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Certified Health Coach, Award Winning Author, Motivational Muse

Listen Up! Maybe It’s Time To Toot Your Own Horn

You know what’s music to my ears? It’s the sound of a confident person who can toot her own horn without sounding like a blowhard. Many people try it. Some succeed; others fail. Think of politicians, for example.

It’s strange. While the public relations industry is filled with confident, talented women who know how to toot horns to promote their clients, many lack volume in their own self-promotion. I’m not intentionally leaving out men, but women tend to downplay their achievements more than the opposite sex. Examples:”It’s nothing really…”  or “I’m just a stay-at-home mom…”

Remember this: If you downplay what you do, others may as well. Why hide or discount your fabulous talents or accomplishments? Modesty may be a virtue but, let’s face it, a little majesty makes you unforgettable. #fearlessfabulousyou. (You can Toot and Tweet that one!)

I learned this myself. Colleagues, friends and my husband said, “Melanie, you need to learn to toot your own horn and play up all you have accomplished. Otherwise, people will never know about your work creating and launching The James Beard Foundation Awards, New York Restaurant Week, and many other food industry programs. They won’t know about the awards you’ve won.” I’m told by someone close to me, “People forget unless you remind them. They don’t care unless you make them.”

embrace your fabulosity

When I launched my first book, I had to toot my own horn to get attention without a big PR budget. And it was not easy. I realized it can be skill to toot your own horn to attract the right attention. Some people are not natural tooters. They may need to bring in some backup to help them or take lessons.  I value the work of a talented publicist more than ever.

You ask: “Why should I toot my own horn?” I respond, “Why shouldn’t you? Everyone has something worthy to talk about and contribute to this world.”


You ask, “Won’t I sound like I am bragging? I respond, “It’s all in the message and method in which you toot…not too often and with a harmonious tone of voice versus a boldfaced boast.” It also helps to toot other peoples’ horns to share their talents or to congratulate them. They’ll usually toot back. Yes, two tooting together is better than one, especially when there is some re-Tweeting with it.

You ask, “Will anyone listen or care?” I respond, “More than you may realize. But if you say nothing, no one will have a reason to listen or share your news.”

You ask, “How do I get started and what do I do?” I respond: “Stay tuned. In upcoming weeks on this website I will announce my ‘Toot Your Own Horn’  online education program. After tooting other peoples’ horns for twenty something years I might as well share what I learned to help others learn to do it themselves.

One last Self-Toot: Please read and share this article I’ve published in Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s newsletter “Bridges” winter edition. I’m honored to share some Zest to help uplift the lives of anyone fighting cancer.

Melanie Article from MSK Winter-2016-bridges

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