Thursday, January 12, 2012

Brag!: The Art Of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It By Peggy Klaus

Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It

Brag!: The Art Of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It By Peggy Klaus

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Product Description

The renowned communication expert's subtle but effective plan for selling your best asset - yourself - without turning off those you're trying to impress.

Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #34864 in Books
  • Published on: 2004-05
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 8.25" h x .63" w x 5.50" l, .46 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 224 pages

Features

  • ISBN13: 9780446692786
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
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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.

About the Author
Peggy Klaus, a skilled lecturer, lives in Berkeley, California.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

53 of 53 people found the following review helpful.
5You . . . Conveyed as a Story Relevant to Others
By Donald Mitchell
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.

Most of the rest of the chapters address specific situations such as how to behave in the office (even if you are a tele-commuter), handling job interviews, being in performance reviews, using voice mail and e-mails, when you are not employed, and when you are self-employed. For professionals who work on their own, chapter 8 which addresses the last subject can be worth a fortune to you. I thought it was very well done. Then the book moves back into overviews (chapter 9 is on brag nags to keep you focused and chapter 10 has a self-confession by the author and 12 tooting tips).

If you've ever felt awkward in advancing your own views or interests in any of these situations, take a look at this book. You will probably find helpful ideas that you'll be comfortable following.

In the course of my business career, I've had occasion to meet many successful people. Almost all of them follow the kind of gentle, discreet communications approaches described here. So I can testify that this approach must work for getting to the top!

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful.
5Wow! I think this book was written just for me!
By Kris
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. I murmur, "I'm a graphic designer" only half-believing that I deserve the title despite my success. "Graphic designer?" they ask. "Does that mean you do, like, brochures and stuff like that?" "Yeah," I answer. And then the conversation falls flat.

This is where Peggy Klaus picks up the pace and tells you right out that if you don't speak up for yourself, no one else will. However, there is an art to this type of communication. Peggy spends the remaining 190 pages helping you take stock of what you have to brag about while you make yourself a "Brag Bag" full of "Brag Bites" and a few good "Bragalogues" to fit various situations. She also has some plain talk rebuttals to the "buts" we all have to talking about ourselves. My favorite:

" `But... do I really need to brag 24/7?' Like the Scouts, be prepared... to toot at any time. That doesn't mean, however, that you do it all the time or that you do it at inappropriate times or places. You do it when it feels comfortable. And learning how to make it feel more comfortable is what this book is all about."

Peggy's examples are plentiful and, if you're like me, you'll see yourself in her examples more than once. She's not just any braggart, she's the best! Her natural way of writing (read: unpretentious), extremely practical advice, recommendations and her sense of humor combine to make this my favorite book of my business reading and the book that, right now, is making the most impact in my life and in my business.
-Anna Kris Bell
Catchphrase Graphics

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful.
2Good foundation, but weak execution
By Mark Regan
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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