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The Art Of Bragging

If you're like most women, you were raised to believe that you shouldn't boast about yourself. But, according to one communications expert, women don't toot their own horns nearly enough.

On Thursday, The Early Show Correspondent Debbye Turner introduces a "brag lady," whose goal is to get Americans to talk more about themselves.

Peggy Klaus is a woman on a mission. She says that "brag" is not a four-letter word.

Klaus says going "wacko-coo-coo" could change your life. In an over-the-top fashion, Klaus is trying to get women to learn how to brag about themselves.

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"Because it's been shown in study after study that if women do not self-promote that they will never get promoted," says Klaus.

It is a pattern the 100 Women in Hedge Funds hopes to change. The high-powered professionals have taken Klaus's brag workshop before. The women learned so much that they invited high school juniors from the Young Women's Leadership Academy in New York City, realizing that the stigma against bragging starts at a young age.

Klaus says there is a wrong way to brag, which is to be obnoxious and overbearing.

The right way to brag, according to Klaus, is "a way of talking about yourself or your accomplishments in a conversational and story-like way -- using memorable tidbits of information about you."

The women are encouraged to quietly think about their positive attributes then they go into action.

"My belief is, and I translate this to them, like the Buddhist say, 'Wherever you go, there you are,'" says Klaus. "You want to bring your best self to that stage. And that's really what I help people to do."

In one exercise, a very shy Crystal Comacho can barely speak above a whisper. After just a few minutes of one-on-one coaching and encouragement, Comacho was a different girl. On her second try, she even got a laugh.

"I'm doing really good in my science class, finally!" Comacho said with a laugh.

"Bragging is really not, any more, a four-letter word," says Klaus. "It's something that they really have to do if they want to be successful."

Klaus's message seems to be hitting the mark.

She conducts "brag sessions" throughout the United States, and her tips are for everyone, though she notes men usually brag more anyway. A male executive will say, "I've made this company this much money and brought in these clients and give me more money" and most women won't do that.

Klaus' first tip: Take some time and think your good points. She calls them "brag bites."

The next thing to do, she says, is to develop a story. She calls it a "brag-a-log." Instead of saying, "I'm good, I'm great, I'm wonderful," say, "I really love it when people come to me for advice because..." and then explain, making it a story.

Her third tip: Practice going over the top because when you do it for real, you melt down a little bit and probably hit the right place, which is why the exercises are so animated.

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