You don't need to be an expert to go on stage

This is a crosspost from our blog

I’ve heard many reasons why people don’t want to speak. The most popular are:

  • “I don’t have anything to tell”
  • “I’m not an expert in this topic”
  • “I don’t know anything special”
  • or other variants.

People tend to think that the only way to talk is to be an expert or specialist in something. While it’s true that we like talks by experts in their fields because of deep insights and new knowledge, there’re many other types of talks.

Tara Sophia Mohr from Adobe wrote a great post about identities

She argues that one shouldn’t be an expert in the field in order to speak. Though talks by experts are the most popular on Tech Conferences, people often feel that such talks weren’t practical enough for them or too abstract.

She suggests three other Identities:

  • Survivor
  • The called
  • Cross trainer

I prepared a simple sketch for you:

Other identities I have in mind and see often on stage:

  • teacher. These people want to learn something new and think that the best way to learn is to teach somebody else. It’s quite popular in the world of podcasts.
  • journalist. Many different sources, links between them. Unexpected connections.

Please suggest more in comments!

Sometimes the only thing you need to be a good speaker is a passion and some time to prepare your talk.