Today’s bulleted list is tomorrow’s white paper

Turn bulleted lists into marketing content.

Organizations generate one bulleted list after another, one slide deck after another. Part of your success as a marketing manager is to turn those lists and decks into memorable stories.

There’s no denying that most slide decks and PowerPoint presentations are pretty dry. But there’s also no denying that there’s a lot of gold in them, if you know how to mine it.

The bulleted list on the big screen

Say your president or director of engineering gets invited to a conference and gets a brilliant idea for a presentation. She creates a slide deck around it and presents it to 500 conference attendees, all of whom agree that it’s brilliant. They all request copies and circulate them among their colleagues back at the office.

“Her presentation is what we’ve been trying to say for years,” they write. “Have a look.”

Their colleagues double-click on the attached files and see . . . a bulleted list. No narrative, no anecdotes, no flesh on the skeleton — just slide after slide of bullets.

But it looked so brilliant on the big screen. What happened to all of that brilliance? How can you preserve it for them?

Converting a bulleted list into a story

You convert the presentation into a white paper, case study or technical article, then make that available at the conference, instead of the slide deck. Once it tells a story, Marketing can use it, Sales can use it, your PR firm can use it, even your execs can use it.

We’ve done this for several presentations from product managers and subject matter experts (SMEs). We need the content out of their brains and into print anyway. Their conference presentation is usually the most efficient source because they’re always too busy to sit down and commit their knowledge to the printed word.

Here’s what your writer needs to do this properly:

  • a copy of the slide deck
  • an audio or audio/video recording of the presentation
  • access to the SME in case of questions

Record your expert in front of an audience

Sometimes your SMEs would rather record their delivery while commuting to the office, while shaving, or while waiting for their children’s soccer games to start. Or they want you to work from the recording of a webcast. The results are not as crisp as in a recording from a live delivery of the presentation before a live audience.

Instead, arrange to have your expert recorded up on stage in front of a crowd, even if you have to sit in the front row yourself and get it on your cellphone. You’ll capture the adrenaline and lack of self-consciousness in a properly delivered, playing-to-the-gallery, totally-in-the-zone presentation, warts and all.

You’ll pick up all the spark and brilliance you need to turn today’s bulleted list into tomorrow’s white paper.

photo credit: ConstanceDriveStreetArt


Author: John White

John White of venTAJA Marketing is a content marketing writer for technology companies. He posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. Download his eBook, “10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Content Marketing Writer.”