I’ll be honest. I’m not a SlideShare expert. I do know, however, that the site gets over 70 million visitors a month, and has up to five times more traffic from business owners than Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
That means the quality of traffic you get from SlideShare is extremely valuable, especially if your content is under the hat of “marketing” or “business.”
What does this mean for you?
Let’s put it this way – if there are 70 million business owners looking at the content on SlideShare every month, then there is a good opportunity for you to take advantage of that traffic and redirect some of it back to your own site.
But here are a couple of problems I have encountered in my attempt to upload content to SlideShare:
- If you’re not on the featured page, you probably won’t get a whole lot of traffic.
- Presentations that are on the featured page seem to stay there for more than a week.
So if whatever I create will only get me tons of traffic if it makes it to the featured section, but I can’t get on to the featured section unless I can prove my content is worthwhile, and it takes FOREVER for the featured section to rotate content, then I might as well just give up because life seems too impossible right now, right?
Being the impatient person that I am, I decided that rather than figuring out how to get my presentation to the featured section on my own, I would ask the pros. After all, these are people whose presentations have been featured multiple times and who seem to have the method down pat!
I personally reached out to every single one of the experts listed below and got some exclusive nuggets of wisdom, which I will now share with you and the rest of the world.
Instead of giving you false information that would likely lead you on a wild SlideShare goose chase, I’ve rounded up some highly actionable tips from the ones who have mastered SlideShare altogether.
SlideShare tips from the pros
1. Katai Robert: SlideShare
“Never think about how you will be featured on SlideShare with your presentation. Whenever you design a presentation, think about your audience. Why did you design the presentation and what problem does it solve? Focus on the content and then leave it to a professional designer to make the magic!”
2. Michael Brenner: SlideShare
“In order to create a great SlideShare presentation that stands out, you need to approach it like anything else online. Here are my tips:
- Start by really focusing on the title and the front page image to drive interest.
- Use strong imagery throughout the presentation.
- Make only one point per slide. Stats and quotes work really well for SlideShare.
- Remember that links only work after the third page.
- Write a complete description, and pick an appropriate category for the deck.
- Here’s an inside tip: post early in the morning. Even just at midnight Pacific Time. That’s when the SlideShare team starts the clock running each day for their Featured presentations.
- Share the SlideShare on each social channel and make sure to mention @SlideShare.
- Embed the SlideShare in a blog post and share that out on social channels as well.
If you follow these tips, you will find your chances are much higher of getting that coveted ‘Featured’ spot.”
3. Ayesha Ambreen: SlideShare
“The formula to create ‘Featured’ Slide decks is simple: Stick to a niche topic, add value through content and use simple but eye-catching graphics. SlideShare’s audience is more inclined to reading things that are brief and information-oriented.
Therefore, it is wise to keep word-length to the minimum (say more in less). Make slides legible and avoid stuffing content. And whatever you write, make sure it makes sense. Elaborate and support content through relevant graphics.
I personally prefer vector graphics but it is okay to experiment with different themes and graphical elements to find what works best with the topics or ideas specific to your subject.”
4. Stephen Jeske: SlideShare
“You can’t put lipstick on a pig and expect it to look beautiful. SlideShare presentations need to have quality content first and foremost. In this type of presentation, with limited real estate, less is often more. Be ruthless in your editing. Focus on conveying the greatest amount of information with the least amount of words. Each slide should have just one purpose with content focused on achieving that objective.”
5. Steve Williamson: SlideShare
“Imagine that each of your slides is a single, highly condensed story or narrative.
Remember that the best stories are visual, simple, and they combine attention grabbing chaos with the comfort of control.”
6. Josh Steimle: SlideShare
“Use a simple, stark, yet professional design. The last seven presentations I’ve put on SlideShare have all been featured on the homepage, getting thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of more views than they would otherwise.
“My last presentation, How to Get Major PR Exposure Without Major Media, has been viewed almost 40,000 times. The first slide of my presentation is nothing more than white text on a black background, with the inner slides being black text on a white background. I tend to use a lot of slides, with very few words per slide. Sometimes a slide may have just a single word on it. Simple, fast, and it works.”
7. Joe Gelman: SlideShare
“First, know your strengths and where your unique voice can lend the most expertise. Find a problem you’re qualified to solve, a question you’re qualified to answer or a subject you can comfortably teach. If it can be rooted in either public events or common interest then that’s even better.
Next step is to tell a visual story to help frame, clarify and contextualize your subject. Bring your expertise to the table, inform and delight your audience and make them feel something. Whether you’re convincing someone of a better way to get things done, teaching them something new or helping them through a common problem, they should come out of the last slide feeling persuaded, informed or assisted.
Then you need to translate this story into beautiful slides. Focusing on composition, contrast, color, typography and simplicity is key to producing a compelling set of visuals.
Lastly, keep producing great work. SlideShare’s front page is curated by real-life editors. If they get to know your work and it meets their standards (which should happen if you follow the above advice) then the path to the front page will become progressively easier.”
- Find your area of niche expertise
- Solve a problem, comment on a trend or teach me something related to that area of specialty.
- Tell a story to make the content engaging.
- Translate the story into beautiful, simple slides.
- Consistently produce content that meets these standards.
For more tips to design great presentations check out his Presentation Design Crash Course.
“A presentation that shines on SlideShare is not a presentation you made at an event, it is made for SlideShare. SlideShare is a medium of its own. You need to understand its language and its personality.
“Images are the most important part. Not too much information, use links and description to give more context. Try to be interactive and creative. Slide transition is important. Clicking on the next slide should surprise or inspire your reader.
“Always make sure to have a call to action somewhere and be smart about self promotion. Give content first, contacts will come.”
9. Eugene Cheng: SlideShare
“Create something that doesn’t already exist in its entirety. Devise a novel angle to ensure it stands out and commands interest by default.”
10. Pamela Pavliscak: SlideShare
“Think about a metaphor or theme to frame the story. When I put together the deck, A Year for Mindful Design, I was inspired by the Year of Monkey and this idea of technology making us feel distracted, sometimes called monkey mind. In my latest deck, Design like a Human in the Age of Algorithms, I was thinking about how algorithms still feel glitchy.
“When you post a deck on SlideShare, fill your reader in with a little bit of the story. When I give a talk at a conference, I don’t always repeat verbatim what’s on the slide. I also use a lot of videos and gifs to help get an idea across. But with SlideShare, people are reading the entire presentation. You’re not there to speak to them so choose your words carefully to help the story flow. Just be sure to keep it brief!”
11. Jen Jones: SlideShare
“Here’s my tip for SlideShare success…. picture. Using pictures as the focus of your slides (instead of words) is the best way to get your slides noticed, by both your audience, and by SlideShare. When you present, the story or the point is inside of you, and the picture supports that point. Using pictures is based on brain research; people think, dream and visualize the world in images, not words.
“Words on a slide, or worse, rows of words on a slide, are uninspiring. Nobody wants to read your slides and your audience definitely does not want to listen and watch you read your slides. Presenting is an art, and your slides should compliment everything you say, be a trigger for you and what you want to say, and pique the interest of the audience so they are only left hanging on your every word. So remember, bullet points are out, pictures are in.”
12. Sandra Jovanovic: SlideShare
“Truth be told, there isn’t really a recipe to create a “featured presentation.” I’ve published a lot of presentations through SlideShare. In total 23 out of 25 presentations have been featured.
“That being said, the person designing and editing the presentation has an upper hand and can make or break whether or not it gets featured. I’ve realized that no matter what topic you choose, you need to take into consideration that we are visual learners. Your presentation needs to be visually persuasive.”
13. Ross Simmonds: SlideShare
“Getting featured on SlideShare or creating a deck that generates thousands of views comes down to three key insights. Leveraging these insights will give you the ability to stand out amongst the thousands of other Slideshare Presentations on the site.”
- Make your first three slides count
It’s important to hook your audience as fast as possible. Ensure that the headline on your first slide is compelling and has the ability to lure your audience into wanting to read more.
- Tell a compelling story
Don’t make the mistake of creating slides that need an explanation to understand. Someone looking at your slides should feel as if they’re reading a visual article or storybook as they consume your deck. Stories are memorable. Leverage storytelling to ensure your slides are memorable and worth sharing.
- Deliver valuable content
The key to getting a SlideShare featured on the homepage is creating content that their editorial team feels is valuable. Go above and beyond to deliver insights and information that can help your target audience improve and become successful.
How can you create your own SlideShare?
Some of these experts recommend using a professional designer, but it might not always be in your budget to outsource your work.
Here are a few tools you can use that might come in handy when it comes to putting together original and beautiful SlideShare content.
This handy site boasts over 10,000 unique powerpoint templates. If you’re looking for some unique templates that aren’t available on Microsoft PowerPoint, you’ll probably find something that suits your tastes on SlideModel.
If you don’t have access to Microsoft PowerPoint because you were born within the past decade HaikuDeck might be for you. It’s a really easy alternative, and helps you put together a slide deck in less than 10 minutes.
Did you know that infographics are liked four times more frequently than presentations on SlideShare? Don’t assume that just because there are so many presentations on SlideShare, that you can’t upload other forms of content. Creating an infographic is a great way to repurpose your content as another medium, and drive even more traffic from SlideShare back to your site.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on the content you create. Josh Steimle even stated that he used the simplest design technique of white text on a black background, and focused more on sharing quality insights. The point is, if you can use a mouse and you can type, then you can create a SlideShare presentation that people love.
Now that you’ve got access to these expert tips, it’s time to create your own SlideShare presentation.
Here’s a simple cheat sheet, followed by an infographic of all the tips above that you can look back to for easy reference:
- Put your audience first and ask yourself why you are creating the presentation to begin with.
- Focus on title and the front page to drive initial interest to your SlideShare.
- Stick to a niche topic and add value through content.
- Each slide should have only one specific focus.
- Remember that the best stories are visual.
- Use few words per slide.
- Find a problem you’re qualified to solve.
- Use links and descriptions to give more context.
- Create something that doesn’t already exist in its entirety.
- More pictures increases the chances of your presentation getting noticed.
- Think about a metaphor or theme to frame the story.
- Make your presentation persuasive.
- Your first three slides are what will hook your reader.