First impressions matter.
They matter A LOT.
Everyday you meet new people.
At work – you're given a new team to manage or client to help.
At school – every year you make new impressions with professors and students.
What if you could come off as SMARTER right off the bat?
Instantly be assumed to be competent and on top of your game?
That would be awesome, right? Less people questioning your judgement and it would be easier to make things happen.
In today's video I am giving you 10 tips to increase your perceived intelligence FAST.
Important note – all these tips work best on strangers or people who don't know you well. You can't fool people for long if you're not truly competent – so always be improving your core skill-sets!
1. Shut-up (Listen more, talk Less)
Have you ever heard the old adage “You have two ears and one mouth so you should listen twice as much as you speak”? It's very colloquial but the wisdom that's conveyed is spot on. Listening is a skill that needs to be developed. It allows you to ingest all of the information that is being presented.
This is important because when you respond, you will be able to speak to what was actually communicated.
Don't listen just to have a response or a knee-jerk reaction. Instead, listen to understand. Often times people listen only waiting for the opportunity to fire back emotionally. Listening to understand puts the perspective of the person with whom you're speaking first – which is a key skill that will diffuse
2. Ask Simple But Insightful Questions
Asking questions doesn’t just mean that you don’t know something. It means that you want to find out what you don’t know as well. Seeking information is a prime way to show that you’re intelligent. What must be noted is that the questions should be:
- Relevant – asking a question that is off topic shows a lack of focus
- Succinct – don’t ask a confusing question; short and to the point will get you a better answer
- Insightful – questions should be well thought out to create dialogue; stay away closed ended questions
When you pose questions is this manner it allows a conversation to flow naturally and intuitively. The person you’re interacting with will definitely enjoy the chat you will have left a great impression on them.
3. Maintain Appropriate Eye Contact
Have you ever seen the guy that walks with his head down; or the guy that stares through your soul as you’re walking by him in the gym? Both are odd.
Walking with your eyes to the ground shows a lack of confidence and self-assurance. The guy who’s giving you the death stare is being weird and possibly super aggressive. Neither of these is the appropriate level of eye contact.
The appropriate level is simple to understand. When you’re having a conversation with someone, look them in their eyes. If you’re not warmly engaged with a person, don’t stare. Simple!
Use this as a quick reference guide:
- Eye contact given less than 30% of the time during conversations comes off as weak
- Eye contact given 30% -70% of the time is the target for appropriateness
- Eye contact given more than 70% of the time is seen as aggressive
The level of confidence that you give off when maintaining comfortable eye contact is directly related to the perceived level of intellect.
4. Effectively Use Quotes To Appear Smarter
Another well known saying is that the easiest way to hide something from someone is to put it in a book. We’ve gotten away from taking the time out to read and launch an inquiry into a subject that interests us.
Everything is in 140 to 300 characters now. In order to remember and use quotes, you must read…a lot. It’s obvious that reading will increase your:
- Vocabulary – exposes you to words and literary techniques that aren’t always common
- Creativity and imagination – especially if you read fiction and creative stories
- Memory – The more you exercise your brain, the better the recall skills.
When you read you should make it a point to utilize what you’ve learned in your everyday life. What’s the point of receiving so much information and not sharing it with others? So don’t be afraid to show that you are well-rounded and:
- Quote an authority in a particular subject
- Teach a philosophical theory in a conversational and pragmatic way
- Spout a scientific study that proves you know what you’re talking about
- Cite a cultural icon that will help you connect to your audience
This may seem like you’re being a know-it-all and it’s quite the contrary. As long as you’re not going around trying to impress people with stats and being super deep all the time, it will be seen as an attractive quality that you are a well-read and well-versed person.
5. Get Enough Sleep To Look Good
The benefits of getting sleep are widely known. Sleep seems to be looked at as a commodity in today's world. Everyone has entered into the rat race – on the go all the time and not getting adequate rest. Getting rest is paramount for a healthy lifestyle. It helps you:
- Recover from illness
- Reduce stress
- Curb inflammation
- Have a healthy weight and dozens of other health benefits.
But getting the full 7-8 hours of sleep per night will help you to be as sharp as possible. I've written an another article that goes into great detail but sleep supports your intellectual capacity by
- Spurring creativity
- Sharpening your attention
- Improve memory – can lead to better grades and stronger performance at your place of employment.
So it's okay to log out of your email and close your laptop or iPad. You literally need to recharge.
6. Wearing Glasses Makes You Look Smarter Instantly
It's a recognition thing. Popular culture has drilled into our heads that the smart guy wears glasses. Movies, commercials, and TV shows are riddled with examples of the nerdy guy with specs.
I'm not saying that you will look like a nerd. I am saying that this is an illustration of the idea that guys who wear eyeglasses are more intelligent.
In fact, a 2007 article that was published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that wearing glasses helps you to be successful during interviews.
What's left to deduce is that interviewers are more likely to perceive you as a person who is capable of doing the job, in part, based on you wearing glasses.
Even the types of frames that are worn have an effect on perceived intelligence levels. Guys who wear wider frames are perceived to be smarter than those who wear thin frames. Litigation attorneys rely on this stereotype when prepping witnesses and experts during a trial.
7. Smell Pleasant
Over and over again I’ve heard countless women say that a man who smells good is extremely attractive. I can’t imagine a scenario where the opposite would be true. Being a man who wears a fragrance is synonymous with a being a man who is clean.
Janina Seubert, a cognitive neuroscientist who led a study about the relationship between attractiveness and pleasant odors, states that “Odor pleasantness and facial attractiveness integrate into one joint emotional evaluation.”
It’s important to remember that smelling good can be achieved in a variety of ways (By the way – I have another article about fragrance mistakes that men make,). To really boost your attractiveness, you can:
- Wear cologne – it should be discovered not announced
- Bathe in fragrant body wash – one that lingers a little bit
- Use body spray – bonus if it's the same scent as your body wash
8. Wear Well-fitted Authority Uniform
This kind of look should be your uniform. Whether you’re going to the grocery store or a board meeting, you should endeavor to look nice. This doesn’t mean that you have to wear a suit to go pump gas but it does mean that you should take time and care about your appearance.
Something as simple as simple as a crisp white v-neck shirt with paired with a pair of chino shorts and, casual sneakers to run your Saturday morning errands, is not too much to ask. Plan your weekly outfits on a Sunday (or any off day) so that you don’t have to think about it too much
Additionally, the University of Wisconsin performed a study in 2008 that found that persons who dress in a more “preppy” fashion, they were perceived to be cleverer by study participants. The study held that the below style tips were needed to achieve the intelligent look at work or in casual environment:
- Sport a stiff and neat collar – it balances the face and looks proportionate
- Opt for neutrals – this is more useful at work as a lot of bright colors can be distracting
- Use a blazer or a jacket when possible – The square shoulders signify strength and the tailored body implies discipline and demands respect
- Polish your shoes – shows that you pay attention to detail
9. Wear a Bit of Red
Wearing red is a great way to draw attention to you. It’s a bold statement that communicates power and authority. This is a universal notion. Think about it, all traffic lights around the globe turn red to stop you. The color literally controls how you drive.
Another example of the authority that we ascribe to red is the frequency that it is seen in flags. There are 192 independent countries in the world.
More than 77% of those nations have red in their flag and hold it as a color that symbolized the strength of their nation. In order to become a sovereign nation, it takes savvy, moxie, calculating intelligence and other admirable qualities.
Wearing red does the same thing. People tend to associate intellect with authority and confidence. It takes a confident man to wear red. If you put on a stylish red tie with a perfectly tailored navy suit, you are giving off a commanding vibe that requires respect.
10. Leverage the Latest Smart Technologies
Staying abreast of the latest technological application can, for some, be a bit daunting.
If you are savvy enough to be able to understand how to use the newest form of technology you will have a leg up.
Many men are creatures of habit. If it works, then why change it? But when you do tap into a techie side and leverage it for your benefit, it can be seen as
– Cutting edge and innovative
All of these are qualities and characteristics of an intelligent man. You can be sure to keep all of your reading with you at all times with Audible. It plays audio books for you on your device that way your books/magazines and blogs are always with you!