10 Easy Tricks To Make You Appear Super Smart
How to Act Smart In Front of Your Friends
We all want our friends to value our opinions and be impressed by our intelligence. If you’re struggling to be at your smartest when you’re hanging out with friends, the are some easy changes you can make. By following a few guidelines for speaking effectively and using body language to your advantage, you can appear smarter and more confident to others.
Use big words sparingly.You may be tempted to study up on your vocabulary to impress people. But spouting too many big words can make you seem pretentious. Use words you’re already familiar with so that your vocabulary doesn’t sound forced. And wait for the right moment to use the big, impressive ones.
- For example, instead of randomly saying, “My backpack is capacious!” wait until a friend brings up how big or roomy your backpack is.
- If you want to have better vocab words at the ready, subscribe to a daily word-a-day email or install an app on your phone that teaches you a new word each day.
Speak expressively.People appear smarter when they’re speaking with emotion. Rather than trying to sound monotone or aloof, get excited. Speak a little faster than you normally would and use as few pauses as possible. Change the volume of your voice a few times while you’re talking, by starting loud, then lowering your voice, and then getting loud again. This makes you seem energetic and confident.
- Talking more energetically will also make you more interesting to listen to. If you talk with a dull, emotionless voice, people may tune you out, including anything you have to say.
Let someone else talk.If you find yourself talking over others or interrupting people, scale back a little and let others speak. People who need to dominate conversations look insecure, so make sure you regularly pause to ask someone a question. Take deep breaths to regain control of yourself, and take this opportunity to listen to and consider your friend’s point of view.
- If you've been talking for a while, consider taking a break and give someone else to say something. For example, take a breath after giving a long opinion or explanation.
Research the topics your friends talk about.Maybe your friends are into politics, or maybe they’re more into entertainment news. Educate yourself on whatever it is that interests them. Browse Wikipedia to get a general overview of the topic, then delve further into online articles about different points of view.
- For example, if climate change comes up in conversation, talk about a new environmental bill that’s been introduced by lawmakers.
- If your friends talk about movies and famous actors, look for reviews of new releases. Pick an actor you know they like and visit their IMDB page online to learn more about them.
Stay up to date on the news.Make it a daily habit to watch the news on TV, listen to a news podcast, or skim headlines on a news website. Sign up for a daily news summary email, or set up a Google news alert for whatever topics your friends like to talk about. That way you’ll always know the latest information and you can be informed enough to start the conversation.
- Look for reliable, unbiased news sources like BBC or NPR to be sure you’re getting the best information.
Admit what you don’t know.Nobody likes a know-it-all, especially if that person clearly doesn’t know it all. If a question comes up that you truly don’t know the answer to, admit that you’re not sure. This will make you seem self-aware and honest – marks of an intelligent person.
- Follow up your admission with a promise to find out the answer. You could look it up on your phone right away, or do some research later. This sends the message that you’re curious and interested in learning.
Using Body Language
Look people in the eye.Eye contact can make you seem more confident, and confidence makes you seem intelligent. Rather than looking at your hands while talking, look someone in the eye during a conversation.
- If you’re in a group, try to make eye contact with each person as you’re speaking so that you seem equally comfortable with each person.
- Avoid staring at people, as this can appear unsettling. Remember to blink and don't be afraid to shift your gaze to something else from time to time.
Sit up straight.Good posture is another quality that makes people think you’re confident. Rather than slouching in your seat, sit up straight so you look interested in the conversation. Try uncrossing your legs and arms to seem more open and approachable as well.
- If you appear closed off, people may not want to talk to you, and then you can’t prove how smart you are.
Smile at your friends.Smiling shows that you’re at ease with people and that you don’t doubt yourself. Even if you’re not sure if what you’re saying is smart, interesting, or even correct, say it with a smile. People will likely still be drawn to you and think you know what you’re talking about.
- This doesn't mean that you have to walk around with a wide, fake grin like a Barbie; keep your smile natural.
- Keep the situation in mind, as a smile may not be appropriate. For example, if you find yourself in a very serious situation where sensitive subjects are involved, don't smile.
Dress modestly.The more skin you show, the more people will be thinking about your body rather than what you have to say. Dress in a preppy fashion to make the best impression of intelligence. Try a sweater layered over a button-up shirt, and pair it with well-fitting jeans and clean, comfortable sneakers or ballet flats.
- Keep your appearance neat and clean. A wrinkled, button-up shirt and dirty slacks won't lend you a smart appearance.
Wear glasses.Don’t go out of your way to add glasses to your wardrobe if you have no need of them. But if you normally wear contacts, or you have glasses for reading, opt to wear your glasses more often. People associate glasses with intelligence, so this is one of the quickest ways to look a little bit smarter.
- While you can certainly buy "fashion" glasses with non-prescriptive lenses, wearing them may make it seem as though you are trying too hard.
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