After much writing and rewriting, rehearsing and – er – re-rehearsing, your speech has finally been delivered.

Time to sit back and bask in its glories? Probably not.

Instead, it’s time to repurpose your content to make sure that your speech reaches more people than those who were in the room when it was given.

Repurposing is mostly done after-the-fact. However, you can write the speech to anticipate and facilitate its afterlives. Here’s how.

Print Collateral

The easiest way to repurpose your speech is simply to print and distribute it.

But even with nice design, professional branding and quality printing, does your audience have time to sit and read a long-form text document?

Maybe – depends what you want to communicate. Either way, you’ll need to complement any print collateral with comms across other channels.

Press Release

If there’s a story around your speech, make sure to release a press or media notice.

Thousands of sites will tell you how to write one – I’ll just add, from a speechwriting perspective, the need to identify concise soundbites to include in the press release. Write the speech with these in mind.

Also, be sure to issue the press release with the caveat “[The speaker] is expected to say…” We all know that what’s on the page is not always what comes out of the mouth!

Social Media

As for the press release, write the speech to contain soundbites for social media.

And, as part of the comms plan, put together some branded images to tweet – live, ideally. Sites like allow you to easily create images from photos and quotations. Have a couple ready to go, and share with all the usual tags and hashtags.

If your speaker is confident, the venue is attractive and you or a colleague can get into an advantageous position, video the speech. You can even do this with a smartphone. Then edit your clip and share that too.

Digital Content and SEO

Like printing and distributing your speech, it’s quick and easy to share it in full online. That said, there are things you can do to maximise its reach.

First, once you have an approved script for delivery, prepare a parallel version that is grammatically correct and written for reading (rather than for speaking).

Second, where the script for delivery uses synonyms to avoid awkward repetition, don’t be afraid to repeat key terms in the version to be shared online. Some repetition will help SEO.

Third, also on SEO, where the delivery script abandons grammar in favour of the individual’s spoken style, the version to be shared online needs to consider readability.

As a result, you should add some “transition words” to make clear to the search engines how the document is structured. However, these words are unwieldy in spoken language, so leave them out of the version for delivery.

Tip: I use the Yoast plug-in for WordPress. This gives me real-time updates on the readability and SEO-friendliness of my blog posts. There are loads of similar tools online: keyword density checkers; content analysers; and readability checkers. Try putting a speech into one.

Repurposing Content: a No-Brainer

For most speeches, the time spent writing is likely to far exceed the time spent delivering and digesting. Therefore, it makes sense to repurpose content to extend the reach and lifespan of your messaging.

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