Reprinted from Biz Books (Column for 010/01/18)
By Jim Pawlak
“It’s Time to Brag! Five Amazing Steps to Sell Yourself” by Jeannette L. Seibly (BizSavvy Books, $13.95). Brag (n.) – Speaking too proudly about what you’ve accomplished. How can you impress others without sounding like a shameless self-promoter? Seibly shows readers that business-savvy bragging focuses on the middle ground between humility and hubris. She believes that bragging highlights your accomplishments with authenticity, pride and enthusiasm.
By showcasing your credentials, you provide others with information that creates conversation. Example: Susan and Joan are coworkers; they attend a manufacturing engineers networking event: 1. Susan introduces herself: “I am an engineer who works at General Motors.” 2. Joan introduces herself: “I am a General Motors computer engineer specializing in software development for autonomous vehicles.” Joan’s introduction will spark far more conversations than Susan’s plain-vanilla intro because Joan provided talking points.
Business-savvy talking points are the networking version of your résumé. Seibly provides exercise templates that take you from development to execution: 1. What you know about yourself? List the things (including non-work) you’d rate yourself 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale.
2. In a column next to your “what I know” list, write down the talents (don’t forget soft skills) used when implementing your knowledge. Keep the descriptions elevator-speech simple.
3. In column three next to talents, describe achievements using action words and numbers wherever possible. With respect to business, your job-hunting résumé will provide a great deal of information.
4. Using the talent and achievement, create a number of brief “I am” statements for each of knowledge point. Joan’s “I am” statement (above) has 14 words. Having several “I am” statements allows you to tailor your intro to various audiences.
5. “My background includes…” statements build from your differentiator-intro and steps 1-3; they’re used to expand your contributions to conversations.
Tying it together: Practice your delivery – just as actors rehearse their lines.