The scariest moment for an event planner is the instant she hands the mic over to the speaker. I was an event coordinator for years, so I’ve been there. When you feel deep responsibility for the content your group receives, it’s terrifying to give complete control to a virtual stranger.
A carefully crafted speaker bio is a powerful tool for serving planners well. It’s a key element to jump-starting your speaking career.
A speaker bio can be done either as a page on your website, a designed hard copy piece or both. When we write a bio that sets a planner at ease and builds trust, we increase our opportunities to speak by proving ourselves a safe resource for leaders.
Speaker bios are designed to communicate directly to event planners, so step one is to understand their requirements. Event planners need:
- A speaker who they trust and in whom they have confidence. They need us to reduce the fear in the mic pass.
- A speaker who will address and meet the needs of their audience.
- A speaker who is professional and will be a partner in ministry with them.
There are a lot of speakers out there, friends, but meeting an event planner’s needs makes it more likely that you are the speaker she’ll pick.
Here are some tips that will help you write a speaker bio that connects with those who are looking to hire you.
Event planners need to know specifically what you’ll give to their audience and that it’s something of value. Speakers need to be clear about their own ministry niche so that they can express the takeaways that they’ll give to their audiences.
You start that process with your tagline, or mission statement, but you can go more in-depth by developing values statements. Values statements break down your tagline into smaller parts. Here are the ones I have on my speaker biosheet:
Amy Carroll’s passion is leading women to deeper delight through rich relationship with God and others. For over 10 years, she has shared messages that enable you to:
- Release the grind of perfection and grasp the joy of living in God’s incomparable love.
- Celebrate the full satisfaction found in moving to deeper relationships.
- Invest yourself in what truly fills instead of chasing what only leaves you hollow.
- Walk away from loneliness and isolation into the delight of sharing life.
Ask yourself what you want your audience to have when they leave, and express those outcomes in values statements that are included as part of your bio.
Event planners need to know you’re qualified. Before you break into a sweat thinking that you don’t have any credentials, really think it through. You have qualifications that you might not have considered!
Sometimes credentials come in the form of degrees or job descriptions, but they come in many forms–including life experience and personal study that leads to a specific passion. Volunteer activities count too.
Include credentials in your bio that show a planner perseverance and service. These are qualities that build their confidence that you’ll be reliable and able to handle their event.
Speaker bios generally express more personality than curriculum vitae or resumes. Planners want to get a feel for who you are. Are you funny? Then include some funny lines. Are you a lifetime learner? Then include some of the courses you’ve taken. Weave your passions and personality into your bio.
In addition to professional information, let event planners get a glimpse of the personal side of you. Tell about your family, where you live and maybe a cute quirk. Feeling that they know you will give event planners a sense of comfort.
Finally, you should use topic descriptions that are carefully crafted to speak to the heart of an audience. Be aware that not only will event planners read these, but they often copy them into promotional materials for your event. You’ll want to speak to the needs of the audience. Take time to work on great titles, descriptions and value statements that describe the takeaways from that specific message.
If you include these four basics in your speaker bio sheet, you’ll be well on your way to convincing an event planner that you’re the speaker for her!
Amy Carroll is a speaker and writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries. She’s author of Breaking Up with Perfect and speaker coach at Next Step Coaching Services. You can always find her trying to figure out one more alternative to cooking dinner.
Click here to find out more about Amy’s video course that will help you create a strong speaker bio.