I see a lot of experts intoning a suggestion to be a successful public speaker: do not assume they are “into” your expertise; rather, be attuned to your audience’s needs.

Obvious (at least to me)!

I always review the LinkedIn profiles of my session attendees to glean common areas for improvement that I weave into my talks to “speak” to their needs.

Likewise, don’t expect a reader of your LinkedIn profile to want to read, or even care about, your list of marvelous accomplishments, from your POV. They’re not that into you.

What will work better?

My top 5 ways of demonstrating your expertise, using others’ words and gestures, rather than merely your own:

  1. Accumulate LinkedIn recommendations from colleagues, vendors, and clients in stories. Let the writer tell how well you do your “why.”
  2. Don’t go over- or under-board in the number of recommendations you show. My Halpert 2% Rule really works.
  3. Accumulate, refresh, and rotate quotes from others about how well you do what you do and weave them into your LinkedIn profile, especially your About and Experience sections. Now it’s not just you, but others telling “why you” as well.
  4. Be sure skills endorsers are knowledgeable of your capabilities; you never know who knows whom and could casually ask them how they have seen you skillful at something they need.
  5. Demonstrate superior thought leadership in everything you post. Add observations from your lens to others’ articles that you curate and share. Add your own unique fresh perspective and cite appreciation for your muse, or mention where inspiration came for a LinkedIn post or article.
  6. BONUS: Be a mensch in applauding connections on work anniversaries, promotions, or achievements–in words–and why this is meaningful to others.

Easy to do, now you know.

Harder but not impossible: include these in your daily branding process.

The long goal: appear bigger than life in ways that do not come across as ego-centered; rather, be more real, surrounded by an entourage of supporters who want you to succeed.

Some advice, for the new year fresh slate we have before us.