Making the most out of SlideShare

Aug 14, 2015 by
Making the most out of SlideShare

When the word ‘presentation’ gets brought up in conversation, most people have one primary association: boredom!

While nothing can erase the unpleasant memories of being trapped in a corporate boardroom for hours on end watching repetitive slides while eagerly awaiting the afternoon coffee break, presentations don’t have to be boring.

Nowadays, presentations are shared prolifically and the best ones feature stunning imagery, compelling narratives and even humour! Although launched in 2006, the popularity of SlideShare has dramatically increased in recent years, with many businesses choosing to upload their Powerpoint presentations to the site as a form of content marketing.

Whether you have some content which could be repurposed as a presentation or even if you’re feeling encouraged to come up with something from scratch, these tips will help you to maximise your impact when using SlideShare.

Make an impression with the title slide

In a previous article, I discussed the importance of having a compelling headline in order to draw people into your blog posts. The same principle applies when designing your title slide. It’s important to use a captivating main image as well as an aesthetic combination of colours – whether you like it or not, an ugly design will turn people away even if your content is magnificent, so take your time when crafting the visuals!

When writing the title itself, you may wish to present it as a question, or provide a succinct answer to a common problem within your niche. Just as list topics and titles with numbers tend to do well to draw people into blog posts, the same is true for SlideShare presentations.

Structure is everything

A powerful narrative is a key component of a presentation, and there are multiple structures which you can use to achieve this. You may wish to structure your presentation as an extended list post, with each slide loaded with digestible nuggets. Alternatively, an instructional guide is a great fit for SlideShare, since each actionable step can be separated into individual slides. This is great for when someone wants to refer back to the presentation at a later date and view the specific slide which pertains to their current situation.

Spike emotions

slideshare-tool-cambridge-web-marketingAs soon as people feel bored they’re likely to stop reading, so aim to spike their emotions at various points throughout the presentation. While it may not be appropriate depending on your niche, one way to do this is with humour. An excellent example of a humorous presentation which is also wonderfully informative is Why Content Marketing Fails by Rand Fishkin, complete with hilarious images which help to propel the narrative. It’s also beneficial to sprinkle powerful statistics, facts and relevant quotes from thought leaders throughout the presentation as these all help to maintain engagement.

Include links

Links allow you to provide a greater context around the subjects that you’re discussing, particularly when you provide references for the complete studies from which you’ve extracted data. Additionally, you may wish to include links back to your site – so long as they’re contextually relevant and don’t look overly promotional. You can also include links to social media which is useful if you want to encourage sharing – which leads me to my final point…

Promote diligently

A piece of content is only as effective as the people it reaches, and presentations are no different. Many excellent infographics are dwelling in the dark corners of the internet collecting cobwebs because the level of promotion didn’t match the proficiency of design. In addition to installing social media links within the presentation itself and featuring the presentation on your blog, it certainly helps to network with key influencers within your niche in the hope that they will share it with their own (ideally substantial) group of followers.

Marketing expert Jason Miller states:

“One great SlideShare presentation can be the star attraction in more places than one. Make your presentation part of something bigger by showcasing it at company meetings, user groups, social meetups, industry conferences and use it in a webinar or two.”

If your presentation is well designed, informative and answers a genuine need, there’s a chance that it will get featured on SlideShare’s coveted front page. This will increase the presentation’s exposure exponentially. For this to happen, the presentation has to actually be worth sharing, thus the adage ‘content is king’ is true – as always!.