Today’s post is all about bragging. Or more accurately, the wonderful book by Peggy Klaus: ‘Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It!’
I love how the book explains the significance of bragging; the importance of speaking about ourselves favorably in moments when it matters the most. She also expounds that the instances when we must talk about ourselves and our achievements are often unexpected and short. Hence, it is vital that we practice for these sudden and tiny windows of opportunities by having a range of recent and relevant introductions and ‘brag bites‘.
The book begins with a chapter on ‘Bragging Myths‘. My favorites are ‘A Job well done speaks for Itself‘, ‘Good girls Don’t Brag‘ and ‘Brag is a Four Letter Word‘. The author debunks these and more and builds the case for self-promotion.
From elevator rides to networking events, casual rides to parties, school corridors (so what if you’re dropping off a kid or godchild or even your relative who works there- I’ve done all!) to shopping lines, who knows whom you might spot? A friend, a colleague, boss, customer, lead, influencer. And that is why you need a repertoire of ‘bragalogues’ and ‘brag bites’ as the writer calls it. I loved how she cites examples of snippets to use and keep handy for such impromptu moments in her chapter ‘The Business of Bragging In and Out of Office‘.
The author has an excellent tool to start filling our ‘Brag Bags‘. It can be downloaded from her site here. I personally found it extremely useful.
This book does not ask readers to simply tell tall tales about themselves. Instead it helps readers practice putting their best foot forward and simply craft their genuine accomplishments and expertise into a better, more effective and compelling story. Indeed, the chapter ‘Brag Nags‘ cautions against common pitfalls like going overboard, incorrectly gauging audience mood and sentiment and being outdated or boring while the chapter ‘Twelve Tooting Tips‘ contains useful advice such as staying authentic, being able to back our claims with results, conversing and not spouting a barrage of brags.
This book was published in 2004 but it is relevant and practical even today. Consider the chapter on ‘TechnoBrag: tooting in the 21st century‘. Author Peggy Klaus shares techniques for bragging while working remotely and how to build stronger relationships with virtual ties. Performance Reviews has a dedicated chapter with strategies to successfully navigate what is usually a painful chore for most of us. And what if you’re not employed or still a student or even a SAHM/D? The book has you covered with the chapter ‘When You Don’t Have a “Real” Job‘.
I really enjoyed this book for its relevance and practicality. The examples and conversational style of writing kept me engaged from start to finish. This was one of the books on my ‘Business and Leadership Books by Women‘ list and I am inspired by the content. Definitely five stars from me!