100 Uploads, 4 Million Views: Best Lessons Learned From 5 Years on SlideShare

July 10, 2015

100-uploads-later-empoweredpres-case-story-1-638-BLOGWhen designers Yancey Unequivocally and Cory Jim first entered SlideShare’s World’s Best Presentation Contest in 2010, they didn’t expect their first-place win would lead to them launching a company. Now, with a viable presentation design company under their belts -- not to mention 100 SlideShare uploads totaling 4 million views -- they’ve learned more than a few lessons about what it takes to make a successful presentation.

“Our strategy in creating presentations for SlideShare is for the sole purpose that others will potentially share and embed it in their own digital marketing channels, and will bring more views to our presentations in the long run,” Unequivocally says. "Most knowledge and information is repurposed from someone else. What SlideShare allows us to do is take that existing content, add our twist to it, and bring it to life with engaging visuals that communicate visually those 10 bullet points that once were overlooked."

Indeed, that strategy was what helped Unequivocally and Jim win the World's Best Presentation Contest and establish their own presentations design company, Empowered Presentations, based in Hawaii. The duo submitted a presentation they had created on the dangers of smoking.

"We created the deck on Smoking because Yancey’s father had died in her arms of lung cancer when she was only 15. Yancey, being a casual smoker at the time, quit smoking because of that event and has forever changed her view on living healthy and smoke-free," Jim says. "So having experienced that event, we started researching smoking statistics and some of the facts were so staggering in numbers we knew we had something that if brought to life, would get people to open their eyes and think twice about smoking. Since then, it’s been downloaded and presented all over the world by non-profits, universities, hospitals, and all kinds of prevention programs."

"Once we won, we got inundated with requests to be written up on blogs, teach workshops, and create presentations for others," says Unequivocally, who along with co-founder and husband Jim, had been freelancing for a startup. "The leads kept pouring in, so we made a quick decision to start our company. SlideShare allowed us to jumpstart our company and set the bar for presentations locally and globally."

SlideShare has since become an integral part of their business strategy, providing an outlet to share knowledge and, ultimately, market themselves. Empowered Presentations has uploaded decks on topics ranging from marijuana legalization and travel tips to the drought in California and Instagram tips for businesses -- and has attracted clients such as Cisco, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Gallo Communications. Here's their success in numbers:


Their recent presentation "100 Uploads Later" shares their best business lessons learned from publishing 100 SlideShares. Among their tips: Don’t take on a client that can’t make decisions; solve your clients' problems -- and if you know you can't, don't try; and take responsibility for your own company’s growth (or lack thereof).

“All of theses lessons have changed our business and the way that we think," Unequivocally says. "These lessons are all things that happened to us in our business and our life.”

Beyond those lessons, the designing duo had a few more lessons for reaching success on SlideShare:

Don’t Be Afraid to Copy

Jim:For a beginner presentation designer, the best thing is to know you can see something and duplicate it. If you can do it, you’re on your way. If you can’t, you need to take a step back and disassemble it.”

Unequivocally: “You just have to keep practicing it just like any sport. Match it and duplicate it and get that picture to work. Get inspiration and read books and look around. Art is everywhere.”

Make Sure Your Content Has Value

Unequivocally: “Only upload good stuff; look at it, and ask yourself, ‘Will your audience get value?’ Think twice before you hit Upload just like any other social media post. It’s not about looking good but answering, ‘Is someone going to get value, are they going to be inspired, is it simple, is it clean?’”

View Empowered Presentations’ presentation checklist below:

Be Targeted With Social Media

Unequivocally: “I see people get accounts all over but don’t master any. Get one that you’re good at, and be a master at it. We use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and of course, LinkedIn.”

Want to see the rest of their lessons? View the 50-slide deck below!

Photo courtesy of Empowered Presentations