How to write a bio that will knock people out but won’t put them to sleep

Short of your pet turtle’s name from when you were 5, here are ingenious tips for perking up that same, lame bio.

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Some of the most talented authors write the worst bios. So do most professional speakers, who cram their entire life’s history into their introduction, putting the audience to sleep long before they take the microphone. Don’t even ask me what I think about the bios written by engineers, architects, accountants, and attorneys.

Why, oh why, do we make ourselves sound so boring?

A well-written bio can convey to your potential clients, the media, and your other audiences that you are fun, creative, and entertaining.

How to find good material

If you do PR for your company and need to write a bio for someone else, find out personal information about them by asking open-ended questions. Then weave their best answers into the bio. These questions can get you started:

• Who is your hero? And why?
• What one event in your childhood had the greatest effect on your life?
• If you weren’t doing what you do today, what other job would you have?
• What “lesson from mom” do you still live by today?
• Do you have a pet? If so, tell me about him or her.
• What’s the craziest thing you have done?

You don’t have to include all of the above in a bio. Even just a few interesting answers will perk up drab copy.

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