We’ve all been in those situations, conversation is flowing and there’s laughter at jokes you’ve missed. Suddenly heads turn to you, you stand there with a look of bewilderment, scared of giving your opinion. Don’t panic, there are ways you can come across like you know your stuff.
1. Less is more
It may sound strange but it works perfectly. If you talk a lot it actually has the opposite effect. Take the man of mystery approach. Keeping your words short & sweet gives the impression that you have a defined opinion whilst giving little away. If asked to elaborate it’s simple, answer with a question.
“Talk low, talk slow, and don’t talk too much” – John Wayne
2. The turtle won the race
Dictators master this. Speaking fast will just confuse people, speaking too slow will question your knowledge. Get it just right and you’ll be able to capitulate people’s attention, steering them in the direction that you want.
3. Stick to the basics
Don’t divert from the subject keep it relevant. Make sure the subjects you talk about relate. Use thoughts you already know and incorporate them into general discussion. Try not to be too diverse. You don’t want to lead the conversation you just want to bridge it. If you bring up something new people may question your knowledge on the original subject. Make sure you have a back up.
4. Body language
Its quick to think that there’s a detective in the room, studying your every move and judging you constantly. The oldest trick in the book will keep you straight. Looking round the room won’t help your struggle, make sure eyes are locked on who ever you’re talking to and no one will know better. It’s about about keeping your cool.
“Language is a more recent technology. Your body language, your eyes, your energy will come through to your audience before you even start speaking” - Peter Guber
This is important. It will save you on many occasions and give you a lifeline when needed. Pick up on what others are saying, you’ll be able to re use it and add your own view. Bring up a point someone mentioned earlier and agree to it, ask more about the subject and look engaged with them. It probes them to talk more whilst keep the spotlight off you.
"Man’s inability to communicate is a result of his failure to listen effectively." - Carl Rogers
There you have it. Some tips on how to get away with knowing nothing. Though, there is a soundproof solution. You could just learn a thing or two.