NVS Blog

Speaker Sheets That Speak Volumes

Every professional speaker knows there is one piece of marketing collateral (s)he cannot live without – the speaker sheet.  When I was in my 20’s the rule of thumb was that a resume was not to be more than a page long.  Anything longer was apt to be tossed in the garbage, never to be reviewed for consideration.  Today, resumes are frequently more than one sheet long and aren’t thought to be a negative.  So it is with speaker sheets.

Speaker sheets have emerged over the years and what once was a relatively boring one-pager is now often a slick double-sided branding vehicle designed to stand out from the rest.

To convey that you are a must-have expert, your speaker sheet has to be written and designed effectively.  A basic speaker sheet usually incorporates:Speaker sheets have emerged over the years and what once was a relatively boring one-pager is now often a slick double-sided branding vehicle designed to stand out from the rest. What does your speaker sheet say about you?

  • Topics/Programs
  • Target Audience
  • Benefits
  • Biography
  • Client List
  • Testimonials
  • Contact Information

Those are just the basics.  From there you have creative freedom and can incorporate affiliations, logos, publication images and just about anything else your targets might find valuable when selecting a speaker for their events.

Following are a few well-designed double-sided speaker sheets I have come across that jump right off the page and they are worth sharing with you.  As always, I am sharing this information not to suggest that you mimic anyone else’s style, but instead to self-check your branding material to see if you’re remaining current in your efforts to market and brand yourself to your audience.  Click on each image for a full-size view and feel free to visit the websites of these amazing individuals who have allowed me to share their speaker sheets with you. I’m pleased to have connected with them and to give attribution to all.

As you’ll see in the examples below, there is no one right way to present yourself.  One thing is clear; these are not your average black-and-white, cookie cutter templates. A lot of thought went into the design and layout and the end results are just … lovely.

Becky Davis – Leadership Transformation Coach

What I first noticed about Becky’s sheet is that beautiful, bold-colored jacket.  I’m sure that’s not a coincidence.  Notice how shades of green are woven throughout the sheet and used in her logo?  Notice, too, how the graphics are few and not overpowering; her gorgeous high-resolution photos aren’t competing for your attention.  I think it’s also very smart how on the back of her sheet she provides a short list of the benefits you’ll attain after working with her.  I don’t see that often; you’re not left to guess what you should expect after working with her. Brava!

Darlene Templeton – Speaker, Author and Coach

You know exactly what you’re getting with Darlene from her opening – 36 years with IBM.  Her photo is clear, warm and inviting and she lists her topics with big, bold bullets.  Notice how each subtitle begins with an actionEnhance your leadership skills; Put yourself in the driver seat; Discover how your leadership skills or “charms” can propel you … it’s all about you. That’s the art of a great speaker sheet – it’s all about the audience. Simple but brilliant. She gets it! The back side of her sheet is dedicated to her list of clients and testimonials, and a shot of the two books she’s co-authored.  Clean, concise, well-done.  And that comment about her sense of humor is spot on – she’s so much fun!

Chris Warner – Speaker, Author and Guide

It only takes a quick glance at Chris’ speaker sheet to determine he’s not your average speaker. The most prominent photos of him are not the suit and tie guy you might expect to walk up to the mic at your next event. Chris goes heavy on the graphics but it suits his message and delivery. (I purchased Chris’ book years before I even thought about this article and his list of accolades could fill a third and fourth sheet easily.) Because of the high visibility he already commands, it only makes sense he take advantage of the brand and logo recognition of NBC, Sports Illustrated, CNN, BBC, The History Channel et al. Chris has spent many years building his successful platform and I’m pretty sure he hasn’t reached his highest altitude yet. [A super-warm thank you for signing my book!]

The takeaway here shouldn’t be that there’s a good, better, best format for speaker sheets. Just like our resumes (and life in general), a speaker sheet isn’t a one-shot done deal. It’s perpetually redesigned. When you ace that next big client, add it. Got a new topic, a better photo, a new angle, book or project? Update it. The absolute worst thing you can do is let your speaker sheet become a stagnant piece of collateral that you only pull out when someone calls. If your speaker sheet doesn’t look current and fresh, you just may be passing the baton to your competition.

These attractive speaker sheets were designed by Kimb Manson who works from her home in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada.  Kimb has worked with well over 100 professional speakers from independents, NSA and CAPS members as well as a couple Hall of Fame Speakers.

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