6 ways to make people think you're a genius

Find out how you can make people think you're cleverer than you are.

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Approximately 10 years ago a slightly shorter, fitter, less cynical version of myself started to play the guitar. Why? The usual combination of ‘to get laid’, and ‘to become a rock star and get laid a LOT’.

Fast forward to the present day, and despite my ability to play a note-perfect version of Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters, I may as well have spent my youth yelling misogynistic slurs from my bedroom window for all the success it brought me with the opposite sex.

Along the way, however, I also picked up the ability to complete a Rubik’s cube in 90 seconds. Yeah, I’m that guy.

One night my housemates and I were hosting a party, when a girl went into my room and discovered the aforementioned puzzle. 90 seconds later her heart was won. Six months later my heart was broken.

But hey, it works! Fooling people into thinking you’re clever actually works. Find out how...

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1. Learn to complete a Rubik’s cube in 90 seconds

Firstly, this is not cheating. The main reason why this impresses people so much is because they are unaware that it is something you can actually learn.

There are around six or seven move combinations (or algorithms, if you’re being clever) that when used at the correct time and in the correct order will always result in the cube being completed.

The hardest part is memorising them, but I picked it up in around two or three hours, and within a couple of days I was doing it in under two minutes. Using this method you CAN go faster, but only if you’ve got the finger speed of a Track & Field playing concert pianist.

90 seconds will do for now - this video will tell you all you need to know.

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2. Use a thesaurus

Thinking before you speak is some pretty solid advice when it comes to looking intelligent, and the great thing about 21st century communication (texts, emails, instant messengers) is that you can think really hard about what you say. You can even do research.

If you give every message you send a quick scan for words that could be switched using a thesaurus it might just give you that air of intelligence you’ve been lacking. But don’t overdo it, otherwise you could end up looking stupid like Baby Kangaroo Tribbiani (above).

3. Learn pi to fourteen decimal places

We stopped caring exactly what pi is/was when we left school, all we know is that people who can remember large chunks of it are probably a lot clever than us. But like anything, memory is a trick. You just need to know the secret.

In this case, you simply have to remember the following sentence...

How I want a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.

Besides being true (not that we’ve ever had a lecture on quantum mechanics), the simple string of words can instantly teach you pi to fifteen digits. All you need to remember is that each word corresponds to a number, and the number of letters in that word tell you what number it is.

So... ‘How I want a drink, alcoholic of course’ becomes 3.1415926. Easy.

Want to learn more of pi? Simply create your own sentences.

4. Learn to speed read

We hate to tell you this, but you’ve been reading wrong.

Like most people there’s a good chance that, when reading, you say the words to yourself in your head as if you were reading the words out loud. That’s nice n’all, but totally unnecessary.

Your brain is actually more than capable of absorbing the words on the page without having to read them at talking pace.

Time how long it takes for you to read a page, then try to read the next two pages in the same amount of time. Repeat this a few times - most people are capable of reading 300% faster with just a few minutes of training.

5. Learn to cold read people

Cold reading is the process of convincing someone that you know more about them than you actually do. The technique has long been used by psychics and magicians, and when carried out on the right people it can feel quite unnerving.

This time the trick is simple - people are quite similar, and above all, they’re gullible.

Barnum Statements are phrases that can more or less apply to everyone, but make the subject feel as if the reader has somehow picked up on things that apply only to them. Learn a handful of these and turn on the charm and you’ll be well on your way to being the next Derren Brown. Maybe.

Here are a few to get your started...

You have a great need for other people to like and admire you.

You have a tendency to be critical of yourself.

At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing.

You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations.

You pride yourself as an independent thinker and do not accept others' statements without satisfactory proof.

You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others.

6. Keep quiet!

Over to you, Mr Twain...

We're giving away first class InterRail tickets, lunch at PizzaExpress, tickets to Bestival, and loads more... For a chance to win click below.

For a chance to win go to Refreshers Wall now