Bettyanne Green

Content Marketing Strategist | Concierge Copywriter

When to Use Your Bio as a Speaker Intro….Never!!


62395758 - dj is singing with the microphone and pointing to someoneScratchin’ your head in confusion? Let me explain.

Have you ever noticed when you’re about to hear a speaker (live or online) and as the host gives the intro they pause, stumble over words, or seem to drone on with phrases that glaze over your brain?  It happens often and here’s why: The introduction was a bio that had been written to be read, not to be spoken. There IS a difference.

I discovered this the hard, albeit memorable, way: I was a panelist at a conference and had submitted my written bio as an introduction.  At one point, the host said: “Bettyanne is a self-professed grammar geek, compulsive typo-finder and lifelong lover…”  Everyone started to laugh, and I did too, because that’s not the WORST way to be remembered! But the correct phrase was “lifelong word lover!” Now say that three times fast – it does NOT roll off your tongue. So it wasn’t the gracious host’s fault – it was mine for giving her that clever but way-too-wordy description.

To animate the atmosphere BEFORE you even open your mouth, do this:  Provide to your host a “SPEAKER INTRODUCTION” in place of a bio (do give them your regular written bio as well for promotional purposes).

Know this: If the host is working hard to read the typical bio of long sentences and strings of adjectives, the audience is working hard to hear it, and its impact weakens.  So make sure your introduction reads easily, sounds fun and engaging, and gets the audience pumped to love you!  Here’s how:

  1. Use your regular bio. Read it aloud to someone and see how it lands for them and how it flows for you as you read it. Think about the audience you’re about to address and if your content will resonate with them and your topic. It’s likely to be different depending on the group and the venue.
  2. Now start tweaking. See where you can shorten sentences and adjust punctuation to make it read more smoothly. Some tweaks are simple, just shifting a few words around can make them more easily seen by the eye, processed by the brain, read aloud smoothly and heard by the listener.
  3. Lead with the benefit you bring to people in a way that the audience can relate to, rather than just your title and line of work – it’ll grab their attention, i.e., “Ellen DeGeneres has been making audiences laugh all over the world with her signature brand of humor.” You’re sitting up attentively now, right?
  4. Insert some humor to let folks know they’re in for a good time, i.e., “Ellen regularly breaks it down with Michele Obama.” OK, you say, this is going to be good (BTW also a clever way to sneak in cred) – see how it works?
  5. If your name has any chance of being mispronounced, provide a key the first time you write it, i.e., “Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen Di-GEN’-er-us) has been making audiences laugh…” The host will thank you!
  6. Love yourself as you write it, make it professional but conversational. Then read it aloud, tweak, and read again, until it feels easy and flowing.

Program planners and hosts will love you for making it easy for them to lead a professional and engaging program. Everyone gets lifted up – the hosts, you, and most definitely the audience!


Image thanks to 123rfphoot/Stanislav Ponomarenko

One Response to When to Use Your Bio as a Speaker Intro….Never!!

  1. Great post! Going to share with my webtv show guests

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