Tooting Your Own Horn 101
As much as we wish other people would notice our talents and shower us with recognition, more often than not, just like in New York traffic, it takes horn tooting to get someone's attention. The problem is that even women who are great at selling something or someone else have a tough time doing it for themselves. Put your modesty aside and use these simple ways to start tooting your own horn.
- Practice horn tooting for something you believe in. Nonprofit groups need help more than ever. Saying something good about their mission helps you learn what makes for a compelling pitch and makes you feel good about doing it.
- Toot a coworker's horn. It's great to point out someone else's accomplishments. Just make sure you don't use it as an excuse to put yourself down.
- Don't bad-mouth other women for promoting themselves. It's easy to ask, "Who does she think she is?" But every time we do, we're sending a message to others, and to ourselves, that it's wrong for women to say good things about themselves. Change the world—and yourself—by mentally saying "Hurrah!" when another woman goes for it.
- Data is your friend. Particularly in the business world, numbers are an effective way to tell the story of how wonderful you are. Practice saying something great about yourself and proving it with statistics. If you can't back up your claims, think about asking for opportunities that would give you the bragging rights you need.
- Know what you need. Preparing to toot your own horn goes beyond deciding what you're going to say. Make sure you know what you need to feel supported while you make your pitch and how to take care of yourself afterward, no matter how it goes.
- Give yourself permission to experiment. Ask a friend to spend a half hour or so with you to practice horn tooting.
- Create a safe place. Sometimes you know you're going to be called upon to toot your own horn, and sometimes you don't. Knowing it's coming can be harder because you have time to get anxious. That's why it's good to be able to create a safe place within your own head where you can go when you start to panic.