Skip to content

Thought Leadership Strategy: 3 Ways to Leverage Live Event Content

leverage live eventsIn a previous column, I talked about how a good content marketing strategy can lead to invitations for your organization’s thought leaders to speak at relevant industry events. This time, let’s take a look at how those public speaking engagements can, in turn, be repurposed and leveraged into new content marketing products.

As we did last time, let’s imagine that you’re the managing partner of a boutique urban planning firm and you’ve just made a key hire, “Alice,” who is an expert in the field of high-rise residential design. As part of your marketing efforts to increase brand awareness, one of your goals is to raise Alice’s thought leadership profile in the urban planning community. So from a content marketing perspective, you are looking for ways to gain the greatest possible benefit from a speech she’s been booked to deliver at an upcoming industry conference.

How can you do this? The operative word here is “leverage.” Like other aspects of content marketing, a big part of success is in finding ways to deliver your information in various formats, across various platforms, to ensure you are accommodating the informational needs and preferred consumption patterns of those in your target market.

Spoken word to text

The first step is to record Alice’s presentation when she delivers it at the conference. If the conference organizers aren’t already audio- or video-recording all of the sessions at the event, you might be able to arrange to have Alice wear a lavalier microphone on stage, which you can connect to your own digital recorder (I like to use iTalk on my iPhone) to capture her words.

One reason an audio recording is important is that you can have it transcribed through any number of means (most of which are relatively cost-effective) so that you have easy access to the full presentation in a text format. Once the presentation is in text form, it’s easy to repackage the original content into various written content formats, like white papers, articles, or blog posts. Keep in mind that the transcription may need some editing in order to optimize its quality (what sounds good verbally doesn’t always work well on the screen or page), but this is likely a whole lot easier and more convenient than trying to take detailed notes during Alice’s conference session — not to mention it’s probably cheaper than having to send an additional staff person to attend the event.

In addition to speed and convenience, capturing presentations helps your company bring more of its team members into the content creation process. For example, some people (like Alice) feel more comfortable with public speaking than they do with writing. Others may have a busy speaking schedule that makes it difficult for them to find the time to put their great insight down on paper. Rather than putting more work — and more stress —on their shoulders, this process lets your public figures go with their strengths (talking) and still provides you with a way to share their expertise.

Another way you can repurpose the content from these audio files is to offer them as podcasts — either in their entirety or by editing them down into multiple, shorter bits. To do this, you can use a service like SoundCloud (an audio equivalent of YouTube), which allows you to embed the podcasts on your website or your blog, or share them across your other content channels. I recommend you post the original text transcription along with the audio files, so that the keywords it contains can help this content to be discovered through search engines.

Spoken word to video

If you are able to capture Alice’s presentation on video, you have even more options at your disposal for leveraging her content. However, you will need to be sure that you plan your use of this video content thoughtfully — while it may be easy to engage an audience during an hour-long live presentation, it’s probably a stretch that your audience will have the same attention span outside of the conference setting.

As with audio content, here I recommend breaking a video down into its most relevant highlights — in chunks of three to four minutes, at the most. A video of this length can also be repurposed as a demo reel for Alice, which you can then send to other conference organizers as a testament to her insight and her ability to engage an audience.

Another benefit of this video content is that it helps promote Alice as someone with whom clients will want to work. If your video content helps demonstrate how adept she is at explaining complex issues clearly, or that she has a unique perspective on your industry, there is a greater chance that prospective clients will approach her (as an extension of your organization) to help them meet their business needs.

Here, as with an audio file, a transcription posted along with the video will help the content get found by search engines — and also make the information more versatile, as it meets the needs of reading-oriented people.

A few technical details here on capturing video from presentations: If your firm is doing the recording of a presentation, make sure you aren’t relying on your camera’s microphone — it will pick up too much ambient noise during the session, room tone and not enough of the speaker. A wireless microphone, synced to a pickup on the camera, will produce much better sound — which you can then use as a separate audio file.

Spoken word to graphics

Alice’s speech can also be a rich source of visual content. For example, you can repurpose her slide deck as a stand-alone product, such as a SlideShare presentation or an infographic, or by posting it on Alice’s LinkedIn profile, or the LinkedIn page for your organization.

When breaking these slides up for use in other content formats, make sure you include any additional explanations or details that may be necessary to provide clarity — as you don’t want the presentation’s message to get lost when it’s delivered outside of the context of the live event. Diagrams, photographs, and other images may be helpful for this purpose, and they can help break up any long blocks of text that come from transcription of lengthy or detailed presentations.


Leveraging a speech in all these ways can help your firm support Alice in her business development efforts, and help her build her professional profile as a thought leader at the same time. With these easy-to-implement techniques, you can create multiple forms of content based on Alice’s industry insight — without detracting from the time she needs to spend on working with paying clients.

Looking for a live event with plenty of content marketing insight from renowned thought leaders? Register to attend this year’s Content Marketing World, which will take place on September 9-11, 2013, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Cover image courtesy of Carl Friesen