How can you brag your butt off… without being a pain in the a**?
Let’s be honest here: talking about yourself feels pretty good, right?
Sharing good news boosts your self-esteem, and helps others think better of you.
- Bragging is just part of being good at what you do — whatever that is.
- It feels distasteful but is necessary for career growth.
- Promote your own successes; assume no one else will do it for you.
- We are taught humility, but social media teaches us the opposite.
- Too much humility leads to missed sales and promotional opportunities..
But do we underestimate the extent to which we’re annoying?
Why talk about your own successes and accomplishments?
Your personal stories:
- grab people’s attention.
- let others get to know the “real” you.
- help you connect with others and build stronger relationships.
- show others what’s truly important to you, when it comes to your values.
- make you – and life – more interesting.
It takes finesse to present yourself well without sounding braggy.
Stay focused: Brag your butt off by…
- doing your best work — always.
- Deliver stellar work to have something significant to brag about.
- highlighting only your top accomplishments and achievements.
- Don’t highlight everything. Even when you want to.
- focusing on contributions, not accomplishments.
- How are you making a difference? What failures have you overcome that can help others?
- making it useful.
- Share value learned while accomplishing your goal.
- keeping the story short.
- If they want more information, they’ll ask.
- sticking to the facts.
- People can make their own conclusions about how great you are, based on your results.
Find the right time: Brag your butt off by…
- asking “Do I need to be the one to share this?”
- Will this be more effective if shared by someone else?
- asking “Do I really need to share this right now?”
- Not everything needs to be shared the moment it happens. Can you wait a bit?
- realizing it’s OK to hold back for a short while.
- Why not bask in the attention of a just-shared win before sharing something new?
- connecting with others before bragging.
- Make a connection, build rapport, and the conversation will present an opportunity.
- not highlighting the same accomplishment too often.
- Repetition doesn’t make it more impressive.
In conversation: Brag your butt off by…
- practicing your story.
- Get used to talking about your achievements out loud.
- leading the witness, but not sharing the entire story unless they show interest.
- Drop a hint about your accomplishment. Does the other person express interest?
- not bragging without a good entry into the conversation.
- If someone asks, offer a small brag. But don’t proceed if the conversation isn’t heading that way.
- planning for a transition.
- After sharing your story, ask a question to pivot the focus back to the other person.
- letting the other person go first.
- Even if someone else talks first, you’ll still get your chance.
- talking only as long as your conversation partner.
- Note how long they talk about their work or accomplishment. Don’t talk any longer than they did.
Spread the love: Brag your butt off by…
- showing gratitude.
- Express thanks for an exciting opportunity. Name names. Give public thanks.
- giving credit whenever you can.
- Was your success due to someone else’s referral, suggestion, nomination, or encouragement?
- sharing via the words of others.
- Let others do the talking. Share thank-you notes, emails, testimonials, reviews, or comments.
- highlighting others deserving attention.
- If you receive recognition from an organization, can you highlight their value and accomplishments?
- sharing your friends’ accomplishments.
- The win is shared, the accomplished person isn’t bragging, you’re the hero celebrating your friend!
- bragging about your clients.
- Be genuinely happy for others. Even if you had a part in their success, don’t mention it.
Make it interesting: Brag your butt off by…
- making it fun.
- Use jokes, stories, and photos. Get your readers laughing with you.
- using metaphors or unusual framing to make your story memorable.
- I compare my writing services to baking cookies. What’s your unique framing?
- talking about feedback instead of the action prompting feedback.
- Feedback can be more engaging than your action to elicit it!
Stay humble (but not too humble): Brag your butt off by…
- showing humility.
- Explain how you got there via hard work, effort, commitment, and follow-through.
- being wary of the humblebrag.
- No one is fooled by bragging masquerading as a complaint or humility.
- sprinkling in a little self-deprecation.
- Sometimes it’s OK to say “well, it’s not really that big of a deal…”
- thinking twice before name-dropping.
- Will it add relevance to your accomplishment, or look smug and self-serving?
- not comparing yourself to others.
- If you won, don’t point out how far ahead of the other competitors you were.
- avoiding downplaying your accomplishments or credentials.
- Constantly downplaying your success backfires if people think you’re hiding something.
- not starting off with “I hate to brag, but…”
- This says you know it’s bragging, but you’re saying it anyway.
Be ready to say it: Brag your butt off by…
- tracking your achievements.
- You don’t need a fancy system, just keep a list.
- having bite-sized brags ready to go.
- Be prepared to quickly and casually mention accomplishments.
- preparing your big story brags for key moments.
- Have your shiniest, most impactful stories prepped and ready to impress at the right moment.
- working up bite-sized brags AND big story brags for the same accomplishment.
- Bite-sized brag: “I’ve written 100 articles.” Big story brag: “Writing 100 articles taught me…”
- documenting numerical proof.
- Know your proof numbers and milestones.
Keep a list of the brags ready to share:
- in the media
- in your resume
- at job interviews
- when you’re a podcast guest
- at introductions when you first meet someone
- at sales calls or pitches to prospective clients