Very few things can kill your referability as fast as a humble brag.

Sure, you want your audience to trust you, take your advice, and understand the depth of your expertise…

But don’t combat that imposter syndrome lurking in your mind with these little menaces.  They’ll destroy your referability and turn your audience against you faster than you can spell “braggadocious.”

What is a humble brag, exactly?

Humble Brag:
I define it as an “ostensibly modest statement delivered with the actual intention of drawing attention to something of which you are proud.”

It’s when you casually drop the names of that big hot client you grabbed drinks with last time you were in the city.

“Yeah, Joe Bigshot and I were shooting the breeze over a few beers last weekend while we talked about [insert relevant detail to speech.]”

Or, when you cooly tell the audience how you were “talking to a client of yours” who just happens to be a c-suite executive at that Fortune 500 company… 

“... it's that automobile company which starts with an F and ends with a D.  I can’t say the name.  But anyway…  I was sitting in the boardroom and blah, blah, blah…”

The humble brag is when you subtly hint at how much of a big shot speaker you are.

“Last month, I was speaking to 1,000 oil investors in Dubai when a man approached me and said…”  

Or, when you share a case study like this…

“Let me show you what I did for one of our clients... I completely redesigned their website... I spent hours working with them to determine exactly what they needed, and here's the design I came up with... I've won a number of design awards for this project and I'm so proud that the website I designed converts at a 150% higher rate than their last one....”

Holy smokes!

Why Do Speakers Humble Brag, Anyway?

For some, your time on stage is an opportunity to attract potential clients.  That’s why you feel the need to highlight your specific experiences and accomplishments over the years.

After all… how will they know how you transformed your client’s business from $100 a month to $1 million a month… if you don’t say it?

So, think for a moment… does your speech contain a few humble brags?

Don’t feel bad if it does.  

I’ve done it too.

Just know that the most powerful, elegant, charismatic speakers don’t need to humble brag.  Why?  They know there are few things that can ruin a speaker’s chances of really good stageside leads or potential clients faster than humble brags… 

… especially too many of them.

Don’t Get Smacked in the Face

We humble brag because we are trying to attract clients, make them trust us, and show off our amazing expertise.  

But really, the exact opposite happens…

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