What’s the last bio you remember reading? Can you even think of one? Knowing what makes a great bio or even how to write a great bio can feel like an impossible task.
When you speak at conferences or events, do you ever think about your bio before you submit it? In fact, it wasn’t something that I used to think about it. Since I started speaking at immigration conferences, I made this one major change to my bio I think you should consider…
How to NOT write a great bio
The average conference bio is boring. When you attend conferences, do you read the bios of the speakers? And out of those speakers, how many times do you see the following details:
- Where the speaker works
- Where the speaker lives
- Their law school
- Their law school accomplishments
- Their undergraduate school and/or their major
- Maybe one fun fact
Have you fallen asleep yet? I think after reading those details we all get a little sleepy or we read the details and immediately forget them. Or we skip reading altogether because these bios are boring!
I’ve never read a memorable, interesting bio. It’s always the same, very dry information that no one will bother to remember. This may sound harsh, but trust me I understand why people are writing these bios this way! This was the same way I wrote my bio at first, too.
How I learned to write a great bio for conferences
What made me change my bio? I started speaking at these conferences! This gave me a whole new perspective now that I was on the other side of things. Once I started speaking at conferences, I realized two very important things.
First of all, I learned that when I speak, I have a captive audience. It’s not every day where you have people (sometimes hundreds or thousands of people) who are listening to you with the goal to learn from you without distraction. Almost no one is not scrolling on their phone or spacing out because they came to hear you speak and they want to learn something from you.
Secondly, when I speak at a conference, I have one chance to sell myself and my story: that is my BIO!
Write a great bio: Make it a story to stand out
I had to change my perspective on what a bio should be. An interesting bio isn’t your resume or a laundry list of accomplishments. A good bio is a story!
Think of the attendees as readers. When you read a good book, it’s hard to tear yourself away from it. You want your bio to achieve the same goal as the story! You want to pull in your “readers” so not only will they read AND enjoy your bio, they are far more likely to remember you!
Unless you have something equal to a Nobel Prize in your list of credentials, people connect to narratives far more than just a list of names and accomplishments. Even with the most prestigious accomplishments in your bio, the audience may remember your accomplishment but not your name which will end up wasting your time and hard work.
You don’t have to start from scratch in order to write a great bio
That doesn’t mean you have to throw away everything that’s in your bio either. Of course, I mention my credentials such as my education (they go a long way in establishing trust with your readers/audience) but I make sure to not list them out in the same lifeless way as everyone else.
To start off transforming your bio into your story and construct a beginning, a middle, and an end. This could start with your college education or where you developed your passion for immigration law. Think about what sparked your journey to be an immigration lawyer or global mobility professional.
How did you end up where you are now in your career and where do you see yourself? Start writing all of this out and see what jumps out at you. Everyone has interesting points in their journey and this is what will make you unique and help you stand out to others in your field. Certainly, after you write this, your bio will start to stand out from the other speakers, too!
Because if you’re speaking to your target audience, why not make it memorable?
How would you turn your accomplishments into a story? Or are you looking for tips to make your bio more of a story? Join the GMI Rocket community and discover your story.