How to sound smart

“It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.”
Winston Churchill


Some years ago we did a brain-storming at the research institute where I was working. One of the topics we should discuss was; how to become better at giving the customer what they want. A valid topic, but I told my group that we should not always give the customer what they want. I told that we once had a customer who requested a new system to operate with one parameter setting at a time, like the old one did. They didn't realize that the new system could run thousands of parameters at the same time. They were thinking in terms of the old system. I concluded my point at the brain-storming session by saying "If you asked a person a hundred years ago what he wanted, he would have answered that he wanted a better horse, and not a car". I could see on the faces and reactions that the other team members were impressed by the Henry Ford-quote. I was later asked to repeat the story when the groups summarized the brain-strorming.

Knowing quotes and words-of-wisdom can help you sound smart. Many of those quotes contain a lifetime of wisdom distilled into a paragraph. When you learn and internalize them, you will tap into the wisdom and experience of great people.

How can you learn more quotes? There are books that are devoted to quotes, but it is even more convenient to visit an internet site. Here is some of my favorites:

Make a habit of dipping into them whenever you feel a need for inspiration. Some of them you can subscribe to as well. Put a book of quotes in the bathroom or on the bed table.

It can be a challenge to remember those words of wisdom. You never know in advance when you will need them. Repetiton makes ideas stick. The more often you see an idea, the easier it becomes to remember it.

Promo warning: MemoButton [1] can help you remember your favorite quotes and other things that you find important. It integrates into Google Chrome's toolbar. We have designed it to instantly capture ideas from internet, and to help you remember them.

I do NOT suggest that you memorize quotes word-by-word. It is a waste of your time. The benefit lies in remembering the idea containted in the quote. The more ideas you absorb from others, the more new ideas you will have your self.

Quiz-cards for remembering quotes

We have prepared a few quotes that you can add to your MemoButton account by clicking Remember.
"Imagination is more important than [...]." - Albert Einstein
Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's [...], so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for. - Socrates
"Anyone who has never made a [...] has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein
" Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what [...] think you are." - John Wooden
“If you want me to speak for two minutes, it will take me three weeks of preparation. If you want me to speak for thirty minutes, it will take me a week to prepare. If you want me to speak for an hour, I am ready [...].” – Winston Churchill


Learning and remembering quotes and words-of-wisdom can make you sound smarter.

We designed MemoButton to make it easy to remember ideas from internet. It is based on the spaced repetition method. MemoButton will keep track of when it is best to repeat each idea. All you do is click 'start practice' once a day. You can use it to retain quotes and any other type of ideas you find interesting. The browser extension for Google Chrome makes it easy to capture information from all web-sites.

You can instantly create quiz-cards for your favorite quotes by replacing a word with a [...]-hint. This will exercise your memory and you will learn it faster.