How can you say that I'm an expert?
For any given small- to medium-sized group of people (up to, say, 100), it is highly likely that each of the members of that group will know more about some particular topic or have more skill or experience in a particular field than everyone else in the group. That makes each person in the group an expert.
"But," I hear you protest, "everyone in this room is in the same industry. How can each of us know more than everyone else?"
Professions and hobbies are two good sources of expertise
For starters, you most likely have subspecialties that differentiate you from your peers. Take stock of the exact kinds of work you've done during your career, and you'll possibly find several areas regarding which you have uniquely specialized knowledge or skill.
Many people have hobbies, some of which, while not completely unknown, could be considered uncommon. As an example, I used to collect lapel pins produced by the Hard Rock Café restaurants and Hotels. Given a global population of HRC collectors in the 3-5,000 range, odds are very good that I could be the expert in a crowd of many thousands.
Community involvement is another area in which you can be the expert
Are you affiliated with any community organizations? In spite of the fact that there are over 12,000 Toastmasters Clubs worldwide, as a member for more than eleven years I could easily be the expert in a room of hundreds, even here in Orange County, California, the birthplace of Toastmasters.
Here's a tiny sample of other non-work-related groups which could confer upon you the title of "Local Expert:"
- Homeless and battered women's shelters
- Gardening clubs
- Choral and orchestral groups
- Community activist organizations
- Parent-Teacher organizations
- Photography clubs
- Youth sports organizations
Get out a pen and paper (or your computer), do a little homework and narrow in on what you know really well (and have a passion for!) that not everyone around you might. I guarantee you'll find that you, yes, you, are an expert.