How to Create Top Decks? Try Starting With 'Explanastory'

June 27, 2013

slide-1-638 (55)Yancey Unequivocally is the founder and president of Empowered Presentations. She shares with SlideShare how her award-winning team produces decks that are powerful, impactful and, ultimately, profitable:

How many of you have uploaded your slide deck in hopes of it going viral? Think about how much all that tweeting, liking and sharing of your presentation would impact your business, idea and even yourself.

But the majority of slide decks do not have the impact that they deserve. It is often because:

  1. Your slide deck is designed poorly, meaning you didn’t spend much time on it and just threw it together.
  2. Your slide deck contains content that only applies to a fraction of the 1% of people using Slideshare, let alone the world audience.
  3. Your slide deck is not EXPLANASTORY™.

Wait...what? What is this new word? EXPLANASTORY™ means that your slide deck should be easily read, understood and comprehended from beginning to end without the assistance of a dictionary, audio voiceover or having to stop and think about what the creator is trying to explain on each and every slide.

When clicking through a SlideShare presentation we want to make sure the viewer is engaged from beginning to end with great visuals, is educated with the fascinating content that we share and is able to comprehend what we are wanting to convey. Remember that on SlideShare, the reader doesn't have the added context of a live talk -- the deck must be self-sufficient in telling its story.

Here are a few tips we use at Empowered Presentations to help us get in the EXPLANASTORY™ mindset:

1. Write like you are speaking to a 10-year old

If we at Empowered Presentations can’t understand it, it is too complex. That's not to imply that we are uneducated or ignorant, but remember, for your presentation to have the most reach, your neice or your mother and your uncle should be able to understand it. Studies show that the language of a 10-year-old, or approximately 5th-grade level of comprehension, is most memorable and effective. When in doubt, we run our presentations by someone who is not in the field of expertise to see if they can understand it.

2. Use great visuals that back up your content

By not having a visually engaging presentation, you are not communicating to the visual learners, which typically make up 40% of an audience. But don't just throw in visuals for the sake of having them. Make sure they are relevant to your content -- images speak louder than words, meaning your graphics are just as important, if not more, than the text you write. Also don't use visuals that take more than 3 seconds to understand. People's attention spans are getting shorter and shorter; having a really complex visual makes it hard for the viewer to grasp what the most important thing is.

3. Tell your story

SlideShare viewers want to connect with your material, and possibly even you as a person. At Empowered Presentations we feel that everyone has a voice and something to share. We have all of our team members create a visual story about themselves in order to be authentic -- and vulnerable. People are able to find a connection with each one of our team members on our different experiences in life. Once you establish a emotional connection with someone, it makes it much easier to build rapport and a following.

So before you upload your next slide deck, think EXPLANASTORY™.