Women & Leadership Australia eNewsletter

April 2010


Book review: Self-promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead

Self-promotion for IntrovertsBook author: Nancy Ancowitz

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Australia


As a self-confessed introvert, I was naturally drawn to this title for at least two reasons. Not only does it promise to reflect back my experience, but it also grants me an excuse to sit back in a quiet space and indulge my beautifully introverted mind.

Like other introverts, I spent many years in denial of my introverted status.

In an outgoing, media-saturated world, it can be hard to even admit to introversion. Unless you’ve done a Myers-Briggs personality test and had a big capital ‘I’ (for Introvert) plastered on your test score, you may have worked hard burying those quiet instincts.

Self-promotion for Introverts comes as a realistic appraisal of how people with strong introversion tendencies can make the most of their strengths.

Refreshingly, Ancowitz refuses to problematise introversion. This is not a book telling us how to come out of our shell – as if being an introvert were some malaise to be cured.

Rather, it’s a carefully considered – and at times frankly honest – manual for self-promotion when that goal can be inherently nerve-racking.

Ancowitz is exhaustive in her wisdom. Her advice ranges the terribly domestic (drink water and avoid caffeine at networking functions) to novel exercises (such as: Picture yourself as a billboard on a highway).

Herself an introvert – as well as the creator of the popular Self-Promotion for Introverts workshop – Ancowitz shows how to turn introversion into a strength.

Whilst acknowledging that we often think the world turns on the heels of extroverts who dazzle and speak the loudest at board meeting, Ancowitz’s motto is ‘Know yourself and work to your strengths’.

Ancowitz has great ideas for expanding networks – a term that can drive fear into the hearts of extreme introverts.

Her core principle is to create networking opportunities that don’t compromise your introversion comfort zone. She speaks of one Fortune 500 CEO who leveraged his art expertise and joined a Museum board. This expanded his networks, yet within a safe space.

For people who spend weighty amounts of time contemplating, planning, researching and organising – yes, perhaps you if you’re reading this review – then Self-promotion for Introverts will undoubtedly appeal.



By Ben Zipper, Editor, Women & Leadership Australia eNewsletter


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