Not all those intelligent are smart and not all smart people are intelligent. Knowledge is important, but sometimes pretending to know might do the job as well. As the phrase goes, ‘Fake it till you make it.’ The great aphorist WH Auden once said.
But, the million-dollar question is “How do you sound smart?”
Most of the answer lies in your body language. According to studies, more than 80% of what you want to convey lies in your body language.
Let’s focus on 5 effective ways to sound smarter
1. Recognize The Kinds Of Speakers
Every day, we come across different kinds of speakers. No two people talk the same way, and this is what makes studying body language very hard. Speakers could be incoherent, eloquent, coherent, and articulate. Most of the speakers only have a few of these skills, but it is tough to master all four of them.
Incoherent speakers may not structure all that they say. They bring together their collective thoughts and speak their mind. Contrary to them, we have coherent ones. They may not have much content but can structure their thoughts well and present their speech. Thirdly, we have articulate speeches. These individuals focus a lot on the language, regardless of how much the content makes sense.
Most of them have the skill to present small information, most elaborately and exhaustively. Lastly, we have eloquent speakers. Eloquence is what brings everyone’s attention to the speaker. They make the speech interesting to look at and listen to.
Fortunately for us, speakers are not born. They are made. Improve your body language to become a smarter speaker.
2. Always Do Your Homework
Abraham Lincoln said, “If I Am To Speak Ten Minutes, I Need a Week for Preparation; If an Hour, I Am Ready Now.” This tells us that we need more time in compressing big data in a small package. Always ensure you have the right facts and correct statistics from a reliable source. This assures that what you’re saying is correct and gives you the required confidence, paving the way for a good presentation.
3. Stand Straight
Most speakers have a style of presenting. It is important for you not only to speak confidently but also to look confident. An upright posture with your chin up can make the audience the same. Create required pauses and use your gestures at times to put your message out there. These small actions of yours on the podium can be louder than your voice. The audience won’t know anything.
Most of all, the courage you gather behind the stage vanishes the minute you stand in front of the mike. This is as bad as it sounds and can get worse. To sound smart, you have to tell yourself you are smart. This happens when you tell yourself that you are smarter than everybody else sitting in the audience.
4. The Attention Span
The attention span of the audience is less than a minute. You have to come to terms with yourself on this. A good introduction will make the audience listen to you. If you fail to impress the audience in the first few seconds, then it gets harder to bring them back to your line of thought.
5. Tell A Joke
Sometimes a good joke is enough to stir the audience. Hershal Ostroppol was once having a meal with an aristocrat. The aristocrat was disgusted by Hershal’s unexplained enthusiasm while eating. As Hershal was munching and pushing down his food, the aristocrat, a witness to this unpleasant activity, remarked, “What separates you from a pig?”. Hershal finished munching and replied, “The table.” This is an example of wit and humor. If you were to include humor in your content, your speech would have a better reach.
These are five simple yet effective ways to sound smarter when you talk. Nevertheless, do not stop trying to push your limits to explore the speaker in you. A speaker starts with stage fright and works till the stage is frightened by him. After all, the more you speak, the more you understand yourself and your audience.