Like everyone, appearing smart during meetings is my top priority. This can be difficult if you start daydreaming about your next vacation, your next nap, or bacon. When this happens, it’s good to have some fallback tricks to fall back on.
Here are my 10 favourite tricks for quickly appearing smart during meetings.
Watch the trailer below for ‘What Women Want’, where Helen Hunt knows how to command a meeting. Post continues after video.
1. Draw a Venn diagram
Getting up and drawing a Venn diagram is a great way to appear smart. It doesn’t matter if your Venn diagram is wildly inaccurate, in fact, the more inaccurate the better. Even before you’ve put that marker down, your colleagues will begin fighting about what exactly the labels should be and how big the circles should be, etc. At this point, you can slink into your chair and go back to playing Candy Crush on your phone.
2. Translate percentage metrics into fractions
If someone says “About 25 per cent of all users click on this button,” quickly chime in with, “So about 1 in 4,” and make a note of it. Everyone will nod their head in agreement, secretly impressed and envious of your quick math skills.
3. Encourage everyone to “take a step back”
There comes a point in most meetings where everyone is chiming in, except you. Opinions and data and milestones are being thrown around and you don’t know your CTA from your OTA. This is a great point to go, “Guys, guys, guys, can we take a step back here?”
Everyone will turn their heads toward you, amazed at your ability to silence the fray. Follow it up with a quick, “What problem are we really trying to solve?” and, boom! You’ve bought yourself another hour of looking smart.