The Power of SlideShare

In May 2010, I gave this presentation at the Fort Wayne Social Media Breakfast. Attendance was good, with about 50 people in the audience.

You know what made it even better, though? Uploading the presentation to SlideShare. Here’s why:

– SlideShare’s editors made it a “featured” presentation, which resulted in added exposure on the SlideShare home page

– In part as a consequence of this, the same presentation I gave to 50 people in Fort Wayne has been viewed more than 4,600 times on SlideShare, and…

– 58 people have marked it as a favorite and 9 have embedded it elsewhere, which further promotes it to their networks

While it’s rare for a presentation to get featured on SlideShare’s homepage, it does happen. In fact, it happened again last week with this presentation–and while the numbers are smaller to date, one result was pretty remarkable: a CEO and author contacted me after seeing it and asked if I’d be interested in contributing to a book he’s writing about social media. While it’s possible nothing will over come of that conversation, it never would have happened if I hadn’t uploaded the presentation to SlideShare.

SlideShare is free, fast and easy to use. You can set up a profile and start uploading presentations in just minutes. It’s the lowest of low hanging fruit: after all the work you put in to building your slide deck, there’s really no reason to not use SlideShare.

A few things I’ve learned:

– Take the time to create a profile, and add a picture. It look me a long time to get around to it, but it really makes the rest of your efforts a lot more credible (what applies to LinkedIn applies here, too).

– Don’t upload or share slideshows that include proprietary information (seems obvious, but I’ve seen it happen).

– Be extra careful to give credit where credit is due. Acknowledge the source of all photos, quotes, and stats that aren’t your own.

– Upload your presentations as PDF files. It’s faster, helps you avoid issues with fonts, and ensures that anyone who downloads it will be able to view it.

– Speaking of that, do allow people to download and embed your slideshows. The rewards inherent in being a resource to others outweigh the risk that someone will steal or copy your work.

One additional note: if you’re looking to make your slideshows even better, there are a TON of great examples on SlideShare that you can learn from. My favorite is “You Suck at PowerPoint” by Jesse Desjardins. His advice forever changed my approach when creating slideshows, and I’m certain you’ll learn something from him, too.

If you’re a SlideShare user, what have you learned that might be useful to someone just starting out? Drop a note in the comments.

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One Response to The Power of SlideShare

  1. Taylor says:

    Great post! You make some very valuable points. If you’re going to take the time to put together a great presentation, it really just seems foolish not to use SlideShare as a tool to share that contact, while giving you an opportunity to learn from others! Thanks for the feedback/insight.

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