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Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It Hardcover – May 21, 2003
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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.
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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.
I used this with my mentor group. We did exercises, where we wrote our 'stories' and then shared them with one another. A lasting exercise!
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