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What Is SlideShare? +How to Get Started Using It Quickly

This post is part of a series called How to Make Online Presentations (SlideShare + PowerPoint).
How to Create Top SlideShare Presentations With PowerPoint

If you use social media as part of your marketing, you need to know about LinkedIn's SlideShare site. SlideShare allows you to share slideshow presentations, infographics, and other documents to a large audience online.

If you've ever wondered how to use SlideShare, how to sign up for SlideShare or how to create a SlideShare presentation, this quick start guide is for you. We'll explain everything you need to know to get started with SlideShare quickly.

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Before you read on, be sure to download our free eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It will help you master the presentation process, from: initial idea, through to writing, design, and delivering with impact.

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Now let's learn all about SlideShare and how to start using it: 

1. What Is SlideShare?

SlideShare is a popular presentation and document sharing platform owned by LinkedIn. Since LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, SlideShare users tend to be focused on business.

SlideShare has a growing number of users. At the time this tutorial was written, SlideShare's own statistics put the number of users at 80 million. There are 40 different categories and millions of slideshows have been downloaded. So, with such a large number of users, the potential to reach a large audience through SlideShare is definitely there.

Best of all, there's no cost to upload, review, or download information published on SlideShare. 

Here is a quick presentation on SlideShare for a brief introduction to the basics, but we go into more detail in this tutorial, so read on: 

2. Who Needs SlideShare?

Now that you know what SlideShare is, you may wonder whether LinkedIn SlideShare is for you. The answer is ... probably.

Here are some examples of individuals and organizations who could benefit by using SlideShare:

  • Business owners
  • Educators
  • Lobbyists
  • Marketers
  • Sales Professionals

Anyone who needs to strengthen their individual or corporate brand online could benefit by using SlideShare. If you sell a product or service, sharing through SlideShare can mean generating more leads for your business.

If you create presentations using PowerPoint or another presentation authoring tool, you'll want to take advantage of what SlideShare has to offer.

3. SlideShare Benefits

If you're still wondering whether you should set up a SlideShare account, here are some benefits of using SlideShare:

  • Reach a large professional audience. LinkedIn, the parent company of SlideShare, is a professional networking site. For that reason, SlideShare users tend to be more business-oriented than users found on many other networking sites.
  • Free to use. If you're a startup business or solo professional, you may have a limited marketing budget. SlideShare is free, making it an affordable marketing option for your content marketing needs.
  • Easy to use. SlideShare is easy to learn how to use. And there are also some excellent third party tutorials available to help you get started quickly. For example, our SlideShare series, How to Make Online Presentations (SlideShare + PowerPoint). explains SlideShare basics in-depth.
  • Builds authority. By uploading useful and relevant information to SlideShare, you showcase your expertise in your field. Readers who come across your high-quality content on SlideShare will associate that content with you and your personal brand.
  • Includes analytics. SlideShare includes a free analytic tool to help you measure how often and in what way viewers interact with your content. Track how many times each upload is viewed, shared, liked, commented on or downloaded in a specified period.

For more information on how to build a personal brand, review:

For even more details on how to use SlideShare as part of your marketing effort, study this tutorial: How to Use 10 Top SlideShare Digital Marketing Strategies. Also, check out some inspiring SlideShare presentation examples: 

4. How Can I Get Started Using SlideShare?

Now that you know what SlideShare is and what it's used for, you probably want to know how to sign up for SlideShare.

If you've got a LinkedIn account, signing up for SlideShare isn't hard. Here's what to do:

1. Go to SlideShare

Type in the URL: slideshare.net. The SlideShare screen appears:

SlideShare screen
This is the basic SlideShare screen when you are not logged in to an account.

2. Click Signup

Click the Signup button in the upper right corner. The Signup screen appears.

SlideShare signup screen
You'll need a LinkedIn Account to set up SlideShare.

3. Sign Up for a LinkedIn Account

If you don't have a LinkedIn account, click the Join LinkedIn button and follow the instructions to set up your LinkedIn account. Otherwise, click the Sign in hyperlink next to the phrase Already have a LinkedIn account?. The SlideShare SignIn screen displays:

SlideShare signin screen
Use LinkedIn or Facebook to log in to your SlideShare account.

4. Login to Your Account

If you already have a SlideShare account, type in your Username and Password to sign in to SlideShare now. If you've got a LinkedIn account, use the LinkedIn button to sign in to LinkedIn before setting up your account.

5. Give Your LinkedIn Information

If you clicked the LinkedIn button, a permission screen displays asking you to provide SlideShare with your LinkedIn information:

SlideShare permission screen
Type in your LinkedIn email and password to give SlideShare access to your LinkedIn account.

6. Allow Access With Your Password

Type in your email and LinkedIn password and then click the Allow access button.

7. Type in Your Verification Code

If you've got two-step verification set up for your LinkedIn account, you'll be prompted for the verification code sent to your phone. Type in the verification code and click the Verify button.


You've just set up your new SlideShare account. You should see your profile photo in the upper right corner of the SlideShare screen next to the Upload button. You're ready to share your first slideshow online.

Learn how to use PowerPoint to create a presentation for SlideShare in this tutorial:

For a more in-depth guide to creating presentations, grab our FREE presentations ebook, The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations.

Make a Great Presentation Free eBook PDF Download

5. What Can You Do With SlideShare?

Now that you've got your own SlideShare account, you may wonder what is SlideShare used for? Here are three things you can do with SlideShare:

  1. Upload a slideshow presentation online. One of the main uses of SlideShare is to upload a presentation or other document to share privately or publicly. Learn how to upload a SlideShare presentation in this helpful tutorial, How to Upload Your SlideShare Slides to Use on LinkedIn.
  2. Market Your SlideShare Presentation Online. SlideShare is a great online platform to reach new customers, promote your ideas, and grow your audience. Learn more digital marketing strategies in this tutorial: How to Use 10+ Top SlideShare Digital Marketing Strategies
  3. Download a SlideShare for inspiration or reference. Users can make their presentations available to be downloaded. If you find a presentation particularly interesting, you may wish to save it for future reference. This tutorial shows you how: Download (PPT) Files From SlideShare Online For Free.
  4. Embed a presentation into a website. You can embed SlideShare presentations into your company's website or blog. This tutorial shows you how to do it: Embed a SlideShare PowerPoint SlideShow in a Website.

Now that you've learned some ways to use SlideShare, you're probably ready to upload your own presentation. But first you'll need make sure your presentation stands out. You can do that with a professional template.

6. Where Can I Find Themes and Templates to Use on SlideShare?

As you create a presentation slideshow to display on SlideShare, it's important that it look professional. But creating a professional looking presentation can be a lot of work—especially if you're not a designer.

Of course, you could hire a professional designer to create a unique looking presentation for your company, but that approach is likely to be costly. There's a more cost-effective alternative.

EnvatoElements gives us you access to unlimited download of creative design elements, such as photos, graphics, presentation templates, and more, all for a fraction of the cost of hiring your own designer. Best of all, the attractive professional slideshow templates are fully customizable to meet your company's needs. 

Envato Elements
Envato Elements - Design without limits.

If you need access to a number of digital assets on a regular basis, then Envato Elements packed a powerful offer. But, if you just need one great PowerPoint design, then head over to GraphicRiver. 

To get an idea of some of the professional designs available on these sites, browse through this round up of popular presentation templates: 


We've just answered the question, what is SlideShare? We've also explained how to quickly sign up for SlideShare and given you access to resources on how to create a SlideShare presentation. 

Now that you understand what SlideShare is and how to use it, you're ready to get started with your own SlideShare account. Why not sign up to SlideShare today?

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