13 Tips to Make Your SlideShare Successful

When people think of Slideshare, they think it’s as PowerPoint with a URL or Prezi without the motion-sickness. But it’s really a form of content that can be just as valuable to your campaign as infographics, videos and articles – when done right. Follow these tips to make sure you’re making the most of SlideShare.

1. Make it Stand By Itself

We have all sat through boring corporate presentations that try to inject humor or use PowerPoint for their visual aids. The title is something like “Office Safety is No Joke” and shows a meme related to safety. The speaker prattles on about fire exits while the PowerPoint provides no real value. Don’t do this to your SlideShare.

Complete strangers who have no context about your company, your inside jokes, or the original presentation will be viewing your SlideShare. Will they be able to glean as much information as someone who is the same room as the presenter?

For example: if your coworker missed the safety presentation, could you email the URL to them to catch up on what they missed? Or would they just learn that safety is important according to Grumpy Cat?

shutterstock_1345504492. Test it on Others

To make sure your SlideShare is independent, clear, and concise, test it out on a coworker, or better yet a friend or significant other. If the topic is unclear at certain parts or they don’t actually learn anything after clicking through 50 slides, its time for you to go back to the drawing board.

While it’s good to upload a presentation from a conference or speaking engagement, leave the inside jokes or icebreakers off the slides. Talking about how beautiful the Hawaiian sunset is or the conference hall size will only isolate viewers who weren’t there.

3. Show Instead of Tell

It has been said that SlideShare is the YouTube of PowerPoint, and YouTube is mainly known for its audience with short attention spans – and the ability to get sucked into a vortex of video clips. You want to keep them clicking through your presentation to see what happens next.

Dave’s blog post about CopyPress with Stick Figures would make a great SlideShare presentation. It can be quickly broken down into multiple slides that are easily clicked through: This is Jim. He is a consumer, and loves comics. [click] This is Kelly. She loves to write Marvel fan news. [click] and so on and so forth. The presentation conveys valuable information while telling a story.

A key to a successful SlideShare is to keep your readers clicking through to see what is next, rather than clicking over to other presentations.

shutterstock_840958274. Get Personal

Now that you have figured out what story you are going to tell, answer the question of who is telling it. One of the most common SlideShare mistakes is failing to give a voice to the presentation. Uploading a series of slides like “Everything You Should Know About Starfish” without telling the viewer who is talking means that they can assume either a studied marine biologist is reviewing a dissertation or a second grader is presenting their science project. Simply adding a slide in the beginning explaining who you are gives both a voice and significant credibility to the rest of the presentation.

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5. Use As Many Slides as You Need — Within Reason

In the same way that blog articles with a higher word count rank higher and kept the attention of readers longer with good content, longer SlideShares tend to have more views. A study by HubSpot found that the more slides a presentation had, the more views it received. This means that audiences are looking for in-depth content and are willing to stay until the end to get it. This also means that you don’t have to worry about rushing through your stories. Make your points and cover the content thoroughly before you hit publish.

6. Ignore the PowerPoint Rules of Thumb

SlideShare has made slide presentations cool again. What people used to regard as pages full of unclear content (usually served with stale coffee) is now a quick way to learn about a topic at your own speed.

Ignore the PowerPoint six-words-per-slide rule, you are designing a presentation, not a series of billboards. Column Five found that the average number words per slide is 24. This means that the 10-20-30 PowerPoint rule (10 slides, reviewed over 20 minutes, with a 30-point font) is completely irrelevant to SlideShare. Viewers want more than 10 slides with six words per slide.

7. Embed It

Now that you have created a fantastic SlideShare presentation, give it a home on your blog. By embedding your presentation into an article you are able to give the back story of the presentation (you know, the one you left out of the slides to make the presentation independent.)

Your blog post is the time to go over why it was created, where it was presented and even to feature the main highlights. The text part can add context and value to your slides and explain why clicking-through can benefit your readers.

8. Share It

ShlideShare encourages users to do more with their presentations than embed them, especially because readership drops as the article ages. SlideShare’s main page highlights what’s hot on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in three separate sections.

Screen shot 2013-07-01 at 7.49.33 AMThe social element is what differentiates SlideShare from PowerPoint or Prezi. Remember, it is the “YouTube of PowerPoint” and visitors click from presentation to presentation when they see a headline or thumbnail that catches their eye. To understand the importance of sharing presentations on social channels, treat your SlideShare like a blog instead of a home for PowerPoints. Readers might click on a presentation that you tweet out, but they will click around to other suggested content. This is one of the main reasons why your SlideShare should be able to stand on its own, viewers will see it outside of your blog or conference.

9. Track Your Successes

SlideShare breaks up which presentations are hot on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn because each of those audiences respond differently to content. Have you ever had a picture or article go viral on Twitter but receive zero engagement on Facebook? Just like your comics, infographics and videos, your fans will respond to SlideShare differently on various social channels. Learn about what they like and dislike and tailor the social sharing appropriately.

10. Optimize, Optimize, Optimize

Your SlideShare presentation has a specific URL just like any blog post or YouTube video, which means it can have just as much value as an search optimized article. You can make it easy on yourself with a relevant title, URL, tags, and comments. Treat your title page like a thumbnail and create relevant content to reduce the bounce rate.

Most of the parallels we are drawing with SlideShare are with blog posts, not PowerPoint presentations. This is because SlideShare is content; it’s more than a bunch of slides in the background of a meeting.

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11. Always Have a Call to Action

Visitors will be clicking around SlideShare and stumbling across your presentations and your brand, or finding your presentations through search engines, this gives you the opportunity to connect with new audiences. Embrace the vortex and suggest other posts for people to view, or even direct them back to your blog to learn more about the topic discussed. There’s no reasons for a viewer to think “wow, that was informative” without seeing options to learn even more.

12. Use the Privacy Settings

If you want to test the waters with SlideShare, or use the account to create both professional content and more colloquial “Why My Coworkers Need to Clean the Kitchen” presentations, SlideShare has provided a beautiful option: private presentations.

Creators can set a presentation to private, create a password to access the slides and then schedule a date for the presentation to go live. This means that if you’re creating a SlideShare just to show potential clients, it won’t be all over the Internet. Or you can create a presentation but launch it at a certain date for maximum effect, just like your blog schedule.

13. Don’t Lose Your Head When Uploading

SlideShare lets users upload files ranging from PDFs to PowerPoints to a variety of video formats. Many bloggers before you have battled with SlideShare and the online consensus seems to lie that uploading PDFs provide the least amount of problems.

If SlideShare is worrying you, take to PowerPoint first. It’s a tool you’re already familiar with, then save it to a PDF to upload. The last thing you want after investing yout time and effort into a presentation is to watch it stretch or fail to upload because of a file glitch.