How to Become an Expert on Anything in Two Hours

How to Become an Expert on Anything in Two Hours

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by Gregory Hartley, Maryann Karinch

In almost any field, the ability to connect with others immediately through knowledge of a particular subject area is vital to gaining trust, solidifying relationships, and getting ideas across. Convincing others that you “know what you’re talking about” can help win clients, gain allies, make sales, and much more... but tricks and shortcuts like


In almost any field, the ability to connect with others immediately through knowledge of a particular subject area is vital to gaining trust, solidifying relationships, and getting ideas across. Convincing others that you “know what you’re talking about” can help win clients, gain allies, make sales, and much more... but tricks and shortcuts like peppering conversation with jargon or random facts can seem transparent at best, and often work against your intent.

This field-tested book gives readers a comprehensive process for quickly taking in small amounts of information in a given area and knowing how to use it to convey familiarity. The book enables impression-conscious readers to:
• conduct fast, targeted research
• inject information at exactly the right moments
• read human behavior to determine when others are “buying” one’s expertise
• ask the right types of questions to suggest a knowledge of one’s subject
• terminate the interaction at the right time

This book allows readers to generate amazing rapport with anyone by honing in on the one subject that interests them most: their own area of expertise.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…one-of-a-kind read that is well-written, informative and entertaining…”

Business Ledger

“..really be useful for any type of situation in which you want to take control of the conversation and appear to be a knowledgeable expert…worthwhile reading for virtually anyone.”

— IEEE Electrical Insulation

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Introduction: The Basic How and Why

Why: The Bottom Line

Is it worth your time to become an expert? The prestige and privilege associated with being considered an expert seem clear, but doesn't getting there involve a lot of work?

Yes, it's worth your time. Society rewards experts in all kinds of ways.

No, it doesn't take a lot of work if you adopt the process and strategies we describe in this book.

What you will learn here is an ideal skill set for someone who wants to manage people effectively, as well as anyone who needs to forge strong relationships quickly. A good manager is an expert on everything. That person understands, "I don't have to know what you know or do what you do to ask relevant questions. I need to know just enough to ask good questions that you can't answer, questions that push you to do things that improve your performance." Or if you're a sales professional, the relevant questions you ask make your prospect conclude that you understand the problems she needs to solve.

In my world of interrogation, I use questions and tidbits of information to convince the source that I know enough to be taken seriously and to make him comfortable so that he will talk to me. I create an ally through the way I use information. In some cases, "ally" means nothing more than a common understanding that we're both soldiers and we're both professionals. I don't presume that I'm going to turn the source into a buddy, but I use information to establish common ground. If I know the same things he knows, then maybe I believe the same things he believes. That common ground gives me more credibility with him than if I came in yelling obscenities and threats. I use whatever facts and images I think will constantly remind him that he's part of the same thing that I am: a military outfit, a family, the human race. In this acute situation, I do what is takes—through a combination of planning and preparation and knowledge of human nature—to be an expert in his eyes.

Many military interrogators have no more than a high school diploma, but they must walk into interrogation rooms around the world and ask questions of experts with very little preparation time. In part, the reason the successful ones can carry this off is a basic understanding of language, behavior, and motivation.

This is what the expert/manager does, for example, and the result is the creation of a bond that makes people want to work for him. Alternatively, he could use his corporate stature to boss people around, showing that he's someone who doesn't care about his employees and demonstrating that by not even trying to connect with their subject areas.

Why would a company want to keep managers like that? Think of the damage they can do. Let's say you have a couple of these committed nonexperts running a service business with a force of skilled employees doing installations and repairs on equipment. The payout to them is $1 a minute if you include both salary and benefits, and there are 1,500 people who receive this amount. If each of them spends three minutes a day complaining about their lousy managers, the company loses $4,500 a day, or more than $1 million a year.

Looks to me as though being an expert means job security—for lots of people.

How: You're Human and So Are They

The ability to become an expert in two hours depends first on your knowledge of yourself, and then on your knowledge of human nature. The part of human nature that matters the most is how people perceive themselves and how they relate to others.

What is an expert? Stupid jokes aside, what does "being an expert" mean to you? You must have some description in your head, because it is at the core of why you picked up this book.

We all look for someone who's savvier than we are. It's natural for us to believe that there's someone out there who is smarter, stronger, sexier.

What makes someone who seems smarter, in effect, better than you? Is it your belief that the person has demonstrated more knowledge than you? Or is it something else? In this book, we will help you to answer those questions for yourself and give you a system for developing genuine expertise that has a foundation in human inclinations.

Anyone can pretend to be an expert; in American society, we call people who do this con men. You will not learn how to be a con artist by reading this book. You will learn how to become an expert.

Here's my definition of expert: Think of a complex video game. It wouldn't exist without a skilled programmer, but a 12-year-old aficionado will play it more skillfully than the computer wizard who constructed the line-by-line code. The programmer is the technician; the 12-year-old is the expert. The kid's ability captures the intersection of technology and humanity. This programmer may enter a conversation about the game feeling as though he has the upper hand—until he cannot answer when the 12-year-old asks, "When I pressed these two buttons and moved the joystick, why didn't the guy's head blow off?"

Without question, in order to become an expert, you need to know how to research, what to research, and how to communicate with precision in the time allotted to you. At the same time, your tool kit must include the ability to do the following:

Make a connection. The combination of human connection and value of information imparted is what separates expertise from robotic repetition of facts.

Read your audience. You need to know when someone is buying your information and when he is not.

Rescue yourself from disaster. Tapping into personal interests, asking certain types of questions—there are many rescue techniques that depend on your knowledge of human nature.

Terminate the conversation at the right time. Everyone knows that a half-hour's worth of information delivered in an hour has lots of holes in it.

This book is built on the ability to apply some basic communication tools relied on by first-class interrogators. We will give you those tools and exercises to perfect their use.

In this book, I step you through the process of grasping essentials about human nature, identifying different types of people, assessing to what extent you must plan and prepare for those different types of people, and then presenting yourself as an expert. As a bonus, we give you a solid course on ways out if you find yourself being challenged and put in a corner.

By the way, if you're an idiot, don't try this.

Meet the Author

Gregory Hartley (Atlanta, GA) is a highly decorated former military interrogator. Now an interrogation instructor for both the private and public sectors, he has appeared on ABC News Nightline, CNN, CNBC Squawkbox, NPR, and in The Washington Post, and US Weekly. Maryann Karinch (Estes Park, CO) is the author of ten books. Together, they are the authors of I Can Read You Like a Book and How to Spot a Liar.

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How to Become an Expert on Anything in Two Hours 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just read the samle but it talks about rwliguon more than I anticipated. Well, I hadn't expected any religion under this category.