One of my favorite pieces of advice when I gave my first public presentation was this: as you’re preparing, write your presentation in blog post format, include your slide deck in the blog post, and schedule the post to go live during or adjacent to the time of your presentation. Include the link to the blog post in the final slide of your presentation so the audience can easily locate it.
Why did I love this advice so much? Many reasons, but here are four I think everyone can relate to:
- Artifacts improve the audience experience (and make your presentation memorable).
- Putting the content online gives more people access to the material.
- It’s thrifty: you get two pieces of content for the price of one.
- A linkable article helps you build an online portfolio.
Improve the audience experience
How many times have you been at work 3, 6, 9 months after a conference, and a talk you attended suddenly has massive relevance for a problem you’re trying to solve. You rack your brain trying to remember that awesome point the speaker made, or the statistic they quoted, but you didn’t make a note of it and lost it forever. Or you came back from a conference blown away by a presentation, and you want to tell your colleagues all about it, and you wish you could just share the whole thing with them?
Making the content of your presentation available for your audience provides an artifact: a concrete resource they can reference, at any point in time, to put your tips into action. As an added bonus, preparing a blog post ahead of time will help you refine your points before getting on stage, making for a more articulate presentation for the audience.
Give your material broader (and longer-lasting) reach
The last time I gave a workshop was two years ago. The last time I shared the blog post from it was last month. The content you create for your presentation has the potential to be evergreen: when I see a question about live chat efficiency come up in the Support Driven Slack, I can share the content from my workshop even now, with people who weren’t at the conference when I gave it.
By publishing your presentation material online, you make it shareable and available to everyone who might benefit from it. This includes people in the future, who weren’t in that one room in that one hour you were presenting.
Get two pieces of content for the price of one
If you’re giving a presentation, you’re already doing the work of creating the content. You may as well publish it! Publishing your presentation allows you to create a permanent, linkable, sharable resource of something you’ve worked hard to create. You get two pieces of content — a presentation and an article — for the price of one.
Build an online portfolio
Sharing your knowledge on stage then publishing it on the web is good for your career and for building your reputation. Public speaking prepares you to get in front of a room and communicate a message — a valuable skill in many work environments. Writing and publishing helps you articulate that message in written form, also valuable in nearly every workplace.
Your published content exhibits both presenting and writing savvy, is a record of your speaking engagement, displays your areas of expertise, and is a clear demonstration of your skills. You can link it on your resume as an example of the type of work you are capable of doing.
Where to publish?
There are so many options! I recommend publishing on your own blog so that you control your content — own it, style it, brand it — on your personal space on the web. If you don’t have a blog or website, you can publish articles on LinkedIn or in a place like Medium, or… pitch your piece for the Support Driven blog!
If you are presenting at an upcoming Support Driven event, we’d be happy to chat with you about publishing about your presentation here. To discuss publishing the content and slides from your presentation on the Support Driven blog, please reach out to @scott in the Support Driven Slack.
Examples to get you started
Are you all pumped to do this now and want to see how others have done it? Here are some examples of Support Driven conference presentations turned to referenceable blog posts:
- Handling Negativity in Customer Support from a talk by Jeremey DuVall
- Forget “Hello World”: Technical skills and how to learn them from a talk by Lisa Hunt
- 5 Tips to Increase Employee Participation in Community from a workshop by Lana Lee
- How Support Teams Can Support Engineering Teams from a talk by Sandeep Kaur
- Take Control! Techniques for Efficient Live Chatting from a workshop by Andrea Badgley
- Customer Support — Are You Really Listening? From a talk by Valentina Thörner
- Building a Career in Support from a talk by Andrew Spittle
- Boundaries and Burnout from a talk by Giovanna Hopkins
- Are you a Robot? Or: Staying Human in an Artificial World from a talk by Peter Shin