Be a wide reader but read selectively . Read only those books that are worth reading such as non - fiction books . Don't read the rubbish which are contained in some newspapers , magazines , tabloids , and fictional books like novels . You'll just have to read a wide variety of subjects , and it will take quite some time before you become conversant about many things . But try to study thoroughly what you read , and then you will be able to speak about them with confidence . One measure of intelligence is curiosity so you've got to be genuinely interested in many things . Another way to improve your intelligence is to build a wide vocabulary because a good command of language will enable you to have a lot of ideas which would make you not only appear smart but really smart ! But remember that the mind is not something to be filled , but something to be set afire . This implies that if you'll just focus your mind on one thing of which you are passionate about and try to specialize in that area of interest by extensive reading on that one field , you'll be a knowledgeable expert who can talk intelligently about your specialty . As a result , people would be consulting you and admire your savvy . Be prepared to pay the price in time and effort for you to develop such a smart personality because it will really take quite some time , in fact , a few years of concentrated effort . Eventually , people will look up to you admiringly as you become really smart .