Speaking at a WordCamp? Write a post before you present.

Write a post in advance of your WordCamp presentation. It gives the audience a follow-up resource, sends direct traffic to your site, and has long-term SEO value. Best of all? You won’t have to write it after the event!

It sounds like common sense, yet so many speakers wait to the last minute just to get their slides done. (Ack.) I didn’t want to be in that position for WordCamp Hamilton. So for my Content Creation Regimen session I built my slides around a post that was published a day earlier.

Here’s the thing: I never planned to write that post. It was just a Google doc that outlined my talking points. But as I beefed up the doc with content and links, I started thinking about how it would make a useful reference for attendees.

And hot dang, am I glad for that realization! I couldn’t cover everything in my session. There were questions. There were delays. There were points where I went off on a tangent.

But it was fine. I didn’t touch on everything I wanted, but I had the post to cover the rest. I didn’t have to worry about it.

Speaking at a WordCamp? Write a post before you present.

Let’s walk through the process.

First, I wrote the post.

I started with an outline. It was just a list of headings and brief supporting thoughts. Small additions were made over time as I thought of more goodies to squeeze in. It wasn’t a major writing exercise. I spent five, maybe ten minutes expanding on the content every few days. (Trying to do that in one shot would’ve burned me out big time.)

Here’s what it looked like:

Content Creation Regimen outline

Nothing fancy, right? You gotta start somewhere. 🙂

Then I built the presentation.

The beauty of starting with an outline is that the structure was easy to follow. Converting it to a PowerPoint presentation outline (or, in my case, a Google Slides outline) was painless. Each heading became a slide, and I added additional slides for visual aid, like this one:

Content creation - the CTA funnel

Best of all? I wasn’t tempted to squeeze too much information into the deck. The presentation was just a teaser for the post.

Next, I included slides in the post.

Slides are visual and my post needed visuals. See the connection? 😉 I exported my slides as images and used them throughout the post. They fit perfectly!

Bonus: I was happy to see that the title slide, when set as the featured image for the post, carried over to sharing on Facebook and Twitter.

Then I created a short URL.

I created a Google Analytics campaign tag using their URL builder. Then, hopping over to GoDaddy’s free URL Shortener, I created a custom link that redirects to the tagged URL.

Truth be told it was mostly intended as an experiment, but you know what? It worked!

WordCamp Hamilton - Campaign Conversions

The easy part? Presenting the darn thing.

Throughout my talk, I reminded the audience about information that was shared in the post but wasn’t presented in my slides. I didn’t give them the link, though! That’d distract them.

The link is the payoff that the entire presentation builds to. So, on my final slide, I put the shortened URL in gigantic text.

Content Creation Regimen - Short URL

And that was that! Easy huh?

What else should you do before presenting?

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