By Jose J. Ruiz
Be yourself. How often do we hear this? Millions of times. Of course, being completely comfortable with ourselves is key to a fruitful and successful life. However, in the corporate world, you’d need to be a little more than your plain self. You need to be the smartest version of your own self.
This being said, you’re still yourself. Only the smarter version. While appearing “smarter” has a lot to do with how you present yourself physically, it’s also important to internalize positivity and positive values that would make your personality shine.
Here are nine simple ways to polish yourself to feel more confident and appear smarter.
First, project inner joy and confidence.
Smiling frequently and being empathetic to others would help in projecting inner joy and confidence. Naturally, it would create an aura that you’re intelligent and know what you’re doing.
Second, be helpful to others.
Lend a hand whenever someone needs help. When you give, you confirm your abundance. Only those who have more can give away their time and resources. Thus, it confirms your “smart-ness.”
Third, speak with conviction and slightly faster.
Speak confidently, not too soft and not too loud. Use an authoritative tone, but make sure it sounds natural. Make sure that your sound pitch isn’t too high nor too low.
Fourth, wear good-quality clothes in neutral or authoritative colors.
At work, wear neutral or authoritative colors, like black, white, gray, navy, blue, tan, brown, and green. If you must wear pastel colors, combine them with colors that represent trust and authority. Also, make sure the quality standard of your clothes is good or above average. When you dress well, it shows that you take good care of yourself; thus people tend to trust you more.
Fifth, be alert and sober.
A drunk or drugged person never looks smart. Be the party’s designated driver who’s always ready to drive people home. Alert and sober people have the upper hand over those who aren’t. Moreover, it allows you to be more helpful, which is another trait of a “smart” person.
Sixth, write in simple sentences.
Writing down a concept in simple and straightforward sentences is much harder than expressing them in unclear, vague, and complex statements. While technical jargons may make you sound knowledgeable about a subject, simple sentences that can be understood by everyone is key to be appreciated for being informational.
Seventh, use impressive vocabularies sparingly.
If you can express something in simple terms, always do so. Only use lesser-known vocabularies when there are no other available terms. And only use technical jargons only around people who are familiar with them. For instance, use finance terms around financiers and engineering terms around engineers.
Eighth, rise your hands in meetings.
Speak up whenever necessary, don’t simply nod and take things in. The most successful people don’t only write well in simple terms, but also speak well. Impress people with your active participation, active and empathetic listening, and the way you express thoughts and ideas in front of a group of people. Bravery is a sign of being smart.
Ninth, use images and charts in presentations.
Whenever possible, prepare images and charts to be used when sending your message across. In small groups, you can also draw tables and forms on a piece of paper that would make the concept easier to grasp.
Overall, being the smarter version of yourself would train your mind to be better. It’s not “only for show,” but to “program” your subconscious on being successful inwardly and outwardly.
ABOUT JOSE J. RUIZ
Jose Ruiz serves as Alder Koten’s Chief Executive Officer providing vision, strategic direction and the roadmap for the executive recruiting firm’s future. He is also involved in executive search work focused on board members, CEOs and senior-level executives; and consulting engagements related to leadership and organizational effectiveness helping clients create thriving cultures. An important part of his time is spent on research work focused on organizational effectiveness centered on leadership and culture. Prior to joining Alder Koten, Jose was a Principal with Heidrick & Struggles’ Global Industrial Practice based in Houston, TX and Monterrey, Mexico. His professional experience also includes leadership positions in engineering and operations management for manufacturing organizations in the US and Mexico. This experience includes serving as vice president and general manager at Holley Performance Products. Jose serves on the board of Shelmex and on America’s Council of the Association of Executive Search Consultants where he also chairs the Boutique and Independent Search Firm Forum.
Jose holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and electrical engineering from the Instituto Technologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. He is fluent in English and Spanish.
Jose can be reached at jose.ruiz@alderkoten or at his office in Houston +1 (713) 476–9000
ABOUT ALDER KOTEN
Alder Koten has recruiters and research teams in Mexico and the United States. The firm was founded in 2011. Its headquarters are located in Houston and it has offices in Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Mexico City with partner firms in New York, Boston, Chicago, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and United Kingdom. Alder Koten recruiters serve multiple industries including automotive, building products, construction & projects, consumer markets, energy & chemicals, equipment & industrial products, financial services, life sciences, medical devices, maquiladora, mining & metals, professional services, renewable resources, technology, and transportation & logistics. The firm is a proud standing member of the Association of Executive Search Consultants. The Association of Executive Search Consultants was founded in 1959 as the Association of Executive Recruiting Consultants (AERC) for the dual purposes of creating a professional association for the most competent and reputable search firms, and for providing clients and prospective clients a means by which to differentiate qualified and ethical practitioners.