Sure, you’re pretty smart. Your mom even says so.
You have a degree (or two), you work hard, you do and say most of the right things.
But sometimes you’ve got to look the part to be the part.
So here are 11 simple ways every young professional can instantly look a little stronger in the IQ department…
1. Sit Up Straight
Don’t underestimate the power of body language – and posture in particular – to convey the message that you’re confident and in a position of high status. Plus, it will make you look taller, a trait we subconsciously associate with power.
2. Make Eye Contact
You’ll come across as more intelligent if you’re able to maintain eye contact with those you’re conversing with. It shows you’re engaged and able to both take in and process information. Shifts in your eye movement can make you appear unsure or unable to focus.
3. Pay Attention to the News
Don’t get caught in that embarrassing situation when you have absolutely no clue what everyone’s talking about when you really should. Even if you don’t have time to sit down and read a good, old-fashioned newspaper cover to cover, at least have a general idea of what’s making headlines both locally and around the world. It’s as easy as having your local news station on in the background when you get ready in the morning.
4. Learn Random Facts
Educate yourself on random facts and topics that aren’t of common interest. You never know when they may save the day in the conversation department. Plus, you’ll be remembered for your unexpected knowledge on the topic.
5. Use That Filter
Although we all say too much from time to time, the easiest way to avoid saying something stupid is to simply follow the age-old wisdom to think before you speak – especially when it counts. Remember that it’s often better to say nothing at all than to force a conversation and to say the wrong things.
6. Have Quick Answers Ready
Without being overly calculated, have an assortment of no-fail answers ready to commonly asked questions, much like you would a job interview. This can include everything from your favourite author to your favourite film.
7. Ask Questions
The easiest way to take the pressure off of yourself in a conversation is to ask questions. Not to mention, asking the right questions will reveal your level of insight and knowledge.
8. Proofread Your Texts and Emails
Sure, you’re not writing an essay, but don’t think that others don’t notice if you screw up “your” and “you’re” in your text messages and emails. Never doing this will also definitely be noticed.
9. Look the Part
Appearance matters, especially when you’re still making your way up. Look polished and put together, but stylish at the same time. Dark, bold colours make you appear more powerful, as opposed to bright colours and prints.
10. Focus on What You Know
If you find yourself in a lull in the conversation, focus on what you’re an expert in, especially among strangers. This could be anything from your obsession with fashion or documentaries, to award-winning advertising campaigns.
11. Be Confident No Matter What
If you can manage to come across as confident, you will at least appear smart. Confidence isn’t something that comes overnight, but will build as the result of challenging yourself. You’ve got this. And no, cockiness and confidence are not the same. Find the line and hold it.
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