There are many labels pinned on us at work, but one of the best is to be called “knowledgeable.”
If you sound knowledgeable, you'll be taken seriously at meetings and elsewhere.
But what exactly does it take to sound knowledgeable? Surprisingly, it's not what many people think.
Those who try to sound like experts often believe they must spew out all they know. So they pack too much information into their comments, or provide dense, fact-rich slides in their PowerPoint presentations.
Once you state your idea, make the depth of your knowledge clear by offering proof points that support your one idea.
These points can be organized in a variety of ways, including Reasons, Ways, Steps in a Process, or a Challenge/Response.
Give your listeners clear signposts as you proceed through your structure. Use tags like “the first reason,” the second reason,” or “The challenge we faced . . .” and “Our response was a collaborative one.”
Ironically, the simpler your words and sentences, the more profound you'll sound. Suppose a colleague reporting on a project says: “The satisfaction of all parameters implicates the completion of the project mandate by Q4.”
Finally, pick the right moments to speak up and share your views.
Someone who is always speaking up to show how smart he (or she) is will sound pompous rather than knowledgeable.
Picking your spots means showing respect for the wisdom others bring. Then you can enter the conversation and build upon what others have said. That's a good example of leadership–and knowledge in action.
Today, with so much data available to all of us, there's a premium on being truly knowledgeable. To earn that mark of distinction, check your facts, distill your information into a key message, provide a clear structure and easily accessible language–and deliver your insights at the appropriate moment.