If you use or plan to use LinkedIn SlideShare to reach your desired audience, review these easy-to-use SlideShare presentation tips. We'll share what makes SlideShare top presentations succeed.
This tutorial provides an overview of the entire SlideShare presentation process. We'll talk about how to plan, design, create, and share your next SlideShare slideshow. There will be tips and other resources along the way to help you get the most from your SlideShare presentation.
Many people don't realize it, but SlideShare ranks internationally as one of the most-visited sites. According to SlideShare's own About page, there are over 80 million SlideShare users--and the number is growing.
SlideShare's popularity is a good reason why you should consider uploading a presentation there if you've got a message you want others to see. Also, because SlideShare is owned by LinkedIn (a professional networking site), many of its viewers are business professionals. The professional audience makes sharing a presentation on SlideShare a good marketing or public relations move for many businesses.
If you've never learned how to use SlideShare, learn some of the basics in these tutorials:
- SlideShareHow to Create Top SlideShare Presentations With PowerPointLaura Spencer
- SlideShareHow to Upload Your SlideShare Slides to Share on LinkedInLaura Spencer
What Makes a Popular SlideShare Presentation?
Before you download your presentation, make sure that it'll reach its intended audience. You need to capture and hold their attention.
Some of the characteristics top SlideShare presentations share include:
- Eye-catching title page image
- Interesting topic
- Compelling story
- Good design
- Geared to target audience
- Reaches its goal
For more details on each characteristic and SlideShare examples, review this tutorial:
Learn to Create a Top Presentation With This Free Ebook Download (PDF)
Before diving into our giant list of SlideShare tips, download our free eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It'll help you master the presentation process, from: initial idea, through to writing, design, and delivering with impact
Now, let's move on to explore the top SlideShare presentation tips.
Top SlideShare Presentation Tips to Get Your Slideshow Seen
Use one or more of these SlideShare tips to make sure your SlideShare presentation reaches its audience:
1. Choose a Viral Topic
Not all SlideShare topics are created equal. Your target audience is more interested in some topics than in others. And they're more likely to share a topic they're interested in--increasing the chance that your presentation goes viral.
If you want your SlideShare presentation to be successful, think about what your readers are most likely to want to read. Here are some questions to help:
- What problem does my target audience need solved?
- What information does my readers need to know?
- Can I teach my customer or potential customer something useful?
- How else can I help my SlideShare viewer?
Be careful to keep your topic focused on single area. If you identify more than one topic that would interest your readers, create a different presentation on each topic rather than trying to cram it all into one.
After you've chosen a topic, your next step is research.
2. Do Your Homework
Even if your topic is interesting to your reader, your reader won't appreciate it if you aren't thorough in your research. Incorrect or missing information gives your reader a bad impression of you and/or your business. Even worse, a bad presentation makes it less likely that they'll be willing to read future presentations.
Here are some research tips to help you get it right:
- Double-check your information.
- Make sure your sources are credible.
- Use more than once source.
- Make sure your information is up to date.
3. Decide on a Presentation Type (Guide, List, Story, etc.)
It's a good idea to choose one type of presentation and mostly stick with it throughout your slideshow. Common presentation types include:
- Guide. This is basically a teaching presentation. It can be a step-by-step tutorial, or otherwise informative in nature.
- Story. The story-telling slideshow builds its message around a central narrative. This is especially good for human interest topics.
- List. A list slideshow is exactly what it sounds like, a list of information your reader needs to know. Tell your viewer why the list is important in one of the first slides. In one of the last slides tell them what they should do with the information.
- News. This presentation informs the audience of changes or new developments that they should be aware of.
The SlideShare presentation type you choose affects the title you choose.
4. Write an Engaging and Searchable Title
There's more to giving your presentation a good title than you might think. The wrong title could mean that no one ever finds your slideshow. Or, it could mean that no one ever opens it.
Since LinkedIn SlideShare is online, SlideShare content is searchable. So, adding some searchable words or phrases in your title can help your readers find your presentation. Remember the goal of your presentation title is to get readers interested. You could do that by asking a question, sharing a piece of surprising information, or even a benefit the audience will get from viewing your presentation. List titles also seem to do well.
Examples of Slide Titles
Why Your House is Making You Sick (and what to do about it)
10 Reasons Your House Is Unhealthy
Learn How to Make Your House Healthier Today
5. Pick an Authoring Tool
Now that you've got some idea of what your slideshow will be like, it's time to start creating it. But first, pick a presentation authoring tool. If you haven't yet chosen a tool, this article might help you to make your decision:
- PresentationsPowerPoint vs. Keynote vs. Google Slides: What Is the Best Presentation Software?Laura Spencer
You'll also need to learn how to use the presentation software tool you choose. To learn how to use Google Slides, refer to this series of tutorials: How to Use Google Slides (Ultimate Tutorial Guide). To learn how to use PowerPoint, study this series: How to Use PowerPoint (Ultimate Tutorial Guide).
The next few tips deal with writing your presentation.
6. Re-work Viral Blog Posts
If you've already written a blog post for your website on the topic of your presentation, you've got a head start. But don't just copy your blog post as-is into your presentation authoring tool. You'll need to modify it some first.
Here are some steps to follow:
- Reduce the word count. A SlideShare presentation should use few words and shorter paragraphs.
- Break the post into small chunks. Each "chunk" will be the start of a single slide. Don't put more than a few short paragraphs on each slide.
- Keep visual elements. Keep bulleted lists (break long lists into multiple slides), images, and other visuals. Add more if needed. (Envato Elements is a great resource for royalty-free images.)
- Update your information. Re-check your facts and other information to make sure they're correct and current.
If you don't have a blog post to work from, write your SlideShare presentation from scratch. The next tips will help with that.
7. Use an Outline
Using an outline to write your SlideShare presentation can save you time. When creating your outline, it's sometimes helpful to write out the text for your title slide and your conclusion. Also, think about each point you intend to make and whether you'll need an image or illustration for that point.
To learn more about the presentation writing process, study this tutorial:
- PresentationsHow to Write a Professional PowerPoint Presentation (Discover the Writing Process)Brad Smith
8. Stay Focused
It's important for your slideshow to stay focused on your main message. If your presentation has too many ideas, or you're trying to convey too much information, your audience may become confused.
If you've got multiple messages to share with your audience, pick one or two to focus on. Save the other messages for your next SlideShare presentation.
9. Start With the Important Stuff
Statistics show that many viewers won't finish your entire SlideShare. They may start reading and get through the first few slides before they become distracted or lose interest. That's why it's important to share your most important information early in your presentation.
Ask yourself, "if they don't get anything else from this SlideShare presentation, what do I want the reader to take away from this presentation?" Make sure that piece of information is presented in the first few slides.
10. Put Your Audience First
One way to make sure your presentation is compelling is to always be thinking of your audience. Too many companies create slideshows that are basically nothing but long, boring lists of product features. Don't do this.
Whenever you include information for your reader ask yourself the questions like the following:
- Why will my audience like this feature?"
- How will my reader use this information?"
- In what way does this help the viewer?
11. Include Links in Your SlideShare Presentation
Clickable links can be helpful to direct the reader to your company's website as well as to additional resources they might be able to use. Also, in most cases, your call to action will include a link. Keep in mind, however, that links won't work in the first three slides of a SlideShare presentation.
Use your presentation authoring software to create links before you upload the presentation to SlideShare. After you upload the presentation, the links will work in SlideShare. For more information on how to upload presentations to LinkedIn, look at this tutorial:
12. Include a Call to Action
Effective SlideShare presentations include a call to action. A call to action tells your audience what you want them to do next. Without one, your audience may not respond to your SlideShare in the way that you expect them to.
Typically, a call to action appears on or near the last slide of your presentation. What you want the reader to do should be noticeable and clear. If your presentation is extra-long, it's a good idea to also add a call to action in the middle of the slideshow.
13. Review What You've Written Carefully
Once you've written your SlideShare presentation, you're ready to add the design element. Our next SlideShare presentation tips have to do with design. But before we move on, carefully review what you've written one last time.
If you're really stuck in the writing process, you can also refer to the "Plan and Write a Powerful Presentation" section in our Presentations eBook, The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations, for even more guidance on writing a powerful presentation:
14. Engage Your Viewer With an Eye-Catching Design
How your SlideShare presentation looks is as important as what it says. A poorly designed slideshow reflects badly on you and your business. Here are some design elements to be aware of:
- Use the right slide ratio. Online presentations look best if they use the 4:3 slide ratio. This is important because PowerPoint and many other slide authoring tools default to a 16:9 ratio.
- Colors and style should match your branding. If you're creating a presentation for a business, match the color and design style of your SlideShare presentation to your company's branding.
- Font should be readable. San serif font styles like Verdana, Helvetica, or Calibri are more readable online than serif font styles such as Times New Roman or Bookman.
- Simple is better. A SlideShare presentation design with too much clutter spells disaster. Keep your SlideShare design simple with one or two main elements per slide.
- Design your slides for the web. Make use of web-friendly design with images, charts, bulleted lists, and other graphic elements. Envato Elements is a great source of quality graphic elements.
- Charts and Images must be high-quality. Don't use unprofessional images or charts. Out-of-focus images or poorly done charts and diagrams make your presentation less credible.
To design your own SlideShare presentation template, use this helpful guide: How to Make Your Own Google Slides Presentation Template.
15. Use a Professional Template
If you're not a professional designer, don't worry. You can still create professional looking SlideShare presentations using a pre-designed presentation template such as those available through Envato Elements or Envato Graphic River.
Using a pre-designed template can save you time, since all you basically need to do with a template is select the slides you want to use and add your own information. For a more in-depth look at how to apply a template, study this tutorial:
At Graphic River, you'll find many professional presentation templates for popular presentation authoring tools such as PowerPoint. To get an idea of what's available, look at this template roundup article:
16. Pay Extra Attention to Your Title Slide Design
In SlideShare PowerPoint presentation tip number four above, we talked about the importance of writing a compelling title. But the title slide design is equally important.
Since the title slide is the first part of your SlideShare desk a reader sees, it needs to make them want to see more. Try adding an eye-catching image to capture the reader's attention.
17. Review Your Presentation Again
After creating your presentation in your presentation authoring tool, take another careful look at it to make sure there are no mistakes.
Once you've finalized your presentation in your presentation authoring tool, you're ready to upload it to SlideShare. The SlideShare upload process isn't difficult. Here's a screenshot of the SlideShare presentation Upload screen:
To learn how to upload a presentation to SlideShare, review this tutorial:
18. Share Your Presentation for Ultimate SlideShare Success
The more members of your target audience who see your presentation, the better. One great way to help others discover your SlideShare presentation is to share it. Here are three ways to share your SlideShare slideshow:
- Use the social media SlideShare Share buttons.
- Share the URL through email.
- Embed the SlideShare on your site or blog.
For instructions on how to upload your SlideShare presentation to LinkedIn, review this tutorial:
To learn how to embed a SlideShare presentation on your website, follow these instructions:
19. Make Your SlideShare Public
SlideShare's privacy features allow you to restrict access to your SlideShare presentation. This can be helpful if you want to limit your audience to a small group of people. For example, if you only want the people within your company to be able to access it.
To maximize your SlideShare presentation exposure, set your slideshow to Public on the SlideShare Privacy Settings tab. Here's a closer look at the Privacy Settings tab:
To increase your readership even more, scroll down a little further on the screen and click the toggle button to Allow users to download your presentation:
When you've finished updating the Privacy Settings, click the Update button at the bottom of the screen.
20. Comment on Related SlideShares
Another way to help others find your SlideShare is to look for SlideShares on the same or a similar topic as your presentation. Use the SlideShare search bar at the top of the main SlideShare screen to find related SlideShares:
Leaving a relevant and thoughtful comment on a related SlideShare presentation makes that presentation's audience as well as its author aware of you. Viewers of that SlideShare may follow the link in your comment back to your SlideShare profile, where they can see a list of the SlideShare presentations you've uploaded.
21. Use the Free SlideShare Analytics
SlideShare also includes a free analytics tool that can help you measure how well your presentation is doing. To access the Analytics tool, click your profile picture in the upper left corner of the SlideShare screen. From the drop-down menu, click the Analytics option to display the Analytics tab.
On the Analytics tab, you'll find lots of useful information. Analytic information includes the number of times your presentation was viewed, commented on, downloaded, shared through email, and more.
22. Don't Forget About the SlideShare Help
Another helpful resource to answer your SlideShare presentation questions is SlideShare's own online help. You can access LinkedIn SlideShare's help through the URL: https://www.linkedin.com/help/slideshare
Need More SlideShare PowerPoint Presentation Tips?
Download our PDF eBook on presentations now for FREE with your subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. Inside you'll find examples and practical help to help you make the perfect presentation:
Whether you've been using LinkedIn SlideShare for a while, or are just getting started, you'll benefit from these helpful tips. Use all the SlideShare presentation tips, or pick and choose those tips most useful to you.
For more detailed information on SlideShare strategy, read:
Now, that you've learned some tips to get the most from your SlideShare, be sure to use these SlideShare PowerPoint presentation tips for your next SlideShare slideshow.