to create an interest among our audiences, the formula is not to talk more, but less. The more we work on condensing the concepts / ideas and making them simple enough for people to understand, the better they will be received and you will be considered an expert on that topic.

Remember, when you hear simple things that you can easily understand, the speaker (or author) has spent lot of effort in it. That’s what differentiates experts from motivated amateurs.

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