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Best Face Scenario

Terp Draws on Experience in Book Lampooning Business Culture

By Lauren Brown

Face

Sarah Cooper ’98 has been spying on your office’s most tedious and pointless meetings. 

Either that, or the comedian, writer and former Google and Yahoo executive mined her own experiences to skewer the inanities of business culture in her new book, “100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings.” 

In it, Cooper tackles such worrisome, timeless concerns as how to convince your co-workers you care, how to nail the big pitch by not saying much of anything, and how to handle impromptu meetings like a ninja.

Below is an excerpt from our favorite: what to do with your facein a meeting. (Validation! We’ve struggled with this, too.)

1. Furrow your brow and tilt your head. This face says, “That idea sounds familiar. Oh, yeah, because you stole it from our competitor.”

2. Point your chin down and purse your lips. This face says, “I love it when you tell me how to do my job.”

3. Raise your eyebrows and smile. This face says, “Someone brought cupcakes??”

4. Look tired. This face says, “Who the hell keeps scheduling meetings for 8 a.m.?”

5. Squint your eyes and frown slightly. This face says, “Did you just offer me plain tap water?”

6. Smile slyly. This face says, “Yes, I am still working on that.”

7. Close your eyes. This face says, “I’m listening very intently, I swear.”

8. Put your chin on your fist. This face says, “That’s an interesting perspective, Nathan; tell me more.”

9. Raise your eyebrows and point. This face says, “Oh right! We did forget to document that decision.”

10. Smile widely. This face says, “Great speech, boss.”

11. Look excited. This face says, “Hey! Almost beer thirty!”

12. Smile and turn your head to the side. This face says, “Didn’t I see you at the gym last night?”

13. Get a blank look on your face. This says, “Worst. Idea. Ever.”

14. Look around the room. This face says, “Is anyone writing this down?”

15. Furrow your brow and smile. This face says, ”Schedule another meeting to discuss this? Sure.”

16. Scrunch your nose. This face says, “Was that a fart?”

17. Recoil with fear. This face says, “You just wrote on the whiteboard with a permanent marker.”

18. Take an air of superiority. This face says, “My mere presence adds value to this meeting.”

Find more of Cooper’s humor, featuring her whimsical illustrations, at thecooperreview.com. Read a profile of Cooper at http://terp.umd.edu/drawing-on-experience

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