“Always be yourself… do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
– Bruce Lee
What is your initial reaction when you read professional bios?
Do you admire them for the succinct take on professional achievements or see it as bombastic and overzealous?
Your bio has a similar effect on your audience. It defines your personal brand and value, so you must make it relatable, personal and effective.
- Focus on professional achievements that matter to relevant audience or confirm your expertise.
- Add a fun element or honest note to make you sound human and interesting.
- Draw audience attention with a strong opening and make them curious to know more.
GET YOUR BASICS RIGHT
A conversational tone in your intro gives it a professional yet approachable vibe. But should you write the introduction in first or third person?
When you introduce yourself in an informal setting or to live audience, stay with first tense – I and Me.
For presentations, formal do’s or written material, write the bio in third person – He/She and Him/Her.
BIO LENGTH GUIDELINES
When the requester or organiser provides you with intro guidelines, follow it. In all other cases, exercise brevity. Let the KISS (Keep It Short and Simple) principle guide you. Paint a picture of yourself in fewer words.
Aim for something within 100-200 words for corporate presentations. For other themes, your bio shouldn’t exceed 2 paragraphs with 3-4 short lines each. When in doubt, ensure you have already developed your:
1. Blurb or elevator pitch with 2-3 sentences.
2. Mini with 75-125 words that summarises your work and highlights key accomplishments.
3. Long bio with 150-200 words that covers your work, career, and interests in greater detail.
FILLING IN THE BLANKS
Your intro should contain the following elements:
1. State your work or business with a strong opening line.
2. List your achievements, each in its own line, with emphasis on the value/benefit you created.
3. Mention a principle, ethic or passion that guides or motivates you.
4. Throw in a line about a special talent that makes you stand out from your competition.
5. Add achievements or qualifications that quantify your expertise on presentation topic or confirm your authority in your chosen area of work.
6. Mention one piece of personal information or fun element which makes you sound interesting in your closing line.
Exclude any fact or information that is irrelevant to your reader or audience.
Get a fresh pair of eyes to review it. Use these tips when you are tasked with creating an intro or summary for others.
Your bio should evolve with your career progression, business growth, or personal development. Keep it current to better reflect the change.
Have you created an intro for yourself or another person? How do keep it updated?