Are You an Expert or a Know-It-All?

Are You an Expert or a Know-It-All?

How I discovered there is a magic formula

I am mesmerized by how others are creating, building and marketing their businesses. These businesses can be providing a service, manufacturing a product or selling a skill which is great, but one question keeps popping up as read the articles, browse the websites, open the emails… what makes you an expert?

Whether it’s age, passion or direct experience, at some point many of us realize we have something to share with the rest of the world. There are countless ways to share these thoughts, ideas, lessons and experiences (coaching, consulting, blogging, advising, videos, social media posts, etc.). But that’s only part of the story. Any combination of these items can get your message out, but how do you get your message across?  Getting your message across is in the delivery. I’m not talking about the actual delivery vehicle; I’m talking about the intonation, presentation and word selection, as well as timing and frequency, too. The more I thought about it, I realized that the combination of these two components (out & across) in the proper measures can equal huge success or huge failure. It’s like a recipe. What’s the right combination so that we are perceived as a caring expert and not a callous know-it-all?

I consulted a tried and true resource, Merriam-Webster.com. According to them an EXPERT is one having, involving or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience. PERFECT! That means yes, in fact, many of us are experts. So what?  I qualify, but how do I proceed? What’s stopping me (and many of us) from turning our experiences and skills into a business? For me it was lack of self-confidence (are people really going to listen to what I have to say? Does what I have to say have value to others?). An “A-HA” moment that made me realize yes, they would, so then I wondered, how do I do this without appearing self- centered and self- promoting? That’s when I recognized that it’s in the delivery. While I want to engage with others as an authority, I was concerned about how I would be perceived; I don’t want to be seen as a know-it-all.

So, I went back to Merriam-Webster.com for additional perspective. A KNOW-IT-ALL is one who claims to know everything; also: one who disdains advice. So, yes, in fact, delivery is a defining factor, but there is a third factor: receptive behavior. Receptive behavior from your audience and yourself. You must be willing to listen to others’ thoughts on your assistance, and how you get it across. This feedback presents two choices: stay the same or change. The magic happens when you find the audience who is receptive to your out and your across.

Knowledge + Delivery + Reception =

audience engagement

Or as my friend, Liz Gregory, M.A. said

Knowledge + Delivery + Reception = audience engagement