How to Appear Smart (7 Simple Ways)

The “Genius Grant” this year left a couple dozen smart people $620,000 richer just for being brainy! Having a high IQ in this day and age can get you places. Now, we may not all have the opportunity to be labeled a genius but it is nice when others think we kind of know what we are talking about.

It’s no fun to be sitting around a table with friends and everyone pointing out that you don’t know something. My friends would get on my case because I would not know the latest popular song because I didn’t always feel like listening to the radio. I would always feel a bit embarrassed but I learned to shrug it off. I also learned some tricks to appear smarter in a conversation so that I could at least hold some intellectual topics over their heads! So let’s take a moment and see if we can’t look just a bit smarter and save some embarrassment. Here are 7 tricks to appearing like a smart person:

1.  Hide Your Cell Phone Under the Table

If we need to know anything, all we have to do is look at our phones. When we get into debates with our friends about who won the 1976 World Series the debate is over as fast as you can say Google. I once asked my friend how to spell “Bureau” and my friend said G-O-O-G-L-E. Basically, he was saying, “Why would I ask him to spell a complicated word when there is Google?” So if we want to look smart, it is as easy as looking up things on our phones. It’s not us that has to be smart! They is a reason they are called “Smart” phones!

Remember, We have to search under the table because if we search in front of people then that would just show them that our phone is smart. We want other people to think that we are smart! So when someone starts talking about something you have no idea what they are saying, just pull out the phone. Put the phone under the table, in your lap, and use one hand to search Google. Now you can say “World War II? Why yes, I am well versed on this topic. Ask me anything!” “The history of dog walking! I know absolutely EVERYTHING” Just hope no one notices that you are constantly looking down at your lap.

2.  Know World Geography

Have you ever seen the late night comedians asking people on the street questions? One major question to make people feel dumb is to ask the person what they think of a current war. The person on the street starts giving in-depth opinions but then when the comedian asks to point to this location on the map, the person cannot. The late-night comedian makes fun of them and the person turns red from embarrassment. Do yourself a favor! If you wanna look a bit smarter, start looking at a world map. Now don’t just sit with a map because there are way too many places and you will forget too fast. When a place comes up in conversation that u have no idea where it is, then look on the internet and view the location on the map. Extra points if you own a globe you can look there!

At least view that map if you go on the vacation to Jamaica. I know you would just like to vacation there but taking this extra step will pay off. If you view the map you can make everyone jealous by posting facebook pictures. AND ALSO, make everyone feel dumb when they don’t know where your vacation location is on the map but you WILL! So next time, when your friends start going on and on about their views on North Korea, you can say, “Did you know North Korea is just North of South Korea?” Your friends will think you are so smart that you can know the location of these places. Everyone talks about sending money to children in the poor areas of Latin America or Africa. How about looking at the map and seeing exactly where these people live. Also, consider when someone starts telling you their latest genetics test results you can say, “I know where that is!” Your friends will consider you very intellectual!

3.  Read the Dictionary to look Smart

Just sit down, open the dictionary, and start reading from A through Z. Just Kidding. Reading the dictionary is impossible. We can, however, start paying attention to words when we read or listen to others speak. So when someone says something that you have no idea what they are saying, take out the dictionary AKA Google and look up the definition. Don’t just let the word pass by. This is your opportunity to learn a new word.

The trick to looking brainy is to start using that word in conversation after you learn it. Nothing makes us look smarter than to use a big word that half the population does not know. Google would be happy to define gentrification for you. Then, when your friends ask your opinion on gentrification and you know what it is. They’ll be impressed that you’re super witty! There are extra points if you branch out from scholarly words and use slang too! There is no shame is using urban dictionary to define the latest words of today’s youth! Woke. Fleek. Slay. You will know all the words! May as well feel smart and YOUNG!

4.  Know your World Leaders

Yes, we all know about Trump and Obama. Do you know the secretary of state? Do you know the mayor of your city? Nothing is smarter than talking about the senator of your state. You can say to your friends did you know, “Senator, Kamala Harris got a haircut!” Your friends will be in awe of your knowledge. You may not vote but you will know who is in charge! You should vote but if you want to at least look smart then knowing these government leaders are the key.

Bonus points if you start learning other countries world leaders. Tell your, friends, “Guess what German Chancellor, Angela Merkel did today!” You don’t even have to know what she did or anything about politics. Honestly, some people will not know who you are talking about but one thing is for sure, they will think you are super educated! Learn the three branches of the US government and the key players in each. The smartness will start to exude your presence.

5.  Learn Computery Stuff

Everyone can make a SnapChat profile or a Plenty of Fish profile. We need to take it a step further to look really smart. Anyone knows that knowing nerdy things like computers makes you look brainy. Have you ever made a website on WordPress or Squarespace? These websites have templates that can create a website at almost a touch of a button. Most people don’t know this though, so when you make your template website people will say “WOW” this site is almost as good as Google! Next, make an Excel spreadsheet. Learn the difference between internal memory and RAM. Learn the difference between a Gigabyte and a Terabyte and you will be looking more and more intelligent.

Computers and technology confuse everyone so if you learn just a bit more than the average person then you are a cut above. Soon, people will come to you all the time to fix their phone and computer problems. If you like you can charge them $100 to fix the computer, even if it was that they just forgot to plug it in! Sorry, you forgot to plug it in, grandma. That will be $100. TIP: Half the time a computer just needs to be restarted but they don’t need to know that and you will still be the smart hero!

6.  Learn money talk

We all want to invest in stocks but how much of us actually do it. Do you know that a bull market means stocks go up and a bear market means stocks go down! Now you know so you can impress your friends. Start talking about how the Dow is up today and that you are thinking of buying Apple stock. You don’t have to actually invest a dime and people will be impressed. Then, learn how much your company matches to your 401k and learn the current mortgage interest rates. You will be astonishing everyone. What makes us more of a smarty pants than actually understanding all this money stuff? Just don’t show anyone your actual bank account or they may catch on that you don’t know much!

7.  Learn Some Random Quotes

Just a few quotes in your next meeting makes you look like an instant intellect.  While you are at it you can also build your confidence too! What would you think of someone who knew a quote from George Washington or Abraham Lincoln? In your next meeting, quote a famous figure and watch your coworkers faces gasp in admiration. Say, “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened!’ Did I make you shiver? This quote is from Dr. Suess. It’s a great quote but no one even needs to know where it comes from to appear gifted. Just tell them it’s a famous quote!

Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones often says, “A wise man once told me…” However, it was discovered that he is quoting himself as the wise man. Therefore, if you are so bold, you can quote yourself! Just say, “A wise woman once said that you should not eat the lunch in the office refrigerator that has my name on it!” No one will guess that the wise person is you, they will just say, “Wow what a reader! That woman knows a thing or two!” Try Brainyquotes for a good selection of quotes.


We are millennials and this is the information age. Honestly, we have access to all the information out there. We don’t have to know it in our brains, we just need to know how to find it! If we know some basics about a few different topics like money, vocabulary, and computers then we already are gonna look so knowledgeable. Next time you want to appear like a brainiac, no need to apply to the next online Ph.D. program. Just take my advice and follow these tricks to look more like an intellect. We just need to play the smart person for a little while and let them think we know what we are talking about. If you really want to you could do the homework and actually study things but who has time for that!

About Teri Johnson 16 Articles
Find me drinking coffee in the AM and wine in the PM.


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