The humble slide show has come a long way. From the Kodak carousel of Mad Men fame to the ubiquitous PowerPoint, here we are in a brave new world of social, shareable, viral-ready SlideShare presentations that can build your brand and grow your audience—if you do it right.
SlideShare, simply put, is a way to put your PowerPoint presentation online. But with 400,000 presentations added every month, it’s a crowded space. So it’s important to put in the work to make a good presentation and stand out from the crowd.
Read on to find out:
- Why you should be using SlideShare
- How to make a good SlideShare presentation
How to make a good SlideShare presentation
If you’ve ever made a PowerPoint presentation, the same rules apply to SlideShare, but even more strictly. Why? Because when you’re presenting a PowerPoint, your audience is usually already in the room, and they usually can’t just walk away.
Your SlideShare audience is not bound by the same social mores as a room full of students or colleagues, and if they get bored or distracted, you’ve lost them for good. So let’s go over some of those rules.
Start with quality content
You can’t spin gold from lead, and you can’t keep an audience’s attention with boring presentation material. Has your topic been covered a million times? Find a new way in, an angle no one has gone for yet.
But even an original idea needs to be presented right.
One simple way to get a great SlideShare together easily and quickly is find your best piece of existing content, be it a blog post, a video, a Twitter thread, or anything else that has performed well for your business. Then repurpose it into a SlideShare presentation using the tips below.
SlideShare presentations that tend to perform well recently are “Ted talk”-style creations: they take a problem or an idea that lots of people are going to be hoping to solve, and they distill it in an approachable way. They can be ambitious — see “the Future of Everything” — but at their best they are answers to a question that can carry you through a whole presentation. Lists are always a good bet.
PS: You can create your SlideShare on any presentation software. PowerPoint, Google Slides, Keynote, or OpenOffice are all fine.
This presentation on the future of AI and technology, “Why the Future Is Up to Us” looks and feels like a TED talk. It stylishly explores the cultural context of AI in a short presentation that doesn’t get too deep into the weeds.
Source nice stock images and fonts
Clean, attractive images that have some meaning will go a long way towards emphasizing your message. They don’t need to blow your budget, either. Check out this handy list of free stock image sites you can use.
LinkedIn SlideShare’s own data suggest that content with the right images gets 94 percent more views than without. That’s a big gap you can close with a few clicks.
And it’s been said before, but forget comic sans. Burn it to the ground. Same goes for Times New Roman and all the other overused fonts. There are a plethora of great free fonts out there, and they can underline your message—serious, classy, fun, earnest, whatever you’re trying to say—without the reader even realizing it. Creative typography, strategically used, can help you drive your idea home.
Notice the use of sparse text, engaging images, and interesting typography in Jesse Desjardin’s SlideShare presentation on how to make better PowerPoint presentations. Not surprisingly, it’s one of the most popular SlideShares of all time.
Use as little text as possible
Get your message across as efficiently as possible, words-wise. SlideShare recommends 30 words or less per slide—that’s the length of this paragraph. You get one idea per slide.
That’s the golden rule of PowerPoint presentations, and it works the same way online. If you need lots of explanation to get something across, try breaking it up. Develop your idea across several slides rather than cramming them into a single intimidating slide that risks alienating or boring your audience.
This presentation on finding your life’s purpose does a great job of building ideas one short, concise sentence at a time.
Make it clear and simple
The SlideShare app gets nine times more engagement than the mobile web and desktop, according to LinkedIn. To catch the attention of those users on their tiny computers, use big fonts, clear images, and good…