One of the most difficult things to write is a something about oneself, like a speaker bio. I know because that’s what I’m procrastinating from doing right now. There’s just so much to say, and only so many characters allowed so…where do I even start? Yes, I am an introvert and I’m an introvert who speaks. And people want to know what I speak about and what I’m an expert in (or is it on…I’m not a grammar expert, although I am particular about what I do know about grammar).
Since I do have a purpose for putting together a profoundly engaging speaker bio, I started doing some writing exercises to put together some basic information (about myself) that could be included in this power-packed paragraph. These exercises are not promoted by any biography writing societies, coaches, or even recommended by my closest friends. They may have been a way of procrastinating rather than jumping right into writing the bio (or editing an old one). These things I did also were designed to invoke creativity.
Every writer has a process and every person who writes anything procrastinates at some point on writing whatever they’ve tasked themselves to write. And the more I go on about this, the more productive I feel without getting to the part where I write my speaker bio. Digressions and tangents can be useful. I’ll even need to take some time to go back and edit this article once it is finished. Before I do that, however, I’ll need to: finish getting these thoughts out, drink half a litre of water, check my e-mails and all messaging apps, go to the bathroom (thanks to the water-drinking), and then come back to editing this article. At that point, if my laptop is any good at doing its job in helping me procrastinate, it will choose that time to do some updates. Incidentally, my laptop only seems to want to do its updating when I’m in a productive frame of mind.
And now back to those “writing exercises” I was talking about.
Hang on, one more thing about procrastination. A procrastinating-introvert will suddenly want to talk, and if they’re anything like me, they’ll talk about almost anything with whoever is close-by. If that’s happening after an extended silence, then you know for sure that introvert is avoiding something, which could very well be boredom itself. Yes, it’s true. Some of us introverts will initiate conversation (gasp!) and it could be because we’re tired of the quiet (big gasp!).
As for those writing exercises, what I did was start making lists. I made lists of things I’m knowledgeable about, which other people would agree with; things I’m good at (such as writing blog articles); a list of things I enjoy doing; certificates I have (yawn); my hobbies; and so much more! After all of that I still have not written the bio, and I’m writing this article instead to share it with you. Some of you may even commiserate on this with me, or offer advice.
So, I have these various lists and as I wonder: “What am I supposed to do with this now”? There is another question I get to ask myself that will likely yield an answer.
Basically, it’s “What do I want my prospective audience to know?” or even “What do they need to know?”
I’ve mentioned this before in a speech, and probably in a previous blog article: Introverts such as myself, are not necessarily shy. We may instead be quiet and reserved. Being shy and being reserved are two very different things. So, the next issue that comes up is considering how much to share. There are few introverts who hear “ewww! TMI [too much information]!” or “Classic over-share by___” about themselves, so being reserved means possibly not sharing enough. If you’ve got letters after your name, share what those mean to interested parties because outside your profession, most folks don’t know what they mean. Share your name, but not your birth-date, the name of your business, but not how much you weigh, etc. These ones are easy.
I have a process too.
First: get past the fear that anyone reading my bio will be all judgemental about it.
Second: read over my lists for inspiration (after doing all of the things I said I would do after finishing writing this article)
Third: write the darned thing….and then edit and share, etc., etc.
You’ll notice I did not include a nap in any of those steps. The nap is or after I do all this writing and sharing because all this activity could very well tire me out. And if all of that is tiring, imagine if I had said it all out loud. After that much fun we may all end up asleep.
And after all this, is that speaker bio finished? Not quite, but this article is ready to publish. Yay me!