The beauty of being a writer is the diversity of opportunities it presents. Many writers and authors teach workshops, offer editing services, mentor or coach other writers, meet readers at book signings and book fairs, and speak. If your first reaction to speaking isn’t “YIKES,” you need a speaker one-sheet to attract and convince event organizers to hire you.

A speaker one-sheet is a two-page (one sheet) advertisement of your personality, speaking topics, and benefits to the audience. It’s one of the best marketing assets in your toolbox to get in front of decision makers charged with finding engaging, relevant speakers for their event. Your job is to convince them that you are the one they should, no, NEED to hire.

According to Karen Saunders, a speaker one-sheet should answer these questions for the event organizer:

  • How would you describe your area of expertise?
  • Whom do you work with and give presentations to?
  • What are the benefits of hiring you—
    • for the leaders of the organization?
    • for the participants in the ranks?
    • for organizational progress?
  • What have you done that makes you an expert?
  • Which groups have you worked with before?
  • What did participants think of your contribution?
  • How can you be reached for more information?

That leads us to several essentials elements in a one-sheet.

Headshot

The first thing organizers notice is your headshot. Use a professional, high-resolution headshot and (if available) include other less formal, high-resolution photos of you in action or which highlight your personality.

Your Name and Tagline

Next, create a catchy tagline with benefit and hope, like these:

  • Enabling strategic agility – Holly Green
  • Delivering inspiration, innovation, and action – John J. Hall
  • Inspiring healthy doctor-patient relationships – Julia Spencer

Or, create one with more personality. Here are some from Anna Rynde in her post on Communicate [your] Skills:

  • Master Chef Aiming for 2 Stars in Guide Michelin
  • Divorce Lawyer With the Ability to End Any Marriage
  • Hairdresser Who Spreads the Rumour of Your Choice
  • Hunter With a License to Kill
  • Pick one that suits your profession and personality.

Bio

75-100 words give the organizer a peek inside your experience and expertise. Connect with your audience through benefit statements and assure them that you’re in it to make a difference in their lives. Show your personality and differentiate yourself from the other speakers out there. Include any awards or accolades to highlight your place as an expert. Finally, let the reader know why you are the perfect person to deliver the speech. If you’ve got video snippets, provide a link here.

Speaking Topics

List three to five speaking topics and include descriptions of each, as space allows. Include attention-grabbing information by highlighting the target audience and the benefit to them. Keep the description brief, but engaging. Here’s one from Deri Latimer:

The Psychologically Health Organization: Helping leaders and teams to create purposeful (engaged), productive (energized), and profitable (eminent) workplaces.

Her clear audience and benefit description helps organizers self-identify. You know if you need her and how inviting her to speak helps your organization.

As a writer, your benefit may be as simple as delight and entertain. There is an audience for every type of speaker. If you aren’t clear about who you are trying to reach, read this post about connecting with your target audience.

Client List

Highlight where you’ve spoken before. If you’re new to the speaking circuit, make building your resume a number one priority. Speak for free until you fill this section and update it as you gain more experience. Use either company logos or list the organizations prioritizing the largest or most prestigious ones first.

Testimonials

Among the most important parts of the speaker one-sheet is your testimonial section. Testimonials are the social proof that you are good at what you do. They help the organizer see the value from a participant or organizer perspective. Organizers want to do a good job. They need assurance that you are the right person to solve their problem. Testimonials help them visualize the end result – happy audience, happy boss, repeat customers or whatever their ultimate desire might be.

Publications

Your books are proof of your knowledge and expertise about your niche. Proudly display high-resolution photos of your book covers. Direct links to your books or other info products to a location on your website for further information.

Contact information

Make it easy for the organizer to contact you! Give all ways you prefer to be contacted and include links to your website and social media channels. Use a call to action like “Book (your name) Now!” or “Contact (your name) Today” to entice a quick response.

Create a standout #speaker one-sheet to get the best #speaking gigs! Click To Tweet

Personality

I’ve mentioned this throughout this article, but it can’t be overstated. Be bold and stand in who you are. There are plenty of blah, blah, blah speakers. What differentiates you from everyone else? What is your “magic?” If you aren’t sure, ask your friends and colleagues about your distinguishing characteristics. Are you pearls or flannel? Business suit or tiara? Let your personality shine in the design style and wording of the one-sheet. When an event organizer is flipping through choices, let your speaker one-sheet stand out and say, “Pick me!”

If the thought of speaking makes your knees shake, try this speaking tip from Mike Brady.

To craft the brand and messaging, seek out the help of an expert or two. Two of my favorites are Dana Dobson, speaker and PR expert and design maven,  Jane Clark.

Here’s what Jane did for me.

What is your speaking “magic?”