Why You Should Brag

My friend Sue and I have known each other since grad school and have always supported each other’s successes. She is a wonderful, talented author and beloved English professor and I am a body language expert and professional speaker. Sue arranged for me to speak to the student body of her University.
The day of my speech we went over my intro and I showed her how to turn on my 40 sec intro video with snippets of newscasters and TV show hosts introducing me on their show.  We got to the room early and I put little bios and business cards on all the seats in the auditorium. As professors and students came in I introduced myself, “Hello my name is Patti I am your speaker today.”  I gave my speech and then spent another half hour with students gathered around me asking questions. 

All these were things that I did for every speech, but my friend said, “Patti, watching you do those things changed everything I thought about my career.”  At first I thought, “Goodness, Patti is going over the top with all this bragging about herself in the intros and then I noticed how people responded to you even before you started speaking. She said I have watched 100’s of speakers in that same Venue but they were treating you with honor and respect that I have never seen given before.  During your video intro, that I had thought originally was too much, I could see them get excited and lean forward in their seats. During your speech you gave brief, specific examples of how you used your body language expertise to solve a client’s problems and used it to analyze the president for the Today Show or CNN. Each example illustrated a learning point, and gave you an increased level of credibility with the audience.  But here is the funny thing, I have had the opportunity my entire career to promote myself the way you did and I have never done it because I thought I was bragging!

I told her she was a remarkable author and speaker and should own it and start self-promoting because men do so all the time!  I shared that for years I wanted to be a successful speaker but I never bragged and was too shy. I worked hard, but I’m not in the big leagues.   I looked around and realized that the male speakers would do it. I noticed when I spoke the men would actually stand around before and after meetings  and brag about the terrific job they did on a project, the great deal that they just made or the golf game or their new car. For men it is a way of showing their colleagues what they can do so that their peers feel confident in recommending them for projects, promotions and jobs.  It is an effective way to communicate.

Sue quickly started using the same self-promotion techniques. Doing this, and her hard work, led her to earn a tenured position and the raise she had long wanted and deserved. 

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.