• Dr Emma Hewitt

9 sure-fire ways to maximise the impact of your conference talk

Updated: Dec 12, 2018

Since attending Janet Murray's Content Live event in November, 'repurposing' has become my new buzzword. Last week I published the first in a three part series on this topic, 5 powerful reasons why you need to repurpose your conference talk. As the name suggests, I delved into the benefits you reap by giving your talk a new lease of life beyond the conference room. You might be (justifiably) wary about giving all of your precious content away for free. But have you considered translating it into other forms of paid content? It can also be a good idea to use your content selectively to remind conference delegates of your key messages and takeaways. This can be really valuable in growing your audience by establishing fledgling network links made through the conference, as well as drawing in people who didn't even attend that particular event.

In this, the second blog of the series, I explore the myriad ways your conference talks and panel discussions can be repurposed. Amanda Webb from Spiderworking shares how she’s repurposed conference talks in her biz.

Get into your repurposing groove

I’ve come to realise just how many ways your content can be repurposed when you really put your mind to it and how crucial this is for audience engagement. In my role as a primary school teacher, we know that children learn in different ways, and we have a duty to cater to all the different learning styles in our classroom. As a business owner, it is possibly even more important to consider how your audience prefer to consume information because you're vying for your their attention against all the internet noise and other daily distractions. In a recent podcast episode, Janet Murray talked about the need for getting into a repurposing mindset', which she described as follows:

"So every time you produce a piece of content you're thinking to yourself, 'How can I repurpose this? How can I repackage it so that I can get this content in front of bigger audiences but also new audiences?' So new people who haven't engaged with me and might not engage with me otherwise because they don't particularly engage with this format." --The Janet Murray Show, podcast 314, Repurporposing hacks for business owners

Janet described the multitude of possibilities for repurposing different types of content. I have picked out some of her suggestions here to highlight how these can be applied to a conference talk:

  1. Posting a full transcript of your talk, exactly as is. How often have you been inspired by a really juicy nugget in someone's talk, only to try and explain it to someone else later and stumbled to capture the true essence of that original insight? Or got a bit muddled about the exact details of what they said? A transcript can be a really useful reference point, enabling your audience to skim through in search of a quote for your exact words. Although transcripts can be on the hefty side, they are helpful accompaniments to other forms of content and encourage your audience to reference your ideas correctly.

  2. Use a recording of your talk as a podcast episode or YouTube video. This allows your audience to relive the magic of your talk and can enable you to reach a much wider audience than the original conference delegates. Alternatively, as Janet suggests, you can rehearse use your talk prior to a conference by making a podcast episode from your notes.

  3. Turn it into a blog post or keep them wanting more through a series of blog posts. A blog post is more concise and readable than a transcript, but still allows you to get your point across accurately in written form.

  4. Pick out and locate soundbites that you could turn into video trailers to draw your audience in.

  5. Make beautiful looking quote cards to post across a range of social media platforms.

  6. You might consider using your talk as a starting point for writing a book or book chapter. So much easier than starting from a blank sheet!

  7. Use photos of you speaking as social media graphics.

  8. Create a SlideShare presentation.

  9. Create an ebook out of it to share on your membership site or even use it as a lead magnet.

Repurposing in action

Still buzzing from Content Live, I got in touch with Amanda Webb, who gave an awesome talk on how you can get more traffic to your blog content. Here’s what she came back with when I put the question to her:

Do you ever repurpose your conference talks? And if so, how?

“Yes. I do tend to recreate my talks or parts of them as content… So, the talk I gave the other day was the newer version of a talk I first did as a webinar for Andrew & Pete. From this I created an ebook. Then I repurposed the talk into a shorter version for a speech at WordCamp Dublin. I then re-wrote it again for Janet’s needs. There’s also a series of blog posts.”

"My conference talk started out as part of a webinar and then I turned it into an ebook."

"Then I repurposed the talk into a shorter version for a speech at WordCamp Dublin."

"There's also a series of blog posts."

Of course, different types of content might work better for particular audiences so it is a case of exploring what works for your audience. These are some ideas that you can use to make one piece of content go further.

Which of these ideas have you used for repurposing your conference talks? How effective were they in building audience engagement? Do get in touch to share your experiences!

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