Conference 2008

Female Faculty Network Twente (FFNT)

The workshop Personal Branding and Pitching deals with the gentle art of selling yourself as a female ’pink’ researcher in a technical ‘blue’ environment.

The noble art of creating a lasting and attractive impression is known as personal branding. In today’s world it is vital for your career and your success to be able to sell yourself and your ideas authentically and powerful. The days of quietly doing a good job are gone and will never return. Nowadays it is all about visibility and presence.

Many of us are taught to do our best and then let the world decide how to judge us. Won’t it be better to do your best, decide how you want to be judged and act that way? In order to do so you have to be able to market yourself as a brand.

Misunderstandings about Personal Branding

There are a quite a few misunderstandings about personal branding. There are those who find it overly aggressive and non-team like to promote yourself. They dislike the “Me, Me, I, I.” spirit that surrounds the concept. Well, they’re right.

Personal branding is so much more than a show-off self-promotion. Personal branding is about being yourself and taking what you are good at and building your career on those strengths. You do not have to (should not want to) be something you are not. It will only come back and bite you when you tire of being inauthentic.

Personal brand is not about polishing the outside of the apple. It's about being unique - differentiated from others - and being able to add value that others embrace and talk about. It comes down to the adjectives and verbs people use when they describe who you are, and what you do.

Seen from this perspective personal branding is a very effective career management strategy. The key to fulfillment in the workplace is to bring more of yourself to work and personal branding is a real asset in this respect. It helps you being proactive in managing your career. We can't expect our managers, business partners or clients to spend their time figuring out if we are adding value. We need to demonstrate the unique value we contribute clearly and consistently with everything we do. That's how powerful reputations and personal brands are built.

Female ‘touch’

Since the presentation will be given to the Female Faculty Network Twente and The theme of the conference is Hidden Treasures, we will discuss the characteristics of pitching like a woman, related to personal branding.

You will learn to recognize and value the characteristics of female ‘pink’ pitching and what makes it different from male ‘blue’ pitching. We will practice the delivery of a strong pitch and you will see that each of us has a particular blend of blue and pink characteristics which we can use for our highest benefit.

The speaker: Drs. Cees Harmsen

Cees Harmsen is a senior consultant, coach and practitioner in the area of Human Resource Development. His professional career is built on an experience of twenty years, in which period he developed and facilitated multiple workshops and seminars for companies like IBM, SUN, Ahold, Philips, Unilever, ABN, Schiphol Airport and Technical Universities in the Netherlands and Belgium. He conducted international trainings for the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries Jordan and South Africa. He is also a fellow of the Speakers Academy.

In the last five years he has published three books about life-time-management. In October 2008 he finished his latest book “This is your Wake-up call’ , dealing with the subject of this presentation: the necessity of personal branding for professionals in turbulent times.

Cees Harmsen can be reached at