OK, so you’re not Einstein, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways you can make yourself seem smarter. You don’t need to enroll in a Master’s program or read the entire encyclopedia in order to make people think you’re a genius. By following just a few guidelines, you’ll have people believing that you’ve unlocked the power to use 80 percent of your brain, even if you’ve spent most of your time slowly killing it with alcohol (extra advice: don’t kill your brain.) Check out this list of six ways that you can make yourself seem smarter, without actually being smarter.
Confidence. Just like pretty much everything else in life, the key to seeming smarter in confidence. Even if you actually are smart, muttering to yourself and staring at the floor isn’t going to convince anyone of anything. But if you look people dead in the eye and speak with a little confidence, you’ll be able to convince people that the world is flat, or that Mark Sanchez is a good NFL quarterback.
Be Specific About What You Know. When a topic comes up in conversation, don’t be afraid to show off your level of detailed knowledge. Letting people know that you’re an expert on something is going to raise your Smartness stock in their eyes. Even if you’re an expert on something no one cares about, like “Springy Clothespins vs. the other kind of clothespin,” dive into that conversation head first and let people know that you know what’s up.
Be General About What You Don’t Know. By the same token, when the conversation turns to something about which you have no idea, don’t try to get all fancy and throw in some details. Someone else might actually know what they’re talking about, and when they correct you, you’re going to look like a fool. Instead, stick to really general knowledge. If people are talking about knitting sweaters, just drop in a quick line about how much wool itches you.
Dress The Part. If a genius walked up to you wearing ripped up sweatpants and looking like Jackson from “Bloodsport,” you’d think he was crazy and you probably wouldn’t believe what he had to say. But if an idiot walks up to you looking sharp in a pinstriped suit, you’d hang on his every word. Clothes help make the man and if you want to make yourself seem smarter, you’ve got to yourself some slick threads. Leave the shorts and flip-flops alone and get out your sport coat.
Improve Your Vocabulary. Imagine someone tells a story with a really crazy ending. “Wow,” you say. “That’s indoubtable!” Everyone looks at you, and now you’ve got to do a little dance. “What’d I say? I meant um…indubit…er, unbelievable! Yeah, that’s the word.” It’s impossible to be cool after that, never mind smart. Bust out your old high school vocabulary workbook and bone up on a few of those big words. Dropping one of those into a casual conversation will make people think you’re the second coming of Wordsworth.
Stay Silent. There’s an old saying about this one: “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” Sometimes just staying silent can give off the air off a man who’s smart enough to know when to keep his mouth shut, and doesn’t waste his time flapping his gums about every little thing. That’s the “quiet intelligence,” and it’s a powerful thing.
Follow this list of ways you can make yourself seem smarter, and if you play your cards right, you’ll be getting invited to MENSA meetings and your boss will be throwing promotions at you in no time. You don’t have to all the answers; you only need to make people think you do.