20 Tricks to Appear Smart In Meetings

Illustrator and blogger Sarah Cooper has published a hilarious and very true book “100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings“. This is a sneak-peak selection of the 20 funniest tricks you should totally use:

20 tricks to appear smart in meetings.


Draw a Venn diagram.

Translate percentages into fractions.

Encourage everyone to take a step back.

Nod and pretend to take notes.

Repeated the last thing the engineer said, but very slowly.

Ask "will this 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.

Everyone else needs an explanation.

Turn multi-word phrases into acronyms.

Put sticky notes all over your laptop.

Invite people to the meeting who don't need to be there.

Make sure your presentation has a giant, useless appendix.

Ask if we're conflating multiple issues.

Turn nouns into verbs.

Alternate between agreeing and disagreeing with everything.

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

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



 Add your comment
  1. Lolfosor November 8, 2018

    LOL, who have actually tried any of these?

  2. Lolnee November 8, 2018

    Imma be real, I’ve used a few of these myself in meetings I have had ZERO clues about the last one does NOT work in your favour cuz YOU will most likely be the one voted for summarising :’)

  3. Albert O'Balsam November 8, 2018

    I’ve seen all of these where I work. Howie Botter is his name, b******t is his game!

  4. N Kompromat November 8, 2018

    21: If someone else in the meeting is playing these same rule – get close to them and take a flash photo of them and/or turn on the torchlight app and shine it in their eyes for a bit then announce something like “so, what work streams do we need to integrate in order to get this done?”

  5. Anonymous November 8, 2018

    Every meeting with every MBA consultant I’ve ever hired or worked with- particularly newbies gunning for a directorship. I am no better though. Love the work streams suggestion- will be adding that to the repertoire.

  6. Anonymous November 8, 2018

    You should re title this article “how to get fired in 1 month”

  7. Anonymous November 9, 2018

    Not all people here can understand the elevens lifehack can someone explain it for them?

  8. Anonymous November 9, 2018

    #14 is my favorite.

  9. Anonymous November 10, 2018

    I’ve been to many useless meetings where I had zero clue why I was there except to fill a seat. I always remarked that upon leaving because **** meetings

  10. Anonymous November 10, 2018

    I do not intend to be the smartest looking person in the room. I *am* the smartest person in the room.

  11. RedWill November 13, 2018

    I used the “can we go back one slide” one about two hours ago. I briefly looked at it, nodded, and said “that’s fine, you can carry on now”.
    Full on wanker mode engaged, just bored more than anything.

  12. Left blank intentionally November 13, 2018

    ps I have the book and I love it.

  13. whyyeseyec November 13, 2018

    Step out for an important phone call – then don’t come back!

  14. Anonymous November 22, 2018

    This is Kate Newhouse. AKA the **** CEO.

  15. Anonymous November 29, 2018

    “Will it scale?”

    I always answer that one with “…in what dimension/aspect?”

    Whacks the fakers and buzzword-jockeys every time, since they instantly freeze with this delicious look of incoherence.

    An Engineer. ;)

  16. Anonymous January 10, 2019


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