Five steps to a better bio

Nobody ever remembers the details. Think of the last time you met more than a couple of people, say at a networking event, large dinner or other such occasion where meeting people and introducing yourself was an integral part of the event.

Now, imagine that you’ve just met two people. The first is a stunning blonde woman, a former model who now works in PR. She introduced herself, explained where she worked and what she did, and asked about your job. The conversation was pleasant and you took her business card.

Person #2 was a middle-aged, slightly balding man. His glasses were a bit bent and his clothes at least a season out of style, but he spoke with the confidence of an Adonis. You didn’t catch where he worked, but you do remember that he asked about your hobbies and told you a story about hiking that involved nearly overheating, a female pal choosing to hike topless to beat the heat and a large rock that needed to be moved from a stream.

Which one of those people do you think you’ll better remember?

Like any great story, long or short, your bio can be memorable if you write it correctly. Instead of settling for the typical “Husband, Baseball Fan, Catholic,” try writing your bio as a short story and see if that helps in meeting people and being remembered.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. What’s something that you have that no one else does?
For me, I know all the words to Baby Got Back and open bananas like a monkey. While you certainly don’t do the same, think of something that makes you unique.

2. How did you get where you are from where you were?
Many a good story is a tale where the hero goes from good times to bad and back again. Did you go from wide-eyed optimist when you worked as a waiter to cynical pessimist during your quest to be a painter and again back to optimist when you discovered happiness in raising your kids? Talk about that.

3. When are you at your best?
Some people work like animals in the morning, then spend their afternoons recharging, evenings socializing and nights relaxing. Or you could be the hibernating type that doesn’t work until that first cup of coffee is done and your schedule is set. Whenever that is, include it in the story you tell about what you do.

4. Why are you here?
Not existentially speaking, but more of a question like “why do you do what you do?” Does your day job fund a night fighting crime? How about weekend trips to the lake? Or maybe a novel that’s taken a little longer than you expected? Share one or all of details like that.

5. Who is the other person? What connects you?
Any bio or introduction that can get the other person to open up about themselves is a clear winner. Try sharing what you most enjoyed about the last conference or last vacation or last trip across the room. Then ask the other person about their response.

Stories, and the storytellers that tell them, are far more powerful than even the most important words or acronyms like CEO or richest person alive (maybe not that one). The best stories form an emotional connection between the teller and the listener and no one ever forget how you made them feel.

(Guest post by Tyler Hurst, who likes to think he’s an actual writer.)

2 Comments

  1. Timmy
    Timmy

    “Nobody ever remembers the details.”
    I disagree. Other than that, good post.

    Reply

    1. Tyler Hurst
      Tyler Hurst

      Perhaps a better way to phrase that would have been “no one ever remembers JUST the details.” Details without context are just facts/truths. Good stories help us connect and remember them.

      And thanks!