DEV Community

loading...

How to Repurpose Your Conference Talks as Blog Posts

radiomorillo profile image Stephanie Morillo Originally published at stephaniemorillo.co ・3 min read

After most conference talks, speakers will generally share their slides online for attendees to look at later and to this day, I still don't understand the value one can extract from a slide deck taken out of context. The problem with many slide decks is that they're devoid of actual information. And removed from the context of an actual talk, random slides added for comedic or dramatic effect make less sense and provide no additional value.

When audiences ask for slide decks, they're really asking for the meat of the talk—the actual information presented. The problem is that many times, this information is either not available or not provided in full.

Over the summer, I had to produce a blog post for work based on a colleague's talk. The recording of the talk hadn't been released, and I wasn't in attendance. So I asked my colleague for their talk notes. To my delight, my colleague produced very thorough talk notes and I drafted an entire blog post based on their notes alone. In fact, the notes contained so much information—his talk clocked in around 40 minutes—that I only used two-thirds of the content for the blog post. It was widely shared, and an excellent companion piece to the recording.

But what if I don't take good notes...or I'm not a great writer? Everyone doesn't take notes with the same level of detail, and some people use their slides to guide them through their talk, but they don't have the bulk of their content written down. So how can we turn this content into a blog post?

Answer: Record yourself running through the talk and get it transcribed. Once you get the transcription, make edits to the content, lay it out in a way that reads like a narrative (places where your slides introduce new sections in your talk == section headers in a blog post), and follow up with resources or a link directly to the talk recording. (I've used Rev.com for transcriptions before and they're affordable and super fast.)

Here are other reasons why a blog post make a better post-conference talk resource than slides:

  1. Blog posts allow you to expand on areas that were glossed over. Considering how most talks have time limits, you might find that there are places where you—or your audience—wanted to go in depth. You can hone in on certain sections of your talk and expand on them in a blog post or two, without having to worry about time limits (but be mindful of length; posts that go more than 1,800 words should be split up into multiple posts).

  2. They're better for accessibility. Unfortunately, not all video recordings of conference talks are close captioned, and even for those who have impaired vision, it might be difficult to follow along especially if you use slides to punctuate certain emotions, actions, or thoughts. By writing something down in narrative form, you make your content more accessible and inclusive of people with disabilities and impairments.

  3. They can promote your future talks! Turning your old talks into blog posts is a great way of promoting yourself as a speaker. It gives conference organizers the opportunity to get a sense of your expertise and how you present your thoughts to audiences.

This doesn't mean you have to ditch slides all together—include the slide deck in your blog post to augment the experience more. You can then provide the write up in a link to your audiences after the conference.

If you're looking for good examples of speakers that have done this, look at these write ups from André Arko and Aaron Gustafson, both based on their conference talks.

This post was originally published on my blog.

I'm Stephanie, a Content Strategist and Technical PM. Visit developersguidetocontent.com to learn more about my work!

Your turn! Have you ever reused or repurposed existing content?

Discussion (5)

pic
Editor guide
Collapse
aaronpowell profile image
Aaron Powell

I've recently been going the inverse, I've been writing a blog post (or more often, series) and then extracting a conference talk out of it. This means I have something that can be given to the attendees immediately after (I'll often short-link to it on the closing slide) but it also means that I had a chance to think through how the whole idea looks before putting slides together.

Collapse
radiomorillo profile image
Stephanie Morillo Author

I second this—it's a great idea! I did something similar two years ago with a talk I wrote. I used my talk script as the basis of a blog post, and I published it right before my talk. I created shortlinks for the blog post, included the link in my slides, and tweeted it out with the conference hashtag right after I wrapped up. People seemed to appreciate having all the content readily available after the talk. :)

Collapse
glaucia86 profile image
Glaucia Lemos

Wow! Excellent tip Steph. This is really good once much more persons can understand better what we talked and spread even more what we talked about.
I'll do this from today! Thanks!

Collapse
radiomorillo profile image
Stephanie Morillo Author

Thank you, Glaucia! I agree with this. We spend so much time creating conference talks and then put them away when they're done—but so many people didn't get to hear it and would get value from learning about your talk! Let me know how it goes. :)

Collapse
glaucia86 profile image
Glaucia Lemos

For sure I'll. And better now here on dev.to which we can embeded our slides