SlideShare Stars Share What Makes Decks Dazzle

slidesharestarWant to become a star? Your talent, dedication to your craft and persistence will have a lot to do with it, but then there’s that whole thing about who you know and getting a lucky break — at least in Hollywood.

Thankfully, stardom is a bit more ubiquitous on SlideShare: As a content creator in search of an audience, your fate is in no one’s hands but your own. Unlike so many other websites marketers covet, the doors at SlideShare are forever open. No permission is required to stage your show. No editor or committee touches your copy, overrules the images you select or tinkers with your search strategy. It’s all you.

If it’s a large audience you seek, few platforms deliver it like SlideShare. However, the SlideShare community delivers no guarantees. Your shot at finding a big audience — and stardom — traces to your ability to identify an audience and satisfy its appetite for information.

How is SlideShare Stardom Achieved? 

I’ve experimented with SlideShare content for years now, enjoyed a good deal of success and offered my advice several times before. This time I decided to contact some of my favorite SlideShare contributors who have managed to reach tens and even hundreds of thousands of viewers with their slide decks, and ask them for their advice. Here are some highlights from the answers they gave me.

I had to start with Doug Kessler of Velocity Partners. His deck “Crap. Why the single biggest threat to content marketing is content marketing” is now legendary.

“The best SlideShare presentations were created for SlideShare. SlideShare is not where shitty presentations go to die. It’s a powerful, linear, visual storytelling medium in itself. Write stories in short chunks that make people keep clicking.”

~ Doug Kessler, Velocity Partners

Ana Hoffman has uploaded 57 presentations on SlideShare, including several that have been viewed by well over 100,000 viewers.

Speak in images, not in words. Master teaching your audience in a few slides what others would teach in a blog post, and you’ll own Slideshare.”

~ Ana Hoffman, Traffic Generation Cafe

For three years now, content marketing professional Michael Brenner has been a steady and serious contributor.

The way to produce a hit on SlideShare is through a great headline. Make it useful or provocative or mysterious.”

~ Michael Brenner, B2B Marketing Insider, and VP, Marketing and Content Strategy at SAP

Eugene Cheng of SlideComet has created four presentations—about the popular SlideShare topic of presentation design—and has enjoyed staggering success.

“To be competitive and fresh, authors have to endeavor to come up with more novel content expressed in a more engaging way.”

~ Eugene Cheng, SlideComet

Slides that Rock also specializes in presentation design and is the creator behind the hit “How to Create Slides that Rock.”

Create great designs and keep it simple. A 120 slide deck on simplicity is not simple.” 

~ Tomas, from Slides that Rock

 Simon Kemp, who’s had many SlideShare hits and a large following to show for it, offers a smart tactical tip.

Make the deck downloadable to ensure that sharing continues beyond SlideShare.” (Author’s note: Also encourage other sites to embed your presentation.)

~ Simon Kemp, we are social

I close with advice from Verónica Jarski, the magic marker magician behind the whimsical, adorable, hand-drawn presentations that have become a signature style at the branded home of MarketingProfs on SlideShare.

Convey a sense of passion, playfulness and purpose. We like to combine all three.”

~ Verónica Jarski, MarketingProfs

Now how about you? Do you have a SlideShare tip up your sleeve? Please share it here.

Barry Feldman, of Feldman Creative, is a content marketing consultant, copywriter and creative director. He has authored several advice-packed eBooks to help you grow your business with effective online marketing. 

13 Responses to “SlideShare Stars Share What Makes Decks Dazzle”

  1. Tomas

    Thanks a lot for making this happen Barry! Great insights from cool people. Keep rocking!


  2. Nick Kellet

    Great advice. Here’s some thoughts I’ve had.

    1/ Nobody mentions building and cultivating a following. That seems critical to me. I plan to do more research here. I have a second study in the works.

    Slideshare is very much driven by sharing updates (comments, likes and new content ) to your following. Your following will be built slowly. So build your community before you need it.

    2/ Be a good citizen on slideshare and you will get more back.

    3/ I think the image on your 1st slides is critical too – Think about how it looking in thumbnail size. It can be shorter than your title to be high impact. Makes sure you pop.

    4/ Also think about sharing. If you have great content then sharing it beyond slideshare will help you

    5/ Embedding your slides on your blog is important too.

    6/ Think also about the time of day that your share. I heard a good tip about this the other day – it depends where your following is based.

    7/ Also mix up your content – just like on Twitter – don’t make content just about you and your brand – 80% of your content should be about sharing and giving back what you have learned.

    8/ It’s worth being followed by big influencers. Getting a like from a high profile user can help you a lot.

  3. Veronica Maria Jarski

    Thanks for including me in such fine company, Barry. I enjoyed reading their thoughts about SlideShare.

    One more thing I’d add is: Don’t produce anything that you wouldn’t want to see yourself, too.

    Obviously, think of your audience first, but also keep in mind the slideshows that attract you. Would you click on the type of slideshow you are creating? Would you want to see a 567-page, text-heavy slideshow in five different colors? No? Then, don’t create it. Would you want to see an 11-page crisp, visual-rich informative slide show? Yes? Then, create that.

    Just creating content isn’t enough to get noticed or to engage folks. You have to create solid, visually appealing, AND informative content.

  4. Doug Kessler

    Nice one — and thanks for including me! I do think Slideshare is under-exploited. The secret weapon in B2B content marketing. (Not so secret any more…)

  5. Simon Kemp

    Thanks for a great post Barry – I’m honoured to be in such good company! Loving Ana’s and Verónica’s advice; I’m loading their decks now to get more inspiration :-)

  6. Christine Derrel

    Congrats to the Slideshare Team, you bring all the best features and I am sure you will dominate slides sharing market for a long time!!!!

  7. Eugene Cheng

    Loving the SlideShare community even more! Great individuals whom are willing to share great advice really epitomizes why we do what we do. Thanks for the great tips! & thanks Simon for the sweet deck!

  8. Mary Nelson

    Wow, this has been one of the most helpful blog posts/articles I’ve seen. Marisa, thanks for compiling the list of “dazzlers”. Michael Brenner, I think the titles are the most challenging part of the preso. I just went through three or four on the last presentation I uploaded. (That’s three or four after dozens of ideas.) I ended up with “Improve Sales Performance with Lessons from TV News.” I’d love to see what you guys would come up with – no doubt something amazing. You are all so talented with different styles. Fun to follow. And, Tomas, you were one of the first people/companies to follow me on SlideShare, so thank you! Marisa, thank you again and great work.