I have been meaning to create an online presentation for Slideshare for months.
However, despite being increasingly aware of this platform and of its significant audience (over 60 million unique visitors per month and more than 215 million page views) I just hadn't gone for it.
This is no longer the case (Yay!).
I finally decided to get to grips with Slideshare and upload my first presentation onto the platform. (You can see this presentation below.)
That very same day, Slideshare emailed to tell me that my slideshow had been handpicked by its editorial team from the thousands uploaded to the platform every day.
I have to admit, I got a bit over excited by this news!
Now, I do not claim that this makes me a Slideshare expert. Of course not. I don’t claim to know everything about this platform. However, I do believe that I have learnt a great deal from my Slideshare research and from creating a successful online presentation.
As a result, in this post, I am going to tell you my Slideshare story - from zero to online slideshow.
What Is Slideshare?
First of all, a question - what is Slideshare?
Slideshare is a free online platform that allows you to upload your professional slideshow presentations, word documents, infographics and videos and then share them with others.
It was acquired by LinkedIn in March 2012 and so has a predominantly business audience looking for solutions to problems.
Businesses spend time on Slideshare both because it is an amazing content resource and also because it is a great driver of traffic to websites.
Slideshare also has significant SEO benefits (Slideshare content ranks really well in Google searches).
It can introduce your content - and, therefore, your business - to a new audience.
Customise Your Profile
I have had a Slideshare account for ages, but for a long time, I just hadn’t done anything with it. I hadn’t even uploaded a photograph for my profile - the shame.
As it was finally time for me to bite the online presentation bullet, I decided (first things first) to optimise my profile.
Once I had uploaded my profile pic (after resizing it to a square image of 96 X 96 pixels), I entered my company information to ensure that, if someone likes my content, they can find out more about me and my business.
I also added my website URL and links to my blog and my Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
My next step was to create or find some content for my first online presentation.
I decided to use a recent blog post on content curation. I chose this post because it contains a lot of good points and tells a story that I felt I could transform into slides.
I then went away to do some research on what makes a good Slideshare. From this, and from looking at the existing crop of content on the platform, I concluded that my presentation needed to:
Have a standout title
Start with a stunning cover image
Include high quality and valuable content
Tell a compelling story
Present that story one slide at a time with one point per slide
Have an eye-catching, yet not overwhelming, visual design
- Include a link back to my website in order to drive traffic
Having decided what content to use, I needed to create the slides themselves.
To do this, I used Canva’s presentation templates. I then chose:
A layout that I would use throughout the presentation
A colour scheme (blue and white)
Three fonts (I used Yellow Tail, Raleway Heavy and Antic - see image below)
- Some striking images to use as backgrounds for my text
I knew that I needed a good cover image. This is almost as important in Slideshare as a good headline. Get it right and the viewer clicks to read more, get it wrong and that viewer will scroll on by.
As I knew that my presentation would cover a few key points, I decided to include a box on my cover image much like the contents section of a book. I wanted my viewer to look at my cover image and know exactly what to expect from my presentation.
Having designed my cover image, I wanted to ensure that my presentation retained a unifying design theme throughout.
To achieve this, I copied my layout in Canva so that I had a duplicate slide to work on.
This is such a good tip and worked really well for me as I went through the steps to develop a successful content curation strategy and listed my top 20 content curation tools.
In short, I didn’t need to reinvent the wheel for every slide. For many, I simply copied the design and updated the text.
Tell A Story
Throughout this process, I focused on one thing - the fact that I was telling a story. I put myself in the mind of my viewer and started with a key question.
I then used a couple of great quotations to answer that question and set the stage for my content curation strategy. From there, I asked another question.
I then listed the tools that could be used for content curation. I was careful to keep my slides short and sweet as I felt that my viewer would not want to spend more than a few seconds consuming
the content on each slide.
To conclude my presentation, I added a thought of mine that had been sparked by my research into the curation tools. My belief that curation is at its best when done by a human and when that human brings some added value felt like a great way to finish.
It's Gonna Take Time
As I was creating this presentation, I went through a number of emotions.
The first was… boy this is going to take ages. There is no doubt that creating slides (even using the awesome tools from Canva) is a time consuming business.
Having looked at other Slideshares, I had concluded that the most popular content was actually quite long: 30-40 slides each.
People are coming to this platform to learn and they want a lot of value from the presentations they select.
As I neared the halfway stage, my thought process changed. I told myself, okay so if it is going to take time, I am going to do my best. If a thing’s worth doing...
My third thought was… hey, this might actually work!
By slide 30, I realised that I had reached Canva’s duplication limit. However, I had more slides to create and I didn’t want to have to redesign things all over again.
So, I went back to my Canva dashboard and made a copy of my design. Calling it Content Curation Part 2 (super exciting title I know!) I then deleted all of the slides bar one and continued on to the end of my presentation.
Finally, just like with any piece of content that I create, I took some time to edit and proofread my slides (several times). Sometimes I just see what I want to be there instead of what actually is.
Uploading To SlideShare
In order to upload your presentation to Slideshare, you have to save it as a pdf. You can do this in Canva. As my presentation was in two pieces, I decided to upload my slides into PowerPoint and finish my slideshow there. This process was super quick and easy.
Remember I mentioned earlier about how Slideshare is a great driver of traffic to your website? Well, one way of achieving this is by including a Call To Action link in your presentation. You can link text in Powerpoint or add a link to a specific slide.
I decided to add a link to my final slide - thereby giving my viewer a place to go to find more content from my business:
Finally, I saved my PowerPoint file using a filename that included my content’s keywords.
I then went to Slideshare and uploaded my file.
Here I found more opportunities to optimize my presentation. You can select a category, add a description of your content and include some keyword rich tags.
SlideShare And Social
Slideshare is not just an online presentation platform. It has an effective social component too.
You can follow the content creators that you are most interested in and, in turn, they can follow you.
In addition, you can comment on and ‘Like’ the content on Slideshare and share it to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
You can also grab the embed code of a Slideshare and paste it into your own website. The presentations work equally well on a desktop or mobile device.
As I mentioned, after being selected to appear on the Slideshare homepage, I got all excited. This resulted in lots of frankly uncool behaviour such as frequent checks to see how many Likes and Views my presentation had got.
If you would rather be more laid back about things, you can track your presentation’s success via Slideshare’s analytics. You can find this data by mousing over your profile image - a drop down menu will then appear. Select ‘Analytics’ and you will see:
Your total views
The number of Slideshare actions that have been taken and what they were
The number of times your presentation has been downloaded
Your top content
Your traffic sources and the countries that they came from
You can also export this data as a CSV file.
I really enjoyed creating my first Slideshare and have certainly seen firsthand the potential business benefits that this platform can bring. If you are thinking about creating your own online presentation I would say go for it!
Let me know how you get on… and if you need any help do send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave me a comment in the box below.
Thanks for reading!
Take care, Jane x