Build Your Premier Speaker One Sheet Checklist

Your Speaker Sheet is your foot in the door to your next event. Are you putting your best foot forward? Is it making you look credible, ready for the next keynote?

5 key areas that your Sheet needs to address:

DEMO SHEET

Headshot

Your Credibility

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A Short Bio

Contact info

Speaking topics

Video Thumbnail

Your Headshot / Logo

This should be professionally taken. Low quality photos make you look like a low quality speaker. With your brand in mind, most photos will be sharp, bright, and taken in natural light.

Portrait backgrounds make you look official and formal. Photos at an event, or in your environment, make you look more active and unique.
Either way, you should be smiling, or projecting confidence.

Your Short Bio

This can be the hardest thing to craft, and it’s one of the most important things you can create.

Your short bio will likely be a few sentences to a paragraph long. It must describe who you are, who you help, how you do it (identify a core problem and your plan of action), and why it all matters.

Your Speaking Topics

Give your signature talk pride of place, with a little extra detail. The format can follow the same talking points as your bio: clarify the problem, identify the obstacle to overcome it, provide the plan, explain the results.

List your remaining topics with a single sentence description.

Your Credibility

Provide a list of past events, the topics, and audience response. Or, event and brand logos. Or a list of endorsements from past event organizers.

If you’ve written a book, created a course, run a radio show, or any other accomplishment or certification, that should be included.

Contact Information

Finish with a call to action. A clear invitation to call you, send an email, or meet in person.

Provide all the details people will need to book you, explore your rates, and see samples of your work.

Video Thumbnail

If you have video of a recent event, or a promo reel, put a thumbnail on your one sheet. This encourages people to head online to watch it.

Make sure it’s easily accessible on your website. Link to your Youtube channel.

If you don’t have a promoreel, consider having one made. At the very least, share video snippets where you talk through your key ideas. Help researchers or event organizers quickly get a sense of your approach.

How to use your speaker One Sheet:

This is like your resume, offline. Online, your website is your ‘one sheet’. Your latest video is your one sheet. But if there’s any occasion where someone would need it in print, provide it:

PDF

Supplement your website media kit with the PDF of your one sheet. That way meeting planners can print it off and share it.

Print

Print off a short run of high quality copies (think Vistaprint or Costco Business Printing). Mail them to meeting planners with a copy of your book, pages of testimonials, your sales letter, or your media kit.

Email

Include it an email attachment to anyone interested in your speaking. Include a link to your latest video.

Critical point:

One Sheets were developed for a pre-video, pre-internet age.

People do not care about what you say. They want to see you on stage, at an event, on video. Prove what you can do.

Your website is far better and more valuable one sheet. Building a one sheet is not a guarantee of success.

It is the tip of the spear. You need to follow it up with credibility.

So lets start thinking from the standpoint of your event planner. What are they looking for? What are they trying to find out?

You’re likely sending emails, or mailing a printed copy, of your one sheet. But guaranteed – because it’s a Youtube era – the next question in the event manager’s mind is: let me see video footage. Let me hear some audio samples. Let me see what past events have said about your impact.

If you don’t have video footage of you on stage, then record yourself talking about your signature topic.

Your one sheet will not get you hired. But it will start the conversation. Your website, and your speaking credibility, is what gets folk fired up to bring you in.

Your career in public speaking rests on your credibility. Meeting planners are unlikely to research blank spaces for an untried candidate. Pony up the proof in a sleek, premier sheet that you’re worth your rate. Or their time.

Your Speaker Sheet helps you get booked. Pure and simple.

And yes, because it’s printed. It’s physical, can be passed around, and pinned up. A digital file is perfect for an email, but don’t expect to save money and make the meeting planner print it out. Your speaker sheet is the tip of the spear, driving people to your website for more detail.

If you want to charge premier rates, you have to look like a premier speaker.

#1 Critical Tip: If you don’t have testimonials, past events, and video on your website, start immediately. It will impress your next event organizer.

Your website should include all the remaining options, such as:

  • Your introduction letter, your background, and your story
  • An intermediate and longer bio
  • Different versions of headshots
  • Fees
  • Longer descriptions of your speaking topics
  • Links to your books, courses, or accomplishments
  • Certifications
  • Scope of services (seminars, workshops, coaching, etc)
  • Calendar of speaking events and availability

6 Cardinal Sins for your one-sheet:

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Poor Quality

You don’t always need a professional designer wrapping you with great design. It does mean that your marketing materials, such as your one sheet, are crafted with coherence and intention. Not whipped up in Powerpoint at 10pm last night.

For many of us, downloading a free template is the extent of our skills. Or hiring a design style that looks as dated as rotary phones. If you want to charge premier rates, you have to look like a premier speaker.

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Bad Photos

There’s nothing worse than a photo that’s unclear, pixellated, poorly lit, or posed wrong. If you’re not projecting confidence, energy, or a smile, you’re not communicating a basic human touchpoint.

Your expression should never make you look aloof, disengaged, or disconnected. Identify your brand, and help your photographer communicate that visually.

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Cramped Text

Your one-sheet is not the place to cram everything, in a small font, that runs the clear length of the page. It looks dated and desperate to provide a sheet dense with text.

Allow text to breathe, using different weights, and plenty of spacing. I understand the tempatation to fil up all the white space. But designers love white space for a reason.

It calls attention to important things. The more whitespace, the more important. Try breaking up blocks of text into plenty of paragraphs, bullets, and columns.

And most importantly, if you’re not confident in your writing skills, run it by a copywriter to ensure your brand voice comes through.

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Muddy Messaging

The #1 reason that sends one-sheets in the bin is a lack of clarity. Are people clearly able to understand what you can do for them? Do you truly understand the pain points that are driving them to attend the event?

Is your plan of action accessible, easy to implement, or easy to understand? Muddy messaging will shoot you in the foot when you need a leg up.

And it all comes back to your branding, who you are as a speaker, what the vision is, and your strategy for getting there.

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Too Much Too Soon

Anything over 10 pages is a media kit. 1-2 pages is sufficient to pique interest, and drive them online. That’s the whole idea; get them to the website. Don’t expect it to close the deal.

It’s like expecting a Facebook ad to make an instant sale. It might, but only .5% of the time when you actually time it perfectly. Everyone else is skimming through hundreds of options.

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Discoloration

Avoid using too many colors, styles, and pops to try and ‘stand out’ from the stack. If your sheet is laid out with an intentional color scheme, that showcases your photo, you will stand out.

Most speaker sheets look like they were made in the 90’s.

Yours doesn’t have to.

Dominic de Souza

Storyteller, Marketer

Born in New Zealand, raised in Australia, studied in Fiji and France, now living in the United States. After writing my first novel at 13, I spent 15 years in marketing and design. Today, I help wildly-passionate small businesses clarify their story to spellbind audiences.  Sign up for my weekly digest!