I have to admit there have been several times in my life where I could have used some ideas on how to appear smarter than I really am, or at least was at the time. Business meetings can be a nightmare if you’re not a type-A with the most extreme confidence in everything that comes out of your mouth. It can be hard to get past a lack of confidence or knowledge.
The tips listed below might just work for someone out there who wants to learn how to appear smarter in their business and other professional encounters. The graphic mentions regular office folk in conversations with engineers, but the advice can apply to almost any situation where you want to look smarter:
Quite honestly, I find some of the tips listed in the infographic somewhat outlandish. However, I can distinctly remember in the past seeing some of these used by people who obviously had no clue what was going on around them!
So, all or most of us would love to find an simple way to look smarter. Heck, I’d love to find a hard way to actually BE smarter than I really am!
Again, I posted this graphic as much for the comic relief it would offer many of you, as I did as a genuine attempt to make this advice accessible for the unfortunate who aren’t smart enough (yuk, yuk!) to figure them out on their own. But, just for the heck of it, I’ll quickly share my thoughts on each and if you have the time, feel free to share your opinions in the comments:
- Venn diagram: OMG! Dunno how this could make you look any smarter, unless you are in fact the smartest person in a room full of clueless folks who don’t actually know what it’s supposed to represent. Your mileage may vary though, give it a go.
- Translate percentages into fractions: Ivan offered this advice a year ago and I have to agree this really has a lot of promise. Fact is, this is nothing more than reiterating what you’ve heard, which is one of the things we all look for in people when we’re trying to relay a point.
- Encourage everyone take a step back: This could be really helpful, or just really put the stamp on the fact that you’re a lost little bird who can’t find their home. If someone disagrees with your disruption, all eyes are going to fall on the fact that you can’t keep up.
- Nod continuously while taking notes: Hey, it worked in high school and college — who am I to hate on this age-old method?
- Repeat the last thing said — really slowly: This one might make you look smarter. At the very least, repeating what you just heard really slowly might, in fact, make you get the point that’s being shared!
- Ask “will this scale no matter what”: I guess this could make someone look smarter — have you ever used it successfully?
- Pace around the room: I dunno about this advice. Eventually, you’re gonna have to back that swagger with some actual intelligible thoughts.
- Ask the presenter to go back a slide: Implies you’re in a meeting where slides are being shared. You’ll still have to justify your request. I’m not sure saying you can’t make sense of what you’re seeing will make you look smart in most common situations!
- Step out for a very important phone call: If you can get away with having your phone turned on, at least maybe you can step out and try to figure out what the heck people are talking about?
- Make fun of yourself: I like this one best, so the creator of the graphic saved the best and perhaps most important advice for last. If you’re willing to poke fun at yourself or have the ability to make people laugh, you automatically become smarter-looking than you perhaps really are.
If all else fails, make sure you never go anywhere without a trust pair of glasses. I’m shocked this one didn’t make it into the graphic.
Share your thoughts…
Main Image Credit: Luminitsa/Flickr