6 Copywriting Tips That Will Help You Make Great SlideShares

November 6, 2015

Side profile of an editor reviewing a paperHaving a beautiful presentation is awesome.

But when you add great copywriting to the mix?

That's when the real magic happens.

You see, the combination of great design and copy is a craft that has yet to go away.

It's still just as important in the digital world as it was during the Mad Men era. On SlideShare in particular, copywriting is one of the most underrated aspects of a great deck.

Today, I'm going to share some of the best copywriting strategies being used on SlideShare to create decks that are sticky, memorable and worth sharing.

Start with something attention grabbing


If your first slide doesn't capture your audience's attention, it fails.

Both the images and text must be captivating. Otherwise, readers won’t take a second look at your deck. And if your readers don't read your deck, they're not actually readers are they?

This is why a title like "20 Ways To Stoke Your Self Confidence" is a captivating and click worthy.

The same can be said with the headline above from Hubspot: 20 Email Acronyms to Learn Now: So We Don't Feel Dumb Later.

This headline is compelling because it plays on our insecurities while leveraging the popular "Doh!" expression of Homer Simpson.

Marketing psychology studies have shown that headlines with positive superlatives performed 29% worse and headlines with negative superlatives performed 30% better that those without either. Even more interesting was the fact that the study found that the average click-through rate on headlines with negative superlatives were 63% higher than headlines containing positive ones.

So, why are we so attracted to the negative headline?

Negative words tap into our insecurities.

And we all want to get over our insecurities.

Keep them clicking with broken text

When you move through these slides, you can't help but keep clicking.

Because the words are broken out on separate slides, it makes the deck more engaging.

Hubspot is also leveraging a tactic known as the bucket brigade or internal cliff hangers.

Basically, the copy is intended to keep you reading the next sentence.

On slide seven, this happens with the line, "But each of them is changing ..." The three dots (also known as an ellipsis) are an indication that there's more to read. Other phrases for using the Bucket Brigade include:

  1. Let me explain...
  2. Here's why...
  3. Well:
  4. Here's what I mean:

It gives you a reason to keep clicking.

It gives you a reason to read more. And..

This is the exact flow your deck should have to keep them wanting more.

Ask questions readers want answered

Similar to bucket brigades, asking questions can lure your reader to click further into your deck.

It lures them by capitalizing on our personal curiosity. While curiosity may have killed the cat, not capitalizing on it when creating a SlideShare deck is a one-way street to killing your presentation.

Questions like:

-What does this mean for you?

-Are you ready?

-Do you want to XYZ?

All are great questions to keep readers engaged and scrolling.

Of course, questions that are customized to your audience and content are always the best options.

Keep your language simple and straight forward

I'd never suggest to write like you speak.


Well, no one wants to read a deck filled with "likes" and "ums."

But they do want to read a deck that is straightforward and uses simple language.

One of the best insights on copywriting came from Advertising grandfather, David Ogilvy:

I don’t know the rules of grammar… If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular.

When crafting your SlideShare presentations, it's important that you don't let your copy get in the way. Use simple language and avoid jargon as much as possible.

Share information that is new and interesting

Now that you know how to convince people that you have something of value to deliver them...

It's time to do it.

People crave information that is backed by research and information they've never encountered before. On SlideShare, resources that are filled with stats, research, studies and charts are shared frequently.

Some of the most popular decks like the Mary Meeker Report or this deck from A16z on Mobile Eating The World have reached hundreds of thousands of people because their insight is so valuable.

People want to share. People bookmark it for future reference. People crave information that can make an impact.

Arm them with it.

Give your readers a guarantee or promise


The three slides above are from my deck, What REALLY Differentiates The Best Content Marketers From The Rest.

The promise is simple:

If you read this deck, you will learn how to stand out from the crowd and attract an audience.

Because the promise is aligned with the motivations of a content marketer, they're lured deeper into the deck and will continue to read. Telling the reader to "Fear Not" is a way to solidify trust by arming them with a guarantee.


Alright, so now you know some of my tried and tested techniques.

I've used these strategies to create decks with hundreds of thousands of views on Slideshare.

Now it's time for you to put them into use.


Start by downloading my SlideShare copywriting checklist so you can take your content to the next level.

About the Author

Ross Simmonds is the founder of Foundation Marketing a content marketing agency and the social sharing tool Crate. Say hi to Ross on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Photo: Getty Images