Whether you’re a speaker or a writer, a biosheet (sometimes also called a one-sheet) is a must-have for concisely and clearly expressing your message to audiences and publishers. For me, creating a biosheet also been a ministry-defining exercise that forces me to seek God in clarifying my true call.
If you’re considering a summer project, this just might be the area of development to consider! Today, I’d like for you to hear from Denise Hughes, a former client, current friend, author and speaker, about her experience developing a biosheet with Next Step.
1. How did you learn about Next Step Speaker Services, and why did you decide to sign up with us?
I heard about Next Step when I attended the She Speaks Conference last summer. My time at the conference proved invaluable as it helped me formulate a more concrete vision for writing and speaking. As I flew home from Charlotte, I made a list of “take-aways” — a list of actionable steps for me to take, things I knew I needed to follow through on. One of the items on my list was to create a bio sheet and a speaker page for my blog.
So I visited Next Step’s website and perused the services offered. Immediately, I knew I wanted to work with Next Step. At the time, I didn’t know the women who offered these services, but I had experienced the atmosphere these women helped to create at the She Speaks Conference. They’re women with a passion for helping others in their speaking and writing ministry.
2. What projects did you work on with your coach?
I signed up for the Bio Sheet Development service with Amy Carroll. She contacted me, and we step up times when we could talk by phone. We had four phone consultations, one each week, during this process. And each week focused on a different aspect of the bio sheet. Amy would send me a short questionnaire every week, and I would submit my “homework” before our next phone call. Honestly, the homework wasn’t overwhelming at all. I felt the pace was very reasonable, and I was excited to get started.
In the first week, we concentrated on a tagline, which serves as a focal point for the kind of content you speak about.
In the second week, we worked on value statements, which expand on the tagline in more tangible terms.
In the third week, we created the actual bio, which gives the speaker’s background in a professional yet personable manner.
In the fourth week, we focused on speaking topics, which go into more detail on the different talks you give.
By the end of this process, a complete bio sheet and speaker page is prepared, and each part flows in a natural, logical order.
3. How was working with a coach different than doing these projects on your own?
I came away from the She Speaks Conference with so many ideas. And I tried several times to write out my topic ideas for a speaking page. I knew I was on the right path, but I also knew I wasn’t quite there yet. My ideas were still taking shape and didn’t feel complete.
I also wasn’t sure how to move past some of the logistical hurdles. For instance, I wasn’t sure what kind of information to include in a bio. How much personal information should it have? Should I write it in the first person or third person? Approximately how long should it be?
Working with Amy helped me to articulate the more nebulous ideas I had been contemplating for some time. She helped me to frame my ideas in a way that gave me a clearer view of what I really saw as my purpose for speaking and writing. She also gave me clear guidelines for writing the bio sheet.
Amy was so supportive in answering my questions and helping me devise a plan. She also provided lots of samples for me to examine. These examples helped me to visualize what I needed to do. Her advice was informed and very appropriate to the occasion. She was a genuine source of encouragement and a delight to work with.
4. Tell us about your biosheet. What do you love most about it, and how do you plan to use it?
The finished biosheet brought clarity to my vision. It encapsulated my heart’s desire for speaking and for writing, and it helped me to hone in on the topics I’m most excited about sharing with others.
What I love most about my biosheet is its brevity. When I started to write the speaking topics on my own, I ended up with lengthy descriptions of each talk. But Amy gave me succinct parameters to work within. This helped me to develop concise summaries with clear benefits.
I now have the speaking topics available on my blog, and I’m working with a designer to create a downloadable PDF version of the complete biosheet.
The entire process was so beneficial to me, not just as a speaker, but as a writer as well. The skills I acquired during this process will be part of my approach to all future speaking projects. For anyone seeking to create a bio sheet and speaker page, I highly recommend the services at Next Step.
Denise J. Hughes is a teacher at heart. Whether she’s speaking at a women’s retreat or teaching in a college classroom, Denise is dedicated to helping others become living testimonies of grace and truth. She holds an M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition, and she teaches writing at Azusa Pacific University. Denise is the author of On Becoming a Writer: What Every Blogger Needs to Know, and she devotes her blog to helping others deepen their faith and develop their craft. Denise lives in Southern California with her husband and three kids.