Why You Should Bragg and Tips for Self Promotion


My friend Sue and I have known each other since grad school and have always supported each other’s success. She is a wonderful and 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. 
On the day of my speech, we went over my intro and I showed her how to turn on my 40-secound intro video with snippets of newscasters and TV show hosts introducing me on their show.  We got 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." "I have watched 100’s of speakers in that same Venue but they were treating you with a feeling of honor and respect that I have never seen. I had thought originally the video and intro was too much, but I could see them get excited and lean forward in their seats during the intro."  "During your speech, you gave brief specific examples of how you used your body language expertise to solve a client’s problems 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 Patti is I have had the opportunity my entire career to promoting 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!  If the word bragging calls it self-confidence, call it, self-promotion. I shared that for years I wanted to be a successful speaker but,  I never bragged and was too shy too fearful of being seen as cocky. I worked hard, but I not in the big leagues.   I looked around and realized that the male speakers would talk about their success all the time. 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.
                                                            Tips for Self Promotion
1.       Yes, there is a gender-based difference in how men who self-promote are perceived and how women who say the same kind of things about themselves are perceived. But, that perception can ONLY change if women are courageous and speak well of their accomplishments without fear.

2.       Learn to tell a great short self-promotional story.  “Last week the most fantastic thing happened... “I had the best week this week……”, “I feel so great about something that happened this week..” and then tell about one specific success. Don’t preface it with how tired you are. Don’t list all you did, or how busy your week was. Tell one very brief story. A hero's journey is interesting.  A recap of your to-do list or passage from your outlook calendar is boring. If you have not read, "The Power of Myth" find it or at least read about it so you know what a hero's journey looks and sounds like.   

3.       Be very careful of your tone and nonverbal delivery.  Look at how men get excited and make the telling of their hero's journey into a fun journey for the listener.  Don’t be haughty, don’t hog too much time. Think how men share a sports success,  “I hit a home run, I caught the ball, I made a hole in one" story and people actually ENJOY listening because they feel the pleasure and excitement the adventure and challenge along with the storyteller.

4.       Men will email what they have done to accomplish their projects. If you see a good example of someone stating and accomplishment in an email you receive and model it.
5.       Do things that are visible to others. Get on committees with important people. Speak up at meetings. Talk to people who can recommend you. Take influential people out for coffee or lunch, stop by people’s offices and ask what they are up to.

6.       Get another woman to brag for you. Tell other women what you have done and ask her to brag for you. Reciprocate. Be the person that says shares positive stories about others.
7. When you introduce your female friends and coworkers and business friends to someone new introduce them along with an accomplishment. "Jim this is Sara Beckman, she just headed up the committee for our new quarter sales meeting and it was fantastic."

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.