Self-promotion is a tricky skill and one that most professionals find challenging to execute. However, it's an important part of career progression. Whether it's pitching yourself to a potential employer, applying for a promotion, or showing the progress you've made at an appraisal, it's a necessary part of modern working culture.
But how can you get over the level of embarrassment or awkwardness you initially feel?
Promoting ourselves doesn't come naturally to many of us, but you can try these tips and tricks to help it be easier.
Speak the truth
The problem with 'selling yourself' is that a lot of people immediately distrust a salesperson, including yourself. To overcome this issue, you need to focus on the fact that it's the methods people use to sell that make them trustworthy or not. If you're talking about talents and skills that you honestly have, then it should be much easier to convince yourself that you can maintain your integrity even by self-promoting.
Many of us suffer from the 'spotlight effect' where you become hyperconscious about what other people think about you and what their behavior means. In self-promotion this is even more apparent because selling ourselves feels so incredibly unnatural for so many people. To get around this, try thinking logically about what is actually happening. If you're invited to an interview or to give a pitch, it's likely that people want to hear what you have to say and so focus on why you think you deserve it.
Practice, practice, practice
Another way to get around the spotlight effect is to practice. Like any public speaking, the more often you do it, the more comfortable you become with it. You may not be able to practice your interview, but you can rehearse how you showcase your skills. This means you can find a way that you are most comfortable with to talk about your unique talents.
Put yourself into perspective
Of course, it doesn't do any good to constantly compare yourself to those around you, but if you are feeling a little uncomfortable about promoting yourself, think about your colleagues. If you know that you are as talented and experienced as those around you, then this should give you more confidence to speak out. This shouldn't be mentioned during any one-to-one, as it's a lazy way of proving yourself, but it can give you that extra push to go for it.