Sounding smarter than you really are is a great way to impress your friends, your classmates or your employers. As well, it can help win debates, perfect job interviews and cause you to reap large rewards when done right. As such, it is imperative that you learn these following tips for sounding smarter.
1. Use less filler words.
Words like “uhh” and “like” (as in “he, like, said that…) take up space, allowing us to think of more to say before we say it. Alas, when used in abundance, they can make it seem as if can’t think of anything to say period. Try to use these words less often. If you need them, stick to ones such as “umm” and “err” and drop the informal ones like “like.”
2. Use less hyperbole.
Exaggeration is common and normal, especially during emotional moments, but a more toned-down approach makes people sound like they know what they’re talking about. That is to say, instead of saying things like “that was the best thing ever,” try out something closer to “that was really well-done.” Learn to speak and describe things in this manner.
3. Get complex.
The longer and more detailed your sentences are, the more intelligent they sound to others. Elongate your sentences by using more conjunctions (such as “and,” “yet,” and “although”) as well as more adverbs (such as “however,” “meanwhile,” and “still”). Don’t get too long though or you’ll confuse your audience! These tips for sounding smarter will be sure to impress your friends and family.
4. Use more formal vocabulary.
This doesn’t mean you should break out a long word every other second, but mixing in more advanced language every once in a while will make you seem like a more studious individual than perhaps you really are. See how I’m doing it right now? Another thing to watch out for is that the words you’re using mean what you think they mean, otherwise you’ll just be spouting nonsense.
5. Use more “that” in your sentences.
That is to say, instead of saying “I think he’s interesting,” say “I think that he’s interesting.” This emphasizes your point, adds formality and authority to what you’re saying, making it useful for sounding more intelligent.
6. Vary in pitch.
This goes hand in hand with getting emotional. Variation in pitch makes your sentences sound more interesting and engages your audience more, inviting more participation from them. Think of it as a hook which brings them into the conversation.
7. Talk with emotion.
If you sound monotonous, you’re going to sound like you’re not sure what’s coming out of your own mouth. At worst, you’re going to sound like a hostage. When you speak with more emotion, you speak with more conviction, adding weight to your words and making you sound more knowledgeable.
8. Vary in speed.
A mixture of fast and slow sentences, much like variation in pitch, makes your sentences far more fun and interesting to listen to. It’s the second part of that hook and it works just as well. Combine the two together to make a dull sentence fascinating.
9. Emphasize large words.
Whenever you come up to a word that is longer and more formal than usual, emphasize it. Stress its importance to your sentence, as it’ll be the part that people will remember when they think of talking to you.
10. Use more “have.”
That is to say, instead of saying something like “I said that before,” try something more complex like “I’ve said that before.” It adds to the formality and makes you sound more impressive. Try it out sometime!
What do you think of these tips for sounding smarter? Have any more? Leave them in the comments section below!
Featured image source: weheartit.com
Hi! I'm Tyler and I'm a sophomore student at the University of Vermont. I'm an English major and I'm minoring in French and Linguistics. I'm particularly interested in reading, writing, philosophy and the natural world (although the Internet is somewhere I hang out often too).