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Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It Audible – Abridged

4.3 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMEVINE 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The 5-star reviews here mystify me. I found Peggy Klaus's book "Brag!" to be borderline unreadable and completely unhelpful.

It had a great title/subtitle and stellar Amazon reviews, so I figured this would be the book to help overcome my natural reluctance to tout my own achievements. Instead we have a supposed "communications expert" -- who readily admits that she feels like a fraud because she's not really a communications expert -- giving us commonsense advice that can be distilled into about five sentences. For example, the "12 Tooting Tips for Bragging" she ends the book with look like something anyone would come up with in 10 minutes when tasked with creating such a list: "Have a sense of humor" and "Use it all: your eyes, ears, head and heart" and "Know when to toot" and "Think about to whom you are tooting." OK...

The rest of the book is similar: full of trite observations and sweeping generalizations that sound like they were written by someone with not much corporate experience. Like "People on all rungs of the corporate ladder -- from entry level to middle manager, from heads of divisions to heads of companies, from Silicon Valley to Wall Street -- had a hard time talking about themselves." Heads of Silicon Valley and Wall Street companies have a hard time talking about themselves? If you find that sentence credible, then buy this book, because there are lots of others like it in here.

Don't brag too much, but let people know your accomplishments when it matters, and tell it in a quick story they'll remember. That's what this book takes 200 pages to say. I've never seen such an obviously bad book get such high ratings on Amazon.
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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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