Q: How do experts make it look so effortless?
A: Meticulous preparation
Neil deGrasse Tyson is undoubtedly an expert in his field (astrophysicist). It wouldn’t be remarkable for a subject matter expert like himself to be knowledgeable about his field, but what sets Tyson apart is his ability to communicate what he knows in a way that looks effortless.
But you’d be mistaken to think it doesn’t take tremendous work and preparation to look that effortless. Similar to the pro-athletes that make difficult moves look graceful, there’s a remarkable attention to detail in their preparation. Natural talent only goes so far.
Before Tyson’s first interview with Jon Stewart, he researched how much time would be available to answer questions before being interrupted for comedic value. He worked to keep that time limit when he went on the show so that he could completely deliver his prepared thoughts.
Tyson also studied how many days constituted “current events.” He discovered it was three days, and spent time studying the news stories that fell within that timeframe and were likely to be brought up on the show.
Maybe that’s why he’s been invited back 14 times.
Actionable Question: What’s one area where I’m coasting on natural talent and need to supplement with meticulous preparation?