You have to learn good english. If you know how to build a rocket to the moon but only speaks Maithili, then nobody cares
Dear Agony Akka,
I have specialized in my chosen field of psychophysics and have many advanced degrees in this subject. I am now teaching at a university in North India. I have spent many years of my life becoming an expert in the above field and also branched out into its sub-areas like Psychoacoustics, Neural Response and Neurotoxicology etc. I’m a humble man by nature, but I want to let you know that I’ve done two Ph.D. So it is a mystery to me that when the lockdown comes and so many hundreds of Zoom conferences are being held every day, I am not even invited to one as an expert speaker. Even TV panels don’t call me. My wife asks what is the use of so many degrees. And I get a little inferiority complex myself. Please help.
– Scientific, superior person
This is an important question that you have asked, and similar questions are asked by many doctors, scientists, engineers, and diplomats. Why aren’t they invited to speak on the hundreds of forums that bloomed like cacti in the desert sands during the lockdown? From one organization alone, I receive 2-3 notifications a day for online sessions on topics ranging from vegan nutrition and Ray’s cinema to flea powder and foot-and-mouth disease in cattle.
Now I am giving a one-of-a-kind, all-encompassing answer that can be used by anyone who has written to me because they feel deeply neglected.
First of all, the last thing is whether you are an expert or not. First, step onto the Clubhouse and Spaces-type platform where everyone is singing and talking all the time. Also gain a lot of followers on Twitter and Facebook. You’ll also have to try to get a blue tick on Twitter, which is a delightfully moody exercise based not on whether or not you’re a bot, but mostly on some kind of ancient tribal exchange formula. An expert is trying to crack the code and I’ll answer you too.
Second, you need to learn good English. If you know how to build a rocket to the moon but only speaks Maithili, then nobody cares. But if the opposite is the case, i.e. you speak fluent English but don’t know the difference between propellants and pesticides, then you can be invited to many conferences from string theory to string instruments, sometimes on the same day. All you have to do is change the wallpaper.
Third, try to get to New Delhi. It will automatically make you an expert on most subjects and you will be invited to speak about the political crisis in Karnatak or the old water abstraction system in Keral. Remember to wear a slightly faded kurta and hold Masala Vadai in hand while you speak.
Fourth, you can take small steps in public speaking by first submitting a revised resume to television stations. You must not mention your qualifications in the new résumé. You need to measure and share the decibel levels of your voice, the number of tweets per day, and your opinion on Kangana Riot. Once you’ve passed this acid test, you’ll soon be invited to panel discussions that will discuss election results, feminism, Indo-Pakistani relationships, and more.
Fifth and somewhat important point. What is this fun subject you are studying? Does somebody know? Does anyone care? Focus on cinema, cricket, religion. Forget the number of runs Tendulkar has made in this and previous lives. Or write a book on how to hang out with CEOs and how to organize a successful cocktail party. It will make you an instant choice for any talk show.
If you and your wife can do all of these together, both can be invited.