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Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It Hardcover – May 21, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Business Books (May 21, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446531790
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446531795
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Brag! is a whip smart tool kit--one that tampers with our beliefs about humility by defining bragging as an act of authenticity. Peggy Klaus, a Fortune 500 communication coach, sharpened her strategies in Hollywood, "the bragging capitol of the world," where she learned the art of tooting your horn, without blowing it. "To brag is to talk about your best self with pride and passion in a conversational manner." explains Klaus. She includes a snappy "Bragging Dictionary" with highly practical techniques including instructions for the "Bragalogue," a brief memorable elevator pitch and a "Brag bag," the collection of your greatest hits with colorful details that can be easily accessed.

Bragging rights and responsibilities are surveyed in a variety of situations: the co-worker who takes credit, techno-bragging online, performance reviews, job interviews and working a room. Klaus peppers her points with examples from her coaching sessions and seminars, sample dialogues and self-assessments. Although several examples may seem too studied, Klaus has much to brag about. This is a book that will change the way you think about the slippery skill of selling yourself. --Barbara Mackoff

From Publishers Weekly

"Using the same techniques that have turned thousands of professionals and executives into skillful self-promoters," Klaus, a Fortune 500 communication consultant, teaches how to make an impact in today's unstable business market by becoming "a master of artful bragging." Klaus's persuasive writing style and authentic tone combined with real-life anecdotes culled from her 10 years conducting training seminars show off the transformative effect successful bragging can have on a career (including the author's own), while deflating any fears readers may have of coming off as phony, arrogant or obnoxious. Creating a "bragalogue"(or short, enthusiastic, continually updated story showcasing strengths and accomplishments) that you can deliver comfortably and sincerely is key to "planting seeds for the future" or standing out in interviews, performance reviews or networking situations. Sample conversations, self-evaluation surveys, advice on avoiding common bragging pitfalls, hints on body language and concrete tips for stay-at-home moms, freelancers, retirees and recent college grads lend a hands-on feel to this valuable business primer.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author


You may have seen Peggy Klaus on Nightline, the Today Show, and 20/20 or read her advice in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Newsweek, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, and O magazine. You may know her as the "brag lady" or--as one newspaper called her--a "bragologist" because of her popular book, BRAG! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It (Hachette Books Group, Hardcover 2003, Paperback 2004). Or you may know Klaus for the soft skills savvy she promotes in her second tome, The Hard Truth About Soft Skills: Workplace Lessons Smart People Wish They'd Learned Sooner (Collins, January 2008).

For more than a decade Klaus has provided communication and leadership training programs, keynotes, and executive coaching at leading corporations and organizations worldwide. Her client list reads like a who's who of Fortune 500 companies, including firms such as JP Morgan Chase, MasterCard, Computer Associates, Chevron Corporation, Deloitte, General Mills, Goldman Sachs, The National Football League, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, American Express, Mattel, Booz Allen Hamilton, Kaiser Permanente, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, among others. She reaches thousands each year through her workshops, keynotes and executive coaching.

With advanced degrees in drama, speech, and theatre from London's Royal Academy of Music and the Drama Studio, Klaus began her career as an actor and classical singer. She then moved to Hollywood to become a producer, director, and coach who worked with actors, comedians, musicians, and broadcast news talent for productions at Paramount Studios, Warner Brothers, ABC, CBS, and NBC TV, among others.

In the mid 90's, Klaus started getting panicked calls from friends on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley asking for help with their presentations at industry and press conferences, client meetings, and congressional hearings. Applying the same performance and communication techniques that she used successfully with stage, television, and film performers, Klaus left Hollywood behind to start Klaus & Associates. She quickly earned a reputation for teaching business professionals how to bring their best, most authentic and dynamic self to every situation.

Taking her message from the boardroom to the classroom, Klaus has lectured to students and faculty at the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business, Boalt School of Law, and the Harvard School of Public Health & Sciences. She has also served as lecturer at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and School of Public Health; Wharton's Executive MBA Program; the University of California, Davis MBA Program; Pepperdine University School of Law; and Smith College's Executive MBA Program. Klaus currently sits on the board of the Young Women's Leadership Network and has served as a member of the Women's Leadership Board of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, the Financial Women's Association of San Francisco Board, and on the SAGE Scholars Advisory Board at the University of California, Berkeley.

Following her passion for working with youth, in early 2004 Klaus launched BRAG! Connections, a unique program in which teen girls are paired with professional women to learn and practice networking and self-promotion skills. Continuing her work with youth, she developed the educational curriculum, Soft Skills 101: Lessons for Teens on Getting Ahead at School, at Work, and in Life.

When she is not coaching, training, lecturing, making television appearances, or giving keynotes in the US, Europe, and Asia, Klaus can be found in Berkeley, California, where she lives with her husband and their adorable pup, Ernie.

Customer Reviews

This book is an easy read.
Amazon Customer
I am not one who can talk easily about myself and this book helped with real life examples to talk about yourself without really feeling like you are bragging.
Joyce M. Conway
Peggy Klaus' "Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It" is perfect for those of us reluctant to toot our own horn.
Jill S

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book won't cure cancer, but it sure will overcome a lot of missed connections among people with valuable knowledge, experiences and talents who could be sharing them with one another.
Ms. Klaus argues persuasively that most of us don't put our best foot forward, out of a desire not to seem like braggarts. In the process, we look worse than we really are . . . and no one really cares. Careers, relationships and opportunities languish as a result.
Most people would like to present themselves better, and would concede that point. What's good about this book is that it is filled with practical advice for turning yourself into an interesting and relevant brief story for those you meet.
The heart of the book is the Take 12 self-examination where you start developing what's potentially interesting and relevant about you to share with others. Then, there's lots of advice for how to customize that material into 30 second (for elevator conversations) to 3 minute (for selling or interview intros) versions that fit your audience at the moment. If you only read that section and did the exercises there, you would more than get your value from this book.
The book begins with Ms. Klaus challenging myths about bragging (such as jobs being well done speaking for themselves, and good girls don't brag) by looking at actual experiences where the results of those myths were harmful for those who acted on them.
Quickly, attention shifts in chapter 2 to "What So Good about You" and there's more there in the Take 12 than you probably appreciate now.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Kris on June 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
Brag! was recommended to me highly... three different times. The third recommendation was because the book was on the "must read" list of a class I was taking on marketing. I finally bought the paperback version of the book since I was unable to find it at the local library.
I ho-hummed as I opened the book thinking it would be yet another inspirational speaker writing a book bragging about her success and that everyone else should be inspired. Inspirational speakers have never been that inspirational to me - probably because their "inspiration" lasts as long as it takes for me to get back to my car (usually at the top level of the parking lot furthest away from the auditorium). Once I'm behind the wheel of my car I am thrust back into my own world wondering what just happened. Hadn't I felt great just a few moments before? Wasn't I ready to go get `em? Wasn't I determined to get going and make a success of my business?
I read the first paragraph of the Introduction of Brag! and Peggy Klaus had me hooked. Wait a minute. I know she was talking about her own background in her narrative, but it sounded as if she was talking about me! She speaks of her father telling her as a child, " ...don't toot your own horn; if you do a good job people will notice you." My parents and Sunday School teachers said that all the time, too, and more. "Bragging is a big no-no." "The Bible says that modesty is a virtue." No wonder I never really liked inspirational speakers. They come off as giant braggarts. According to Peggy Klaus, they're not doing it right.
Countless phrases of virtue and avoidance of being obnoxious and self-aggrandizing hang in the back of my head waiting to pounce as soon as someone asks me what I do.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mark Regan on July 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
I was excited to read this book based on the everyone's comments. However, by the end I quickly realized it lacked the takeaways one expects.

It talks in length about how to promote yourself, but it fails to drive home the distiction between those who promote gracefully and those that just brag. I was expecting to learn this difference based on the title.

It never happened. So I give it two stars based on some good content, but no more given it misses the mark.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Early Adopter on January 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is an important topic and worthy of more than you get in this book. The book is nicely written in the self-help style: a couple of ideas and a lot of examples and filler to pad a magazine article worth of content into a paperback.

The only practical information is an exercise at the beginning of the book where you answer 12 questions (which are available from the author's website) designed to provide you with bragging soundbites. No examples of good and bad ones are given, however, so you are on your own.

The remainder of the book consists of questions followed by simple examples. Unfortunately, most of those questions are standard interview questions, and the sample answers are the ones that better books tell you to avoid. For example, What is your greatest weakness? The suggested "brag" for this is to say that you have too much energy. Good luck with that.

One of the better interview question and answer books will give you a lot more useful content and practical advice on Bragging about yourself.
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