Most speakers (and too many meeting planners and MC’s) don’t know the difference. In fact, when you are being booked, you will sometimes be asked for your bio when they really mean your introduction. That is why it is always a good idea to provide both.
The speaker’s bio (biography) lives on your website and One Sheet and media packet. It is not designed to be read aloud. It is printed in the program and meant to impress readers with the credentials of the speaker and attract them to attend the presentation. That’s it. When read aloud, most of our biographies can sound pretty boring.
The speaker’s introduction is meant to be an exciting, anticipation builder for the audience. It sets the tone for the entire presentation. If an introduction is done well, the audience is not only open and receptive to the speaker, they are also on the edge of their seats with excitement and anticipation.
In short, the speaker introduction explains in a natural and authentic way why this exact speaker is uniquely qualified to talk about this specific topic to this particular audience. Did you notice the one additional element in an introduction that does not exist in the biography? The audience. Your introduction should change slightly with every audience.
Your introduction is also short. It should take between 30 to 60 seconds for the introducer to read. Anything longer is wasting time and it drains energy from the room, rather than building the excitement.
It is always a good idea to speak with the person that will introduce you before the introduction and ensure that they have the correct pronunciation of your name. Trust me, I know – there are way too many ways to get “Pibworth” wrong…
Lauren Pibworth is a branding strategist with a deep understanding of internet marketing and runs Pibworth Professional Solutions – a marketing agency devoted to helping professional speakers market their greatness.