“It’s not polite to brag.”
“Nobody likes a bragger.”


Talk About Talk #105 - Bragging, Self-Promotion & Your Personal Brand - image of woman pointing finger and scolding  
Image by Dean Drobot  from Canva

Wait – is BRAGGING really such a bad thing? 

Not according to Lisa Bragg, Founder and CEO of MediaFace, and author of the forthcoming book, Bragging Rights. Lisa says that the really negative things associated with bragging are actually another thing altogether: “self-aggrandizement.” (I ❤️ that word!)

As you might know, much of my academic research has focused on self-enhancement, self-promotion, social capital, and word-of-mouth. Bragging and self-aggrandizement fit right in there! I can’t wait for you to hear my conversation with Lisa in this week’s Talk About Talk podcast episode. (Yes, I have a new friend!)


Talk About Talk #105 - Bragging, Self-Promotion & Your Personal Brand - image of Andrea Wojnicki and Lisa Bragg
Andrea Wojnicki & Lisa Bragg

Living with the name “Bragg” certainly influenced Lisa’s interests. In fact, that was the first Q I asked her!
In this episode, Lisa and I discuss:

1️⃣ The difference between BRAGGING and SELF-AGGRANDIZEMENT
2️⃣ How to stop WORRYING and focus on what makes you REMARKABLE
3️⃣ How to communicate your SUPERPOWERS without  bragging

Is it BRAGGING, or is it something else?

Imagine you’ve just received a promotion, won an award, or completed a major project. 

You’re about to post about your good news on social media, but before you hit “publish,” you catch yourself thinking, “Wait, am I bragging? Am I showing off?”

If you’re asking yourself this question, the answer is probably NO!


Talk About Talk #105 - Bragging, Self-Promotion & Your Personal Brand - image of smiling man pointing both thumbs at himself
Image by Mix and Match Studio from Canva


According to Lisa, what many people think of as BRAGGING is actually SELF-AGGRANDIZEMENT.

Lisa defines bragging as talking about your successes in a thoughtful and strategic way, but not at the expense of others.

Self-aggrandizement, on the other hand, is all about wanting to position yourself as more powerful or important. As Lisa says, there’s an element of narcissism involved.

If you’re worried about bragging, you’re probably not bragging – and you’re definitely NOT self-aggrandizing.


It’s the folks who lack the self-awareness to even consider how their words come across that give bragging a bad rap.

Still worried?

If you still feel unsure about how to talk about your own successes, AMPLIFY somebody else’s!

Talk About Talk #105 - Bragging, Self-Promotion & Your Personal Brand - image of three spotlights shining on a stage

Image by Amankirso from Getty Images/Canva

The easiest thing you can do is ✨ shine a spotlight ✨ on somebody else.

Does it still feel like bragging when you’re talking about somebody else’s successes? Probably not.

So team up with a friend and brag about each other!

It’s all about PERCEPTION


When does bragging cross from establishing credibility and highlighting successes to the negative territory of self-aggrandizement and showing off?

That all depends on who you ask.

Talk About Talk #105 - Bragging, Self-Promotion & Your Personal Brand - quote about bragging by Lisa Bragg

Whether someone comes across as sincerely communicating their Personal Brand or just showing off depends on how they are PERCEIVED by their audience.

When we perceive or ACCUSE others of bragging, it usually means one of two things is at play:

1️⃣ It’s not really about them
Maybe I’m jealous. Or maybe I’m being judgmental. But my reaction has more to do with ME than THEM.

2️⃣ I’m worried about how others perceive me
In the back of my mind I’m wondering if others would ever accuse ME of bragging. 

The lesson here is to be conscious of other people’s PERCEPTIONS, and to always be aware of the IMPLICIT and EXPLICIT ways we communicate.

That’s it for this week! A big THANK YOU to Lisa for taking the time to speak with me about BRAGGING, SELF-PROMOTION & YOUR PERSONAL BRAND. Keep an eye out for her book, Bragging Rights, due out in 2023.

You can listen directly on the Talkabouttalk.com website just by clicking ▶️ play.  Or you can find the podcast on any podcast app.  Just search “Talk About Talk”. Please SUBSCRIBE!

Talk About Talk #105 - Bragging, Self-Promotion & Your Personal Brand - image of Lisa Bragg

Thanks Lisa!


Please forward to your friends who might like help with their communication skills and communicating Psychological Safety. Thank you.

Have a great week.

Talk soon,

Related content from the Archives – Episodes focused on PERSONAL BRANDING:

#9 – Re-Imagining Your PERSONAL BRAND with Michael Boydell 
#68 – Communicating Your PERSONAL BRAND ONLINE
#77 – PERSONAL BRANDING: Reinforcing Your Personal Brand With Implicit Communication
#84 – Strategic Principals of PERSONAL BRANDING
#97 – PERSONAL STYLE & Your Personal Brand
#98 – The Power of PERSONAL BRANDING
#101 – Communicating your Personal Brand on SOCIAL MEDIA with Andrew Jenkins

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