Do You Own Your Expertise?

Do you consider yourself an expert? Whether in your career, business or as a volunteer/hobbiest?

I have always shied away from the word “expert”.

Then I attended the core seminar offered by The Op Ed Project, an organization on a mission to bring more women’s voices into thought leadership and Op Ed writing.

Op Ed Project Boston

Op Ed Project Boston

We spent the first part of the day establishing our expertise. They asked us to introduce ourselves in the following way:

Hello my name is (First Name, Last Name)
I am an expert in (insert your expertise)
Because (briefly explain why you are the expert)

(Note: this was not an exercise in creating an elevator pitch. I’ll never actually introduce myself as an “expert”.)

It was at once uncomfortable and exhilarating. Many of us had a hard time calling ourselves experts. And yet the level of accomplishment and ambition in that room was awe inspiring. PhDs, Harvard educated, Executive Directors of non-profits, Educators, lawyers, published writers. Women who all in their own way wanted to make a bigger difference through their words.

I left with a new appreciation of what it means to be an expert.

Expertise comes in many forms including education, personal experience, work experience, published articles, books or papers, winning awards to name a few.

To become a thought leader you must first establish, at least with yourself, your expertise on the topic.

If you don’t believe you’re the one to write the article or teach the class, how do you expect other people to believe you?

Thanks to the The Op Ed Project, I own my expertise:

To help business owners and leaders speak with confidence so they can achieve more in their business.

Why am I the expert?

  • Personal Experience: In 6th grade I won the quietest girl award, today I make a living speaking and writing.
  • I’ve won speech contests.
  • I’m a Co-Founder, past president and current member of Hanover Toastmasters.  Toastmasters District Officer, teach the Toastmasters youth program in a local high school.
  • In 2011 South Shore Stars honored me as a 40 Under 40 Emerging leader
  • Helped hundreds of people strengthen their presentation skills through workshops, articles, speaking engagements and 1:1 services
  • Quoted in local and international publications as a leader, business owner and introvert who learned to speak with confidence
  • Became a Boston Globe correspondent through my social media activity (writing is a form of “speaking up”)

Confident public speaking skills creates a competitive advantage.

You develop more productive relationships, separate yourself from competition, help more people, generate more sales and leads and make a bigger impact when you can speak and communicate with confidence. Quiet comes with far more consequences.

If you or someone you know wants to create that competitive advantage and get ahead by strengthening their public speaking and presentation skills, send them this way. I look forward to sharing stories and strategies that help accelerate your success.

Learn more about The Op Ed Project

The next core seminar in Boston scheduled for June 21. If you have an opinion or information to share with a broader audience, I highly recommend this workshop. Thanks to the program I’m now working on my first Op Ed.

Your Turn

What is your expertise? Do you own your expert status? How do you share it with the world?

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About Stacey:

Hi and welcome to the Brave Communicator blog where I write about communication as the path to well-being, trust, and influence.

I share insights, observations and interviews with brave communicators. I invite you to take a look around and bravely join the conversation. Learn more
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