Tips to Avoid Expert Blindness

If you’re a top performer or you give 100% to what you do, chances are you have expert blindness and you need to avoid it.

It’s not exactly a life-or-death situation, but it can become disadvantageous when you talk to people who are new to your industry.

Let me explain.

Why do we need to avoid expert blindness?

As a startup founder, you will encounter sector-agnostic investors.

Who are they?

They’re investors who do not focus on a specific industry or sector but instead look at opportunities across all industries or sectors.

This is in contrast to the usual people who only invest within their area of expertise (and they’re right to invest within those parameters for maximum chances of success).

As such, we need to accommodate them if the opportunity we’re offering is new to their palette.

You see, there’s a certain handicap when you are involved in your personal projects from start to finish.

Since you know your output like the back of your hand, what seems obvious to you might not be obvious to others and that creates a certain gap between you and them.

That gap is called “Expert Blindness”

Tips to Avoid Expert Blindness

1 – Use simple language

When communicating with non-experts, use simple and clear language.

The way you can do that is to keep asking the 5 Ws.

What does [jargon] mean?

Why does it work that way?

When will it be useful?

When you have the answer, break it down into even more questions. You’ll soon find that what you thought was simple can’t be understood immediately in the first place.

This helps explain terms that may be unfamiliar to the listener.

2 –  Get feedback from non-experts

Ask for feedback from people who are not experts in your field to ensure that your message is clear and understandable to a broader audience.

Take note of their questions and answer them one by one like what is done with an FAQ section in websites.

3 – Use metaphors and analogies

Use metaphors or analogies to explain complex concepts.

This helps to create a mental picture for the listener and makes it easier to understand.

For example:

“Our app is like a set of car keys when you’re in a crowded parking lot, they automatically notify you where your belongings are”


Avoiding expert blindness is all about clearing obstructions out of your prospect’s path.

The fewer obstacles the road has, the more enticing it appeals to them.

Less friction = smoother exchanges.

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