To Promote Yourself Effectively, You Must Share Stories.

In the professional and entrepreneurial world, being able to promote yourself is more important than selling your idea.

The way people perceive you at work is vital to your career success. Mainly because what other people think you can do is more important than what you have done. Considering that is the execution that makes the difference, today there is a greater focus on who is behind the idea than the idea itself.

Moreover, you can’t expect your work to regularly be noticed. The people around you, in spite of their good intentions, lack the time to be always on top of your results. If you keep that in mind when you self-promote, you are helping others to understand your interests, talents, and skill, and therefore, understand where you can contribute the most, and why they should trust you, and additionally, you are ultimately making their lives easier because you are saving them time.

Promoting yourself can be scary and whether it makes you feel uncomfortable or not at all, there are ways to do it effectively and ways that may turn other people off. I will share with you my three golden rules of self-promotion:

  1. If you're going to talk about yourself do it with confidence or don't do it at all.
  2. It's not bragging if you can back it up.
  3. Share a story, be authentic 

Often it is not what we say but how we say it. If you are not able to speak with pride of what you have achieved why should others care? You are your own worst critic. If you don't speak up and take the risk of being criticized you won't achieve your goals. Moreover, you must express yourself with confidence. It might be hard at first, but just as the social psychologist Amy Cuddy points out in her ted talk “Your body language shapes who you are,” you need to "fake it 'til you become it". You'll notice how your ideas are better received by others if they feel you are confident about them. Likewise, when you talk about your achievements, they are part of who you are, and you have to carry that crown with pride. Never use words to underestimate your achievements in order not to look smug, just focus on the facts, and you will be alright.

Finally, the best way to promote yourself is not by stating who you are or what you did but by leaving others to reach that conclusion for themselves. The best way to achieve this, in a memorable and authentic way, is through stories. There is nothing as powerful as a well-told story to share a message without stating it directly. According to science, stories activate not only language regions of our brains but also many other parts, the reason why the experience of reading can feel so alive. When you narrate a story, listeners are literally immersed at the moment and can feel what you feel, thus they get better and deeper impressions. Unlike stories, statements can be easily refuted.

So share who you are...

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