Business Writing and Presentations
    Wed., Sep. 4-Dec. 11, 2019
    6:25-9 p.m. ET
    New York University
    (graduate course)

    Presentation Skills for Introverts®
    Thu., Mar. 26 & Apr. 2, 2020
    6-8:55 p.m. ET
    New York University
    (2-session workshop)


    How to "Talk the Talk" at Professional Events (free)
    Columbia University Alumni Career Services

    How to Think on Your Feet: Improv Skills for Business
    Co-facilitators: Nancy Ancowitz and Carl Kissin
    American Management Association

    How to Deliver Powerful Presentations as an Introvert
    American Management Association

    Essential Management Skills for Introverts
    American Management Association

    How to Project Confidence with Demanding People
    American Management Association

    Secrets of Successful Public Speaking
    American Management Association


    Tango for Leaders
    For organizations

    Success Strategies for Introvert Leaders
    National Institutes of Health
    (Workshop for NIH employees only)

    Publisher's Weekly
    "Best Books"
    The New York Times
    "Currently winning our race for most intriguing book title of 2009 is the oxymoronic “Self-Promotion for Introverts” by Nancy Ancowitz (McGraw Hill). The 'how to' book is filled with tips (rehearse is a favorite). The author’s tone is supportive and she does not argue that introverts should become live wires. But what else would you expect from a book whose subtitle is 'the quiet guide to getting ahead'?"
    The Wall Street Journal
    "…showing how quiet people can turn their innate strengths into an advantage when networking."
    ABC News
    "Best Book Gifts"
    Los Angeles Times
    "Whatever's behind your reluctance to speak out for yourself, this is the first book I've seen with serious research on the topic that leads to a new game plan."
    CIO Insight
    "Must-Read Fall Books for IT Execs"
    "Best New Career Books"
    "Offers a solid dose of practical advice—alongside humorous anecdotes.... Ancowitz shows introverts how to take advantage of the unique qualities and strengths they can offer."
    The Independent Consultant
    "There is great value in this book, whether you are promoting your own business or consulting practice, or just want to be sure your talents are recognized within your larger organization."
    Small Business Trends
    "Written by an introvert for introverts."
    Ft. Myers Florida Weekly
    "'Self-Promotion for Introverts' is a primer on doing just that—helping 'quiet sorts' assert themselves by using their inherent tendencies in the most effective ways."
    Women and Leadership Australia
    "Pitched perfectly. Our rating: 10/10."

Shushing Your Inner Bully: A Quick Trick

I frequently encounter highly accomplished people who don’t think of themselves that way. In fact, many clients of mine and participants in my Self-Promotion for Introverts® workshops spend more time thinking of their latest misstep—despite their robust résumés. Can you relate?

While many introverts—those of us who are more often energized during our quiet time than our social time—make significant contributions to our organizations and society, a bully that lurks between our ears sometimes get the best of us. Of course, introverts don’t have the market cornered on negative self-talk; however, research has shown that we probably chatter more inside our heads. So what can we do about it? Here’s a quick trick you can use, excerpted from my book, Self-Promotion for Introverts®: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead.

“I can catch any ball”
One of my clients, a senior corporate training manager—let’s call him Clark Connolly—found a way to stay attuned to his gifts, despite the background “noise.” He shares a recurring negative self-talk message that plays in his head when he speaks to someone more senior: “I’m not in the same league.”

To counter that, I ask Connolly to describe a situation in which he performs at his best. A fine and confident athlete, he pictures himself in the outfield and says, “I can catch any ball.” Connolly repeats this affirmation to himself whenever he faces a particularly challenging situation; in fact, it’s become his mantra. Here’s what he wrote on a little card he had laminated and put in his wallet.

Clark Connolly’s negative self-talk antidote wallet card

  • Preparation. Anticipate.
  • Breathing. Ten deep breaths.
  • Affirmation. “I can catch any ball.”
  • Physical attributes. Feet planted; head high; shoulders back.
  • Voice. Modulate; lower pitch; raise volume; ask questions; show interest.

Connolly refers to this wallet card to help get himself grounded before important meetings. What can you write on a little card to recharge yourself with positive thoughts so you’ll perform at your best?

I find that managing my negative self-talk requires daily maintenance, especially when I’m under a lot of stress. During those times, I attempt to be more conscious of the messages I say to myself. I counter the noise by reinforcing what I’m good at, putting myself in positive situations, and surrounding myself with people who believe in me. Find what works best for you. If you’re an introvert, remember to catch your breath between social encounters—rest up, prepare, and, when applicable, practice.

For more about quieting—or at least managing—your inner bully, check out my story, “Soothe Your Savage in the Cheap Seats.” Also don’t miss “I Coulda Been a Contender,” by Abby Ellin in Psychology Today.

Adapted from Nancy Ancowitz, Self-Promotion for Introverts®: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead, McGraw-Hill, 2009, pp. 21-22.

Copyright © 2010 Nancy Ancowitz

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