What’s the difference between a speaker’s bio and an introduction?

Many people don’t realize the difference and often say bio when they mean introduction. And many non-professional speakers mistakenly supply their bio as an introduction.

There is a big difference between these two documents in their purpose and hence their form. Function always drives form.

Speaker Bio
The speaker’s bio (biography) is meant to be read silently. It is printed in the program and meant to impress readers with the credentials of the speaker and attract them to attend the presentation. The bio in it’s worst form looks and feels like a resume. The bio could easily be a full page or several hundred words.

Do not read the speaker’s bio to the audience. It will usually be boring. Not the right start to a presentation.

Speaker Introduction
The speaker's introduction is meant to be heard by the audience just before he starts to speak. It is meant to serve as an introduction to the presentation as delivered by this speaker.

The purpose of a good introduction is to get the audience interested in the topic and confirm the speaker as the best choice for this topic. After a good introduction the audience should feel eager to hear the speaker present on this topic. Also the speaker will feel welcomed by the introduction and audience reaction.

The ideal introduction would have 3 short paragraphs. The first one introduces the topic. The second reminds people why the topic is so important. The third one highlights the reason this speaker is qualified to speak on the topic. This third paragraph will be a selection of the most interesting points from the speaker’s bio. Print the introduction in large type double spaced to make it easier for the introducer to read.

It should take between 30 to 60 seconds for the introducer to read. Anything longer is wasting time. Don't put people to sleep before the speaker starts.

The more prominent the speaker, the shorter the introduction can be. For example “Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States”. The bio would be quite different from the introduction.

If you are the speaker, be sure to talk with your introducer before the introduction and ensure that she has the correct pronunciation of your name.

A bio is like a history report. An introduction opens new relationships.

Read "How to Introduce Your Guest Speaker"

George Torok

Motivational Business Speaker

Presentation Skills Coaching

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives

Power Presentations Tip 46: Open and Close with Silence

Open and Close with Silence

Your presentation starts before you open your mouth. The audience is judging you and hence your message before you start speaking. To strengthen your message keep your mouth shut a little longer.

Too many speakers start their delivery too early. As soon as they reach the front of the room they start talking. Even worse, some start talking while they are walking up to the front of the room or while they are still getting up from their seat.

Speaking too soon diminishes your opening presence and power. Your first words might not be heard by your audience because they aren't listening yet. Speaking too soon can make you appear nervous or in a hurry.


Instead start your presentation with eight seconds of silence. When it's your turn to speak, walk confidently and purposefully to the front of the room. Take the position where you will start, stand tall and pause for eight seconds. During the pause look at an individual for a second or two, then move your gaze to another and again.

Do this for eight seconds and the audience will stop their fidgeting and be totally focused on you and anticipating your opening words.You will need to fight the urge to speak. Start with a three second pause then increase it to five seconds. Then when you are ready boost it to eight seconds.

Close your presentation with a pause.

This is easier to do if you receive applause for your presentation. Stand still, look at the audience and graciously receive their applause.

What if there is no applause at the end of your presentation? This is the norm for a business or sales presentation. Conclude your presentation and then stand strong and pause for three to eight seconds while you look confidently at individuals in your audience. The secret is to connect silently with an individual, then another and another.

By concluding this way you will look confident, hence your message will appear stronger. Compare that to the speakers who seem to run off the stage once they have finished speaking.

To deliver a stronger presentation, open and close with silence.

George Torok

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Presentation Training & Coaching in Toronto, Jan 25,26

If you want to dramatically transform your presentation skills here is an exciting opportunity for you to act on:

How to Deliver Superior Presentations – because inferior never wins
Public Seminar – January 25

This intense, one day seminar collects the best tips from a three day seminar that I delivered in a three day seminar for the Canadian Management Centre for 12 years. The focus is on how to improve the delivery of your message for better results.

Location: Toronto Airport
More details:

There’s still time to save $80 if you register by January 13. But hurry or you will miss it.

Presentation Skills Coaching Clinic – January 26
The other option for you is presentation coaching. You or some of your team might be ready to dramatically transform your presentations. The fastest and lasting way to do that is with coaching.

You have a choice of small group or private coaching.

Learn more about the small group coaching

or the private coaching.

There is limited enrollment in these coaching programs.

Coaching is only for those individuals who are really serious about transforming their presentation results.

Check it out or forward this message to a friend or colleagues who might be interested.

This is the opportunity to make a real advance with your presentation skills.

Read what other clients have said.

Of course if you prefer, you can still arrange for me to come in and work with your people.

I look forward to working with you and helping you and your team become superior presenters.

Feel free to email or call me to discuss any of these options.

George Torok

The Speech Coach for Executives
Author of Power Presentation Tips


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How to Write, Structure & Prepare a More Effective Presentation - audio class

Questions, Comments and Feedback from the Jan 6 Audio Class

If you listened to the live broadcast or downloaded the recording - you can post your questions here.

If you got some helpful ideas them please tell us and your friends.

If you have suggestions for future classes then let us know here.

George Torok
Speech Coach for Executives
Presentation Skills Seminars
Public Seminar and Coaching Clinic

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.

Top 10 Tips for Presenting Your Key Points - Slideshow

Discover techniques that you can use to emphaise the key points of your presentation message.

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.