Take note from the public speakers
LET ME ASK YOU A VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION
If your bio, along with the bios of many other people in your exact same industry, were read aloud to a live audience, would the reading of your bio be as good a point as any for those audience members to get up and go pee?
Because this may be the new About page litmus test - is yours a good time for a bathroom break?
I was wrapping up a client call recently when she says to me, I bet you get a lot of speakers because they understand the value of a great bio.
Out loud I responded, Yeah, that’s totally true!!
But on the inside, I narrowed my eyes and stroked my beard and pondered -Why? Why do those with a speaking component to their business get the importance here?
And after deep DEEP meditation, restless nights, and conferring with the Milky Way and a bumblebee, I have a theory:
Speakers witness the EFFECTS of their content in real time.
They can see who’s doing that single jittery knee thing, who’s scowling, who’s yawning, who’s leaning into their neighbors ear making lunch plans to POWER WALK AS AERODYNAMICALLY AS POSSIBLE to the falafel place just two blocks from the convention center before the rest of the line gets there.
They see who’s slipping out to bide their time on the can.
These kamikaze cowgirls and boys who regularly dive into the spotlight know that what they’re saying and how they’re saying it matters because they literally SEE the positive and negative reactions to their language in a way that lots of us never experience as we frolic behind our laptops and superglue our eyeballs to our IG accounts anguishing over hearts.
So EVEN IF you aren’t a speaker, do take a page from these entrepreneurial comrades’ playbook because what they’re doing isn’t really that different from you - they might interact with their audience differently at times, but it’s still an audience that, like yours, has tons of other content to ingest, lunch to mack, A.D.D. to embellish, and a bladder to answer to.
So if you had to stand up in front of your potential people and read your bio in your smartest outfit that took you two weeks to decide on, would you honestly feel that a listing of your degrees or your Myers Briggs score or you enneagram number or your astrological sign would have them leaning in?
Would waxing poetic about how you’re an introvert or rattling off your favorite foods be worth anyone’s time?
Speakers can’t waste the stage with this kind of small talk or on stories that don’t support the weight of their message because their words, like yours, need to CARRY the audience from the opening sentence to the closer. They can’t fumble with minutia that’s relevant to them but not to those they’re trying to influence.
So they take it seriously.
Because that glance at the watch in the third row is a warning. That chit chat in the back is torture. And that person who’s asleep and damn near using the column in the middle of the room as a body pillow is a death sentence.
They’ve lost them.
So again, mentally strut yourself out on that stage - if you were literally in front of your readership or client base, how might you deliver the news about you differently? How would you polish your point?
How much more would you put into crafting the idea of YOU?
Because whether you can see your audience or not, you know they’re out there. Question is whether or not they remember that you are.