6 simple tips to craft a stellar SlideShare


SlideShare is a sleeper social media service that should be getting more play. Let's change that. SlideShare is a part of LinkedIn which boosts the firepower of your presentations by combining LinkedIn's huge network with related content from SlideShare. These tips will help you get started on SlideShare and build a solid portfolio of presentations. This can help build your brand's digital assets, create niche thought leadership, and they are widely shared.


The essential ingredients of a successful SlideShare are:

  1. Interesting content
  2. Great cover and design
  3. Easy to read
  4. Provides value to the viewer

These tips will help you craft a stellar SlideShare that will be shared over and over again.

1 Create a compelling cover

Create a compelling cover

We've all heard that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but let's face it, that's what happens with social media content. In a few seconds you need to be able to convey what your presentation is about and inspire people to click through to the presentation.

From Sally Hogshead, "a hundred years ago, our attention span averaged twenty minutes: one minute for each year of age, up until age twenty. Things were slower on the farm, with fewer distractions beyond crop rotation and bird migration. But today? Ah, well, a little different."

“The addictive nature of web browsing can leave you with an attention span of nine seconds — the same as a goldfish.” ~ BBC News

Here is an example of a SlideShare cover that drew over 160,000 views, 1,001 LinkedIn shares, 1,000 Facebook likes, 298 tweets, and 465 Google+ +1's.

2 Provide solid content

Provide solid contentOnce you've inspired the click though, earn the trust of your audience by providing content that is worth viewing and sharing. Consider at least ten points of helpful information with a few photo only slides to add interest. According to data from Dan Zarella at Hubspot, longer SlideShare presentations appeal to the professional demographics of SlideShare. People want content they can learn from so make sure you're providing value with your slides, not fluff.

This eye-catching presentation has 1,600,000 views. The topic is perfect for SlideShare: You Suck at PowerPoint and it tells a fantastic visual story. There's sixty-one slides and plenty to learn from. They have a great description "It's not the program that sucks, it's you." Which is sassy but effective.

When you load your .pdf into SlideShare, make sure you cover these basics:
1. Add a title and description
2. Categorize your SlideShare
3. Add relevant tags

3 Repurpose your past successes

Repurpose your content

Take your most popular blog articles or the lengthen life of a live presentation by turning them into a SlideShare presentation. Squeeze the last bit of goodness from your hard work and create a visual presentation that can be enjoyed on a new platform.

Guy Kawasaki had great success with his article Let's Stop the Glorification of BusySo we turned it into a SlideShare presentation.

4 Dazzle them with design

Dazzle them with design

You want your presentation to be visually interesting but also simple in design. Overly complicated images with too much text or too many fonts will be overwhelming.

From our post Top 5 Tips for Graphic Design

  1. Use contrast to help your designs stand out
  2. Choose a consistent color palette
  3. Pick a color scheme
  4. Use a grid or frame if possible with your image
  5. Keep it simple

You can build your SlideShare in Canva and save as a .pdf to load into SlideShare. Make sure that you use images that you have permission to use. Using Canva, you know that you have permission to use the photos that are free or if you pay $1 for a stock image. If you use photos illegally, the owner of the photo can have your Slideshare removed.

5 Add a call to action (CTA)

add a call to action

Use your last slide to share previous SlideShare presentations, link to your blog, or invite people to follow you on SlideShare to catch your future presentations. You can add  hyperlink in Powerpoint to your slides which will upload to SlideShare. You can add links in Keynote or Powerpoint.

In PowerPoint

Create a hyperlink to a slide in a presentation

  1. In Normal view, select the text or the object that you want to use as a hyperlink.
  2. On the Insert tab, in the Links group, click Hyperlink.
  3. Under Link to, click Place in This Document.

Content marketing needs to have a purpose whether it's to inform, educate, or inspire and these could lead to a follow, share, or comment. Take some tips from Hubspot whose middle name must be CTA.  They've added a pop-up email signup form at the end of their SlideShare presentations. Well played Hubspot, well played.

6Share your masterpiece

Share your masterpiece

SlideShare presentations look fantastic all around the web with the exception of Google+ and Facebook. When I share a SlideShare on those two platforms, I share the cover photo and a link since they look nicer.

Here's a few places that I like to share presentations:

  • Twitter - the full SlideShare is clickable in a tweet
  • Pinterest - looks amazing here!
  • LinkedIn - you can share them directly to LinkedIn when you publish.
  • Your next email blast
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • Embed in a blog post

With these tips and Canva at your fingertips, there's no reason that you can't be a rockstar on SlideShare. Go forth and create!

Your secret weapon for stunning design