SlideShare Stars Share What Makes Decks Dazzle

August 7, 2013

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.