(this was originally published over on the blog of the Strategic Visioning Project, on which I’m working as an intern)
As I sat in a meeting recently, I appreciated how comfortable my office chair was. But I think the chair makers shouldn’t make chairs so soft if people are supposed to be alert. I think I want to sue.
Because, as you may see coming, I began to drift. I lost from my sight the top half of the presenter’s body as my lids began to slip. The hours of sleep I ignored last night crept behind me, nudged me and said, “You forgot about us. We’re coming right now.”
I fought this by sitting forward and pulling out my pen. I wasn’t actually writing anything, but it kept me awake and made me look attentive.
That’s a trick I invented — always be holding a pen. Even if it doesn’t have ink. When you’re in a meeting, when you’re talking to someone important, even when you’re eating. It makes you look busy and professional. Try it.
As far as I know, the presenter looked at me, and the pen I was sporting, and thought I was the stand-out intern. When really I was the zone-out intern.
Feel free to contact me for more misleading tactics to make yourself look better.