How to appear smarter

Story: Antara Bose

Sometimes we get caught in discussions that just aren’t our forte. Or maybe we just aren’t in our element at that particular time. Sleep deprivation could also be a hurdle. But nobody wants to leave a bad impression, right?  So, if you want to come across as someone smart, here are a few tricks that don’t require you to read every book in the library. 

  1. Use a fancy word – That specifically means it should not be a line full of ‘never-heard-before-words’.  It’s impossible to keep that up all through the conversation. Use one every now and then, and it’ll give your listener a cue that you have a good grasp over your vocabulary. At the same time, make sure you are still clear about what you are trying to put across – don’t lose yourself in the attempt to sound smarter. On another note, the more difficult words you learn (and make a conscious attempt to keep using), the more you will actually better your command over the language. Eventually, you don’t have to try that hard.
  2. Appreciate – No one is going to appreciate your smartness if you come across as stubborn, rude, and arrogant. When in a discussion, appreciate others’ viewpoints if you do agree. If you don’t, however, know how to counter politely without offending the person.
  3. Smile – By that, we do not mean plaster a grin on your face. Instead, sport a genuine subtle smile. Even if you’re not actively involved in a discussion (because, hey, geopolitics might not be your area of expertise), you’ll come across as someone who understands what is being spoken about. A gentle nod every once in a while also does the trick.
  4. Make eye contact – Look people in the eye while making a conversation. You’ll come across as someone who has a strong opinion (and is probably right), so the chances of people charging at you with a rebuttal are slightly lesser.

5. Don’t be shy to express – If you have an opinion, formulate your theory well and don’t show any hesitation when you’re putting it out there. Speak with conviction.