Ways to appear smarter. It sounds like a method to bluff your way through life. That is not what this means at all. Truthfully, most people have their intelligence underestimated most of the time. While this can be an advantage in some situations, such as negotiations and other contentious exchanges, it is a distinct disadvantage in most cases. Showcasing your intelligence is important and the vehicle for this is usually conversation. Here are 5 ways that you can use conversation to appear more intelligent.
1. Read. Wait a minute, you said we were going to talk about conversation. Aye, that I did and reading is an awesome way to improve your conversation skills. I am not talking about reading stuffy, boring stuff either. Read what you enjoy. Read instead of watching television. Read anything that you can find. Why? Well, for one, it gives you something to talk about intelligently. I immediately perk up when I hear, “I read this thing the other day and it said…” Secondly, it exposes you to ideas that you might not normally see. Often, our circle of people is very similar to us, so we spend a lot of time regurgitating the same ideas over and over. Reading throws new wood on the fire.
2. Refrain from using “um” and “ah”. This is the bane of my existence. I have a terrible time with this because, for some reason, I think that every second of conversation time must be filled with my voice. When I make the conscious effort not to use these filler sounds, I find that people pay far more attention to what I am saying. I have also found that I pay more attention to people when they don’t use these filler sounds.
3. Actually listen to the other person in the conversation. I know that this sounds cliché, but most people listen to respond. That is, people listen while trying to better understand why they say what they say and why they feel like they feel. By listening in this manner, you can respond to the other person’s concerns, which makes you appear more in tune with the conversation and the other speaker.
4. Speak (reasonably) slowly. We often want to get all of our words out at one time. We want the other person to understand exactly what we think and feel, and we want to do it all at once. This is not the best way to communicate, but we often think that everyone will understand our rapid, incessant ramblings. It never works out for the best and often requires a lot of explaining.
5. Use expressive words. This is my personal favorite. When my daughter was a little slip of a girl, everything was “good”. I explained that there were hundreds of words that meant varying degrees of good and gave her a boatload of examples. Her next response was “VERY good.” The English language is expansive for the very reason of being as precise as possible. I am not suggesting that people attempt to use all the hundreds of variations of “good”, but circulating five to ten in your conversation will make you appear more intelligent.