At NoCoNet this past week, alumna Robbie MacBeth gave a presentation based on the book: Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus. Since I never got around to reading a book for this month’s book review, this was good timing.
The idea of this book is to snippets of brags and longer “bragologues,” essentially conversation starters of your accomplishments. The idea get others interested in what you have to offer without turning them off. Once you develop these bragologues, practice them with a trusted individual to spot duds, see what needs tweaking, and to make them natural bits of conversation that you can drop when the occasion merits.
In the book, and on the BRAG! website, Klaus has the Take-12 Self-Assessment Questionaire to help develop topics for the bragologue.
When people start talking about listing your accomplishments, I start to roll my eyes. (on the inside!) After all, what accomplishments do I have, when I’m just starting off in my career? I mean, I don’t even have a job! Luckily, the BRAG! website has a version of the Take 12 questionnaire adapted for college students (looks like it would work for recent grads as well). They are:
- What would you and others (friends, teachers, parents, coaches, etc.) say are three of the best things about you?
- What are the five most interesting things you have done or that have happened to you in life so far?
- What do you think is your strongest ability and how did you end up being good at it?
- What do you like/love most about your life?
- What are you most proud of having accomplished recently or in the past?
- What new skills have you learned in the last year?
- What difficulties have you overcome to get where you are today?
- What important lessons have you learned from making mistakes?
- What training or educational experiences have you completed and what did you gain from those experiences (academic, athletic, artistic, etc.)?
- What groups are you involved with (school clubs, church groups, teams, etc.) and in what ways (member, officer, captain, etc.)?
- How do you spend your time outside of school (hobbies, interests, sports, friends, family, and volunteer activities)?
- In what ways are you making a difference in people’s lives?