I was surprised to be asked at a networking meeting, “what do you mean by ‘expert’?” I hadn’t been asked that question before. My answer was, and I stick by it: Someone who has information in an area that is of interest to others and is able to express that information.
Note that I’m not including highly skilled people in this category. We can’t include people who, may be brilliant at doing unless they’re brilliant at explaining what they do to. To be our kind of expert, the expertise needs to be conscious. There needs to be a understanding of the subject rather than just the craftsmanship. If someone is brilliant at tennis then they are exactly that, brilliant at tennis and they probably win a lot of matches. They are not nessesarily an ‘expert tennis player’ – that’s something different. The expert tennis player may not win a lot of matches, but does know a lot about tennis.
I imagine you’re pretty good at what you do. To become the expert that can write the book on that expertise you need to be able to think about what you do in a different way. You need to be able to step out of the ‘doing’ and see the holistic big picture. It might not be easy. Which bits of what you do should you include? Which bits are so obvious they can be left out?
This is why you should be using some of the elements of storytelling to create our expertise material. Sometimes the reader needs the how, the why, the detail and the backstory but sometimes they just want to cut to the chase, get involved in he drama and delight in the thrill of the plot.
Putting your expertise across is a journey you will take your readers on. We need to make sure it’s an interesting and worthwhile journey that gets them from where they are to where they need to be in the most exciting and compelling way.
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