(Warner Books, May 2004, $13.95)

Have you ever berated yourself for missing a golden opportunity to talk about yourself and your accomplishments because you were fearful of coming off as too showy or self-serving? How come so many of us can only think of the right things to say about ourselves after the fact? (i.e. after a job interview, a performance review, a cocktail party or networking event, a client meeting, a new business pitch, or an impromptu encounter with someone important.)

For most people, especially women, BRAG is a four-letter word and being a self-advocate is about as comfortable as having a root canal. Raised to be modest, taught by parents not to brag (“It’s unattractive. People won’t like you.”), the whole notion of promoting ourselves remains uncomfortable, emotionally difficult and “the reason I didn’t go into sales!”

“People either avoid bragging at all costs because they don’t know how to do it gracefully or, they attempt to sell themselves like a PowerPoint presentation, making those on the receiving end want to hide,” says Peggy Klaus, author of a new self-promotion book, BRAG! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It (Warner Books, May 2004, Paperback, $13.95). A top Fortune 500 communication and leadership coach, Klaus has taught thousands of professionals the art of bragging with style and grace. Now, she’s developed a program to teach anyone how to brag—and get away with it.

Communicating your strengths and accomplishments without appearing too opportunistic, eager, egotistical or self-aggrandizing can be tricky. In BRAG! Klaus shows how to overcome your reservations and comfortably sell yourself, wherever you go, without feeling or sounding like a walking billboard. Instead of remaining obscure or sounding obnoxious, Klaus shows readers an artful middle ground, a manner of shaping and sharing their own life stories, experiences and accomplishments in a way that ingratiates instead of grates.

Based on years of experience showing Fortune 500 executives how to toot their own horns, these strategies are designed to work for everyone in a variety of work-life situations: those starting out, those working their way to the top, those telecommuting, those working for themselves, and even those without “real” jobs, from people taking time off to care for their kids to people who have been laid off and are in-between jobs. The result: Better opportunities, from promotions and pay to securing new jobs and new business, and, best of all, creating a genuine sense of self-worth.

Some of the topics Klaus covers include:

  • Bragging Myths We Live And Die By: Including "A job well-done speaks for itself," “Good girls don’t brag,” “Humility gets you noticed,” “I don’t have to brag; others will do it for me,” and “Bragging is just for performance reviews.”
  • The "Take 12" Questionnaire (also available at www.bragbetter.com): A self-evaluation tool keyed to helping readers unearth their personal and professional history and zero in on what makes them unique
  • Interview Brag: Bragging your way through all types of zinger interview questions, such as, “tell me your weaknesses” or a previous bad job experience with your boss
  • Bragging for Entrepreneurs: Getting your personal story to do the heavy lifting by learning how to tell it
  • Bragging Between Jobs: Avoiding common “without a real job” brag bloopers whether you’ve just been laid off, are semi-retired, or are taking time off to care for children
  • "Brag Nags": Key communication techniques that make for more dynamic bragging in any situation

The advice in BRAG! comes from Klaus’ personal and professional experiences. When she first went to Hollywood to interview for jobs in the entertainment industry, she quickly discovered she was lousy at talking about herself and her accomplishments. Like many, after years of being told by her parents, ‘Don’t talk about yourself,” she was self-deprecating with little confidence or bravado. Eventually, she figured out how to overcome her self-doubt: she put together a "bragologue," a litany of her own accomplishments that evolved into the Peggy Klaus Story, to be delivered with the kind of enthusiasm reserved for the telling of some grand adventure. As Klaus explains, bragging is an art, an individual form of self-expression and communication that, once mastered, is the key to opening doors. A short, punchy, immediate-impact read, BRAG! is filled with painfully honest (and sometimes humorous) personal and professional self-promotion dilemmas and solutions. It teaches readers how to put their best foot forward—while keeping it out of their mouths!

Author's Bio: 

Top Fortune 500 communication and leadership coach, Peggy Klaus hastaughtthousands of professionals the art of bragging with style and grace. Nowshehas penned a best-selling book that shows everyone how to brag--and getawaywith it. "People either avoid bragging at all costs because they don'tknowhow to do it gracefully or they attempt to sell themselves like aPowerPointpresentation, making those on the receiving end want to hide," saysKlaus.She has been featured extensively in a wide range of media including TheWall Street Journal, New York Times, Fortune, CNN, and The Today Show.Alsowell regarded in higher education, Klaus has lectured faculty andstudentsat the University of California Berkeley's Haas School of Business andWharton's Executive MBA Program.

For more information about BRAG! or to order the book, visitwww.bragbetter.com. To find out about programs and services offered byKlausand Associates, visit www.klausact.com.