by Peggy Klaus
Brag is not a “four letter” word.
In today’s competitive business world, bragging is a necessity, not a choice. Remaining quiet about yourself or downplaying your successes leads to being underappreciated and opens the door for allowing others to take credit for your achievements. Peggy Klaus, a top corporate executive coach for Fortune 500 executives, has taught thousands of clients the art of bragging with style and grace. Now, she’s developed a program to teach anyone how to brag— and to get away with it.
In BRAG! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It (Warner Business Books Hardcover/May 21, 2003/$24.95/193 pages/ ISBN: 0-446-53179-0), Peggy Klaus, introduces the most effective ways to sell our best asset—ourselves— without turning off those we’re trying to impress. Klaus’ proven techniques help readers overcome the common misperceptions of bragging to sell themselves without feeling or sounding like a walking billboard. “People either avoid bragging at all costs because they don’t know how to do it gracefully, or they attempt to sell themselves like a PowerPoint presentation, making those on the receiving end want to hide,” Klaus writes. Filled with personal and professional self-promotion dilemmas and solutions, BRAG! teaches readers how to put their best foot forward – while keeping it out of their mouths!
We’ve all met them – those shameless self-promoters. A boss, a co-worker, a neighbor, a guy at a cocktail party, or the kid at the playground everyone remembers. The ones who elbow their way in, reminding us that they’re working harder, they’re more accomplished, and downright better than us. To add insult to injury, they are the people who get ahead. In BRAG!, Klaus instructs readers how to shape and tell their own life stories in a way that ingratiates instead of grates. Based on years of experience showing Fortune 500 executives how to communicate their value and their brand, these strategies are designed to work for everyone from CEOs to associates, from writers pitching their latest masterpiece to job interviewees pitching themselves. The result: better jobs, more pay, and, best of all, a genuine sense of self-worth.
Some of the topics Klaus covers include:
- Bragging Myths: Including “A job well-done speaks for itself,” “I don’t have to brag; others will do it for me,” “Humility gets you noticed,” and “Good girls don’t brag.”
- The “Take 12” Questionnaire: A self-evaluation tool keyed to helping readers unearth their personal and professional history, identify their strengths, and zero in on what makes them who they really are
- Techno Brag: How to use the latest technology to further one’s cause, e.g., harnessing voice mail and e-mail for bragging to clients and colleagues
- Bragging Outside the Office: Tips for those without “real” jobs – those taking time off to care for children, the semi-retired, and laid off workers
- Interview Bragging: The art of turning job interviews into job offers
- “Brag Nags”: Key communication techniques that make for more dynamic bragging in any situation
The advice in BRAG! comes from Klaus’ personal and professional experiences. When she first went to Hollywood to interview for jobs in the entertainment industry, she quickly discovered she was lousy at talking about herself and her accomplishments. Like many, after years of being told by her parents, ‘Don’t talk about yourself, people won’t like you,’ she was self-deprecating with little confidence or bravado. Eventually, she figured out how to overcome her self-doubt: she put together a “bragologue,” a litany of her own accomplishments that evolved into the Peggy Klaus Story, to be delivered with the kind of enthusiasm reserved for the telling of some grand adventure.
As Klaus explains, bragging is an art, an individual form of self-expression and communication that, once mastered, is the key to opening doors. By learning and applying the techniques in BRAG!, readers will see bragging in an entirely new light, and discover new ways to sell themselves that won’t set them back, but set them free.