Are You Afraid of Being Braggadocios?

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the NAWBO Columbus “Good to Great” Program.  It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with some fabulous local women business owners who are committed to success.

Each table at the event focused on a different business building topic.  I was lucky enough to have the fabulous Tonya Stalnaker-Tigget of Speak Our Language at my table leading a discussion on “How to Toot Your Own Horn.”  Tooting your own horn is something that many business women struggle with.  It really is unfortunate because so much of your success depends on your ability to toot your own horn.

We often worry about looking like a braggart or making others feel bad because they’re not as successful. Or, we may feel like our successes aren’t big enough to toot.

Can you relate to any of that?  If so, you are definitely not alone.

Here’s the thing: you can’t wait for others to toot your horn for you.  You have to stand out and let people know what you’re up to or you’ll fade into the wallpaper.

Here are 3 tips for tooting your horn and promoting your business (without sounding like a jerk):

  1. Don’t be shy about sharing your accomplishments.  Make a list of your business AND personal accomplishments and sprinkle them in your bio.  You have a story that is inspirational to others and that story just might inspire them to do business with you.
  2. Be creative and engaging.  Don’t just say, “I’m a _______” and leave it at that.  Tell a story, ask an engaging question, make up analogy or a cool title and explain how it relates to what you do so people truly understand what you’re talking about and grasp how extraordinary you are.  For example, Tonya introduces herself as “the live version of Dora the Explorer for adults.”  That grabs your attention much more than saying, “I teach people how to speak another language.”
  3. Let your confidence, passion, and enthusiasm shine through.  When you talk about yourself and your services your energy is contagious.  If you come off as unsure of yourself or disinterested, the person you’re talking to is going to feel the same way about you and your services.

I would love to hear your favorite tips for tooting your horn.  Not a horn tooter?  That’s ok too. Please feel free to share your comments below.

If you’re looking to uplevel your business this year and would like to figure out what your next step is click here.

© 2011 Tiffany deSilva

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5 Response to “Are You Afraid of Being Braggadocios? ”

Sue Painter
January 9, 2012
6:21 pm

Comment :

I love this blog post. By the way, you might have run into my friend Amy Franko there…..anyway, I think women are totally bad about NOT tooting their own horn and we need to! Good points, every one.

Jeff Brunson
January 11, 2012
4:04 pm

Comment :

Tiffany, there was a movie where Walter Brennan’s character would say, “No brag, just fact.” (You are too young to know who he is). I thought of this character when I read your post.

We have to be bold and shameless when it comes to our personal purpose and brand in giving our gift in the world through our work. It sounds like Tonya definitely understands and lives that.

One thing that has helped me tremendously is accepting myself as the “expert.” I’ve earned the expertise that I have … and now boldly claim. This goes a long way in giving the gift through confident speech and connection with those who benefit from the gift.

Mary Ellen Miller
January 11, 2012
10:04 pm

Comment :

Tiffany, this really struck a chord with me. From the time I was a little girl my parents would say, “he that toot-eth not his own horn get it not-eth tooted.” Or when they were speaking in plain English, “If you don’t toot your own horn no one else will.” Thanks for the chuckle and the good memory of parents who taught all three of their children self confidence.

Linda Pucci
January 12, 2012
9:05 am

Comment :

Loved your tips about this, Tiffany. I especially want to play with the idea of being more whimsical and creative in how I describe what I do. Thanks!

Jennifer Bourn
January 16, 2012
12:58 pm

Comment :

Confidence is contagious! If you’re confident in your accomplishments and your message, and your share them with grace – you simply can’t go wrong.

Others will pick up on it too and they’ll feel more confident about you too!

Jennifer Bourn, Bourn Creative

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