Being smart is not enough to be successful.
Even the smartest person in the world, can stumble upon a conversation unprepared and seem as not the sharpest tool in the shed 🙂
On the other hand, regardless of how intelligent you are, you can make a great impression and seem smart.
The next best thing to being an intelligent person is having people think you’re intelligent.
Fortunately, sounding smarter is a skill that can be taught and practiced. Practice the following techniques to quickly make yourself seem smarter:
1. Project Confidence
One of the most important things you can do is appear confident. If you act like you know what you’re talking about, it’s a lot more likely you’ll be perceived as knowing what you’re talking about.
This means avoiding “blank words” such as “like”, “um”, etc.
Talk slowly, calmly, and think about what you’re going to say before you speak, and you’ll already have a huge head start.
2. Keep a straight posture
Body language is important, as you’ve probably heard it a hundred times. As Peter Drucker points out: “most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said”
Stand (or sit) straight but relaxed. This position will make sure you seem confident and will help your words flow smoothly and easily.
3. Still with me?
You might be giving your best pitch ever, however, if your conversation partner is not listening, is it worth anything? Probably not..
When speaking, make sure you are getting the attention you deserve. In case you see you’re losing attention of your audience, just stop talking for a second and allow your listener to catch up.
4. Know When to Speak
Or in other words, don’t be afraid to keep your mouth shut.. Even if you’re in the middle of a sales pitch.
Allowing your listener to ask questions or even think quietly for a few moments, can do a lot of good to the conversation and will make you seem wise and patient.
5. Pauses help your audience understand you.
Pauses allow you to punctuate your spoken words, giving your listeners clues as to when one phrase, one sentence, or one paragraph ends, and the next begins.
A pause can create also emphasis. For example, a slight pause before you’re about to say something important create suspense. It leads your audience to “hang on your every word.”
6. Get In a Good Last Word
As things start to dial down in a given discussion, you have a good opportunity to be remembered and sound like you know what you’re talking about. Restating the best ideas will make you look smarter and will give you another opportunity to tighten your message and end the conversation with a strong impact.
Lastly, a bonus video.
This video will make you sound brilliant — even if you are literally saying nothing.. Hilarious 🙂