A speaker bio is a brief summary of your education, work history and experience that is relevant to your speaking topic (the focus is on brief and relevant). The organization requesting your speaker’s bio may specify a format and length. If they don’t, follow these speaker bio guidelines:
- Keep your speaker biography brief—no more than 75 to 100 words. Biographies that are too long simply don’t get read. Or worse, the organization may summarize your bio in a way that you don’t like.
- Include your current position and a brief mention of work history and experience that is relevant to your speaking topic and audience
- Include academic qualifications, awards, and a reference to published work, but only if applicable to the material you are presenting
Getting started writing your speaker’s bio
To start writing, use a point form method or use a speaker bio template (useful for motivational speakers as well as other professional speakers). A biography template is just an outline for you to fill in the blanks. You can list out the following points:
2) Years of experience
3) Awards or achievements
4) Contact details
Sample fill-in-the-blanks Speaker bio
___________ (your name) has been praised by ___________ and _________ (names of peer groups; clients; celebrities) for his/her ______________ and ________________ (speaking achievements, e.g. series of sold-out speaking engagements throughout X; appearance on national TV; recent TED Talks). ____________ (give name of person quoted) raved “_________________________” (include short quote e.g. “An uplifting speech that guaranteed action by the audience!”). Another, __________ (give name of person quoted), wrote “_____________________________” (include short quote, e.g. “I have never laughed so hard in my life!”).
Speaker bio examples
[A] Joan G. Nesbitt is the Chief Innovation Officer for PeopleCAD® and a frequent speaker at industry events. For the past four years, Joan has written a monthly magazine column called “Industry News”. She started using PeopleCAD® software with Release 1.0, almost 20 years ago. She also taught at the university level for several years. Her latest book is entitled PeopleCAD® Demystified.
[B] Dr. Smythe heads up the post graduate program at the Health Sciences Hospital of Alberta. His numerous professional publications focus on his research and clinical interests in the psycho-social aspects of hospice care. His current research focuses on the tools of orthomolecular medicine in palliative medicine. This is Dr. Jones’ third year speaking at the CMA annual conference.
Variations in speaker bio style
Sometimes, a different style is needed when the age group is known. If you need to speak to young people in a Career Guidance Day session, your bio needs to be less formal and certain sentences can be rephrased. Instead of this formal style:
Charles Granger, CPA founded the Financial Planner SBO systems to track hedge funds for the bank. This system enabled the bank to monitor and project profits and ultimately offered a prudent way of multiplying the banks overall capital.
You could write something that young people would understand and better relate to:
Mr. Granger made a lot of money for Citizens Business Bank by using a system he patented.
To summarize, a speaker bio is:
- used as introductory or promotional material
- an overview of the person written in narrative form
- written in the third person
- brief and relevant to the speaking engagement topic
- a summary of education, experience and achievements
A template makes writing a speaker bio quick and easy!
Does writing a speaker bio seem like just one more task on your long to-do list? If so, get a fill-in-the-blanks bio template written specifically for professional speaking engagements. You’ll have it all done and complete within the next 30 minutes. (Note: choose the bio template that relates to your main profession.)