Editor's note: This column has been updated to provide attribution to original sources.
"Like everyone, appearing smart in meetings is my top priority," says Sarah Cooper, comedian and author of the book 100 Tricks To Appear Smart in Meetings, which came out last fall. She shared the following with The Cooper Review in the article 10 Tricks to Appear Smart During Meetings:
1. Draw a Venn Diagram. It doesn't matter if your Venn diagram is wildly inaccurate, in fact, the more inaccurate, the better. Even before you put that marker down, your colleagues will begin fighting about what exactly the labels should be and how big the circle should be, etc. At this point, you can slink back into your chair and go back to playing Candy Crush.
2. Translate percentages into fractions. If someone says, "About 25% of all users click on this button," quickly chime in with "So about 1 in 4," and make a note of it. Everyone will nod their head in agreement, secretly impressed and envious of your quick math skills.
3. Encourage every one to "Take a step back." There comes a point in most meetings where everyone is chiming in except you. This is a great point to go, "Guys, guys, guys, can we take a step back here?" Follow it up with a quick, "What problem are we really trying to solve?" and boom! You've bought yourself another hour of looking smart.
For the full list of 10 tips, read 10 Tricks to Appear Smart During Meetings.