Do You want to be an Expert?

Being identified as an expert is easy. It must be easy as we see more and more “experts” being quoted every day on television and social media. Who first called them experts and what did they do to gain that lofty title?

You can earn expert status and maybe make a few dollars by writing a book. Most experts have written a book. You start by picking something in which you wish to claim expertise. Remember, even obscure topics can open the door to a few minutes of fame. Just follow these five simple steps.       

1) Speak authoritatively using terms employed in your claimed field of expertise. Many of these terms will not be understood by your audience but will serve to establish your expertise. For great examples, watch the Weather Channel  “meteorologists” as they use terms like diurnal, katabatic wind, retrograde selected from this handy government generated list:  Finally, they always assign the most alarming name possible to an approaching weather event.

2) If taking a poll, be sure to mask the small sample size you polled by claiming the results are within the 3% margin of error even when you have no idea what that term means. You will never be challenged because those who refer to your poll results don’t understand the term either. Include only those questions whose answers will support the conclusion you sought before the poll was initiated.   

3) If you want to build a model to project a future outcome, create attention by exaggerating the numbers. When your model turns out to be completely wrong, protect yourself and your expert image by having model updates ready to post. Sooner or later one of your models may get close enough to what actually happened and you will have saved your reputation as an expert.

 4) Never answer questions from others concerning your mistaken past results. Protect yourself by using words like may happen as a preface to any reports you issue. You can always explain your failures by reminding critics that you said only that something may happen. Never apologize.

5) Finally, to gain attention as an expert, always emphasize the negatives. Positive outlooks gain no traction in today’s competition for followers who feed on negatives.

Immodestly, I claim to be an expert. I have become an expert at knowing a phony expert when I see one.

About authorbillramsey

During his forty-year professional career, Bill Ramsey wrote magazine articles and business newsletters. Now retired in the mountains of western North Carolina, he writes a blog and has published four books. Bill's 2015 collection of concise, real-life essays is titled "What Do YOU Think?" He has also written "Me Now - Who Next? (The Inspiring Story of a Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery)" and "Now That I Think About It. Bill's books and are available from and on all e-readers. See Follow Bill on Facebook at
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5 Responses to Do You want to be an Expert?

  1. Here’s a great quote that kind of sums it all up: “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.” – Niels Bohr


  2. He should have said “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakesTHAT can be made . . . “ I oughta know; I’m an expert . . . lol. 🙂


  3. There should have been a space before the word “THAT.” Sorry ‘bout that! LOL


  4. . . . and those should be close quotations after the ellipsis.


    • Bill Ramsey says:

      I think you must mean eclipse which happens when the moon blocks the sun. Or is it when the sun blocks the moon? I am not an expert in that field.


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