Behind the Slides: '31 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Life'

May 28, 2013

nicole elmore31 things you can do to improve your life in 31 days – who wouldn’t want to get on board with that? Not surprisingly, the such-named presentation was an instant hit when it was published in April, and now has been viewed nearly 700,000 times. We talked to the author, marketing strategist and founder Nicole Elmore, about the inspiration behind her SlideShare, lessons she’s learned since – and how the experience has spurred her to launch a new non-profit project.

How did you come up with the idea for this presentation? 

The idea for the presentation started developing when I was thinking about the things I have done in my life, and how many people get in the routine of doing the same thing day in and day out -- get up, get ready, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to sleep, wake up the next morning and do it all over again. So I was trying to think of a topic to inspire people to try out some new things, challenge themselves in a new task, start a new activity in their life.

How did you go about putting it together?

I started by writing some things that have made an impact on me and that have changed my outlook on the world. Then I added a few things that I still have on my bucket list to do, and went on to search for suitable images.

I tried to find a balance between free things that we can do to enrich our lives (such as listen to your favorite music, eat a healthy meal, talk to a stranger) as well as paid activities that we may have to save up for, but that are well worth every penny to do once in your life.

Last, I decided to give the presentation the title '31 Things You can Do to Improve Your Life in 31 Days,' not meaning that anyone should do these 31 things in the next 31 consecutive days, but because each activity can be chosen for a day. It was meant to inspire people to potentially pick one of these things every month and experience new things -- or even get back to basics, such as listening to your favorite music.

What kind of response did you get once you published it?

I received some interesting comments, some positive and some negative. But I learned a few valuable things from this experience and the way that a lot of people think when viewing presentations. One important thing that I learned was to consider the entire world as an audience when I create presentations. Honestly, I had only thought about the U.S. and the things we can do here with our lifestyle and opportunities. But through the comments I saw that many of the SlideShare viewers are from all over the world and thus they didn’t find that the content of the slides appealed to them.

What’s next?

I am currently working on a new presentation -- inspired by my lessons learned from this presentation -- which will focus on making the world a better place. Furthermore, it has led to the launch of a new initiative, Project Help Orphans.