Superficial knowledge will never take you far. So no matter how badly you wish to continue, change the topic after having made that initial mark. The positive reactions from your audience may tempt you to try your luck ahead, but don’t. The deeper you delve into the conversation, the more vulnerable you become. And sooner or later, something is bound to give in and the mask will come off.
Don’t have it? Fake it! And that goes for everything, including gray matter. Here’s a quick guide on how to forge your intellect quotient in front of others Being well-read and knowledgeable has its perks. It’s easier to impress your boss, hold sway in conversations and charm your dream date. But even if you don’t exactly meet the benchmark, you need not feel inferior to people with the gift of the gab.
While the correct (and longer) way out would be to pull up your socks, brush your knowledge, and improve your skills, the easier way is to make others believe of your non-existent prowess. Here’s how…
Throw in stats
Almost 175 million users log onto Facebook every 24 hours and in a month, upload almost 2.5 billion pictures! Sounds impressive? You bet. It’s definitely more effective than a loose remark such as “A lot of people are on Facebook, eh?” You may not have in-depth knowledge of something, but if you can play the number game well, it’s easier to grab attention. Do a little homework every day and mug up some stats. They will be handy when you need them the most. And the best part — nobody can deny figures leaving no opportunity for a rebuttal.
Don’t discuss for long
Superficial knowledge will never take you far. So no matter how badly you wish to continue, change the topic after having made that initial mark. The positive reactions from your audience may tempt you to try your luck ahead, but don’t. The deeper you delve into the conversation, the more vulnerable you become. And sooner or later, something is bound to give in and the mask will come off. You can only bluff so much, do don’t overdo it. Shorter is better.
Sure. You don’t need to know all aspects of a particular issue. It’s perfectly okay. But an intelligent person is always inquisitive. So ask questions and act as if you are deeply interested to know more about what the other person is talking about. If you don’t find the topic even remotely interesting, blank out in the course of the conversation. There’ll be somebody else doing the talking and in the process, your image will earn some brownie points.
Start off right
Your “factual” statements ought to begin with “As per reports…” or “The latest studies say…” It makes you sound like someone, who reads voraciously. It’s highly unlikely that someone will dig you on the details of those so-called reports. And even if someone does, you can always throw in a local newspaper’s name, or even better, a foreign publication that they rarely get their hands on. Economist, Discovery, or Reader’s Digest, for instance, is a good bet.
Nuances play an important role in tailoring people’s perception of you. And everything plays a part here, from your outfit to your hairstyle. Hence, ensure you get the paraphernalia right. You needn’t go in for a makeover, but small things such as a heavy-read book in the bag, TIME magazine on the rack and witty (stolen? maybe) quotes on Twitter can do the job.
Kill the guilt
When pulling off a sham, drop that guilt factor. It will play havoc with your confidence and there are greater chances of your bluff being called. The fear of being caught off-guard is stressful and you can definitely do without the this-is-not-right voices in your head.
Have one strong area
You may not be as clued in as everyone else, but there will be at least one subject where you are the king and will know more than most other people. Try and veer the conversation to that area and it will be smooth sailing. And no, you aren’t allowed the laxity of not having even ‘one’ strong area.
This one is the simplest. If you have nothing substantial to add to the conversation, shut up. Talking nonsense shows that you are desperate for attention and don’t mind lying to get some. For example, why try talking about fashion when you can’t make out the Manish Aroras from the Malhotras? Instead, nod sagely at those leading the conversation, and chances are, you will be considered a good listener. It’s for instances like these that they say silence is golden.