20 Brilliant Tricks to Appear Smart In Meetings

Blogger and illustrator Sarah Cooper has published a funny and very true book “100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings“. Featured below is a sneak-peak selection of 20 brilliant tricks you should totally use:

Learn to appear smart in meetings.

Draw a Venn diagram.

Translate percentages into fractions and vice versa.

Encourage everyone to take a step back.

Nod and keep pretending to take notes.

Repeat things you hear fro co-workers, but really slowly.

Ask "will it scale" no matter what it is.

Pace around the room.

Ask the presenter to go back a slide.

Step out for a very important phone call.

Make fun of yourself.

Ask to explain things "for everyone else".

Use more acronyms.

Put sticky notes all over your computer.

Invite unnecessary people to meetings.

Make sure your presentation has a giant, useless appendix.

Ask is we are conflating multiple issues.

Turns nouns into verbs.

Keep agreeing and disagreeing with everything.

Say "that's obvious" at things that aren't obvious.

At the end of meeting, ask if someone is going to email a summary.

9 thoughts on “20 Brilliant Tricks to Appear Smart In Meetings”

  1. As the engineer, let me assure you we laugh like hell once we leave these meetings.

  2. If the meeting was boring I guy worked with would surreptitiously set the alarm on his wrist watch to go off so he could say “sorry but I have another meeting I have to go to. Please send my a copy of the notes.” and leave.

    He also kept stuff in his office so he could emphasize something he was yelling by slamming, say an old phone to the floor. it was to impress his people in the room and in the office. Once when he did that a friend of mine grabbed his real phone and said “here I’ll get this one for you Mike”. Mike almost crapped himself.

  3. Some of these may help to appear smart at meetings, but one really smart thing to do is to leave the meeting BEFORE someone asks for the summary to be sent.

  4. I know at least one Haha who would even fail at this.

  5. Well that’s pretty obvious. Now can you explain that to everyone else?

  6. Done.

  7. It sounds like we’re conflating this issue.

  8. guys, guys, can we take a step back here?

  9. As an engineer who’s been to countless meetings where middle management jerks each other off, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: the engineers are only paying attention because we’re playing Bullshit Bingo, and the winner gets a front-of-the-line pass in the code review queue.

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