What’s the difference between a speaker bio and an introduction?
Most speakers (and too many meeting planners and MC’s) don’t know the difference. In fact, when you are being booked, meeting planners will usually ask for your bio when they really mean your introduction. That is why it is always a good idea to provide both.
The speaker bio (biography) lives on your website, One Sheet, and media packet. It is not designed to be read aloud. It is printed in the program and is meant to impress readers with the credentials and experience of the speaker and attract them to attend the presentation. That’s it. When read aloud, most of our biographies can sound pretty dull. Now, they do not have to – but in reality, they do.
The speaker’s intro 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, but they are also on the edge of their seats with excitement and anticipation.
In short, the speaker intro explains why you are uniquely qualified to talk about this specific topic to this particular audience in a natural and authentic way. Did you notice the one additional element in an introduction that does not exist in the speaker bio? The audience. Your intro 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 drains energy from the room, rather than building the excitement.
It is always a good idea to speak with your introducer before the introduction and ensure that she has the correct pronunciation of your name. Trust me – there are way too many ways to get “Pibworth” wrong…