Giving a PowerPoint presentation is suppose to be fun and offer value. The key to being effective with SlideShare is to provide value to your viewers and a soft sell at the same time.  Educate your viewers, amaze them, and impress them, and sales will follow. Viewers can easily embed your Slideshare presentations on their own blog or share them on their social networks.  Slideshare is great for collaborative joint slideshows for greater exposure and a transcript of the slideshow that increases search engine optimization (SEO).

The most viewed Slideshare presentations are the ones that teach HOW TO DO SOMETHING.  What do your clients need to learn how to do that you can show them?What is the biggest question your clients have? What is their biggest challenge? What is no one else in your industry talking about that you’re willing to? Provide answers for your clients that they cannot get anywhere else and fill their needs.

Offer new ideas and solutions by going beyond a traditional presentation and use it to provide inspiration and ideas for your clients.  This slideshow is a holiday-themed online catalog I developed for an upscale interior design retailer.  My goal was to display the breadth of products and services they provided in a visual way, and show their price points from low to high.  It’s a beautiful slideshow that’s easily accessible on the internet.  We embedded it on their website, on their blog, and in online press releases to the media.  It increased their SEO and improved their brand recognition.


Did you know the average PowerPoint slide contains 40 words? What a way to put your audience to sleep!  John Media, author of Brain Rules, cites slides with visuals are 65% more likely to be remembered than slides without. Use text, but don’t overwhelm your audience with too much. Did you know the brain ignores what it finds boring? Work hard to make yours interesting: use visuals, large fonts, and make your content irresistible.  Appeal to people’s emotions, focus on the key ideas, connect those ideas, and wrap up in a compelling way.  Telling a story is always more convincing than just citing facts and figures.  Use compelling images, testimonials, photos of real people for your presentation. Show your personal side and give people a reason to trust you.You can grab stock images from:

  1. Flickr Creative Commons. A free photo-sharing website that allows users to upload their images and allow others to use them. An easy way to ask for attribution is to create a slide at the end of the presentation that lists the slides by number and the owner of the images.
  2. Yay Micro.  A stock image and illustration service where you can purchase images for about $1.50 each. They offer a wide variety of business images appropriate for presentations.  All the images are royalty-free and you can use them as often as you like.
  3. iStockphoto.  One of the largest stock image and illustration services around, offering royalty-free files.  If iStockphoto doesn’t have it, you probably won’t find it.  Their images are more expensive than Yay Micro, but they also tend to be higher quality.

Have consistent object placement by creating an easy-to-follow layout on your slides, keeping object placement consistent throughout. Less is more for images and text. Offer a simple way for viewers to buy from you: include a link to your direct page in your own online store or a trusted one known for its reputation in a visible location. At the end of your presentation, be sure to include links to all of your social networking sites and list your contact information.  Make it easy for viewers to stay in touch and ask questions.

Adding narration is a process of creating the voice track, uploading it to Slideshare, and syncing the timing with the correct slides.   You can use GarageBand on a Mac or Sound Recorder on a PC.  Audacity is another free online tool that you can download and use on your computer to record your voice.


View five presentations in your industry and evaluate the follow content, layout, length, contact info, and links. How much value does the presentation offer? Does it stand on its own without a presenter? Is the slide layout simple and effective? Are the colors easy on the eyes, making the slides easy to read? How many slides does the presentation contain? Too many, too few, or just enough? Does the presentation contain contact information and links that work to take you to a landing page?


Title Slide including your business name, your name,who you and  your company are, location, and staff.  What does your company offer? Think of telling this in benefits vs. features style. How long has your company been in existence and what are your hours? When and where can people get in touch with you via phone, online, email, etc. Why should your customers choose you over your competition? Differentiate yourself by stating the benefits customers get by choosing you. Explain what it is you do that is so unique and special. Finish wit Summary slide with your contact information and links to your website and social networking platforms. Save your presentation as a .PPT file and upload it to Slideshare. Add the Title, Tags, and Description, remembering to use your company name and as many keywords in each of those as possible.  Try to fit in your presentation name and business name in the Title, again in your tags (along with keywords), and everything in the Description.


  • Explanatory slide
  • Summary slide
  • Title slide
  • Subtitle slides, if necessary
  • Content slides
  • Summary slide
  • Contact info slide
  • Your sales slide (promoting your products and where to buy them.  As the developer of the slide, that’s the one advantage you’ll have over your colleagues, is you have one more opportunity to present your website, book, or other product at the end of the slideshow)


Colleagues with similar products . The key here is that you offer products similar to each other, yet different enough that you are not direct competitors.  When I collaborated on my Color-of-the-Month slideshows, all the participants were quilt designers.  But our designs were so unique that we were not direct competitors. Gather a talented group of colleagues and a Slideshare presentation may be only the beginning! Get colleagues with a blog, website, or social network presence.  Collaborators should have an audience with whom they can share the presentation easily.

Vendors with a common interest.  If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you could create a joint holiday catalog with other local retailers of your Top Ten Gifts available.  I created a video of my favorite quilting products of 2010 and joined forces with the other vendors to give away one of each of the products featured in the video.  That contest alone doubled my Facebook fans in one week.  You could do the same thing with a simple presentation. A catalog distributor could feature their most popular products of the year or the hottest trends in their industry, and feature your product in the presentation.

One person, usually you, will develop the presentation.  That makes the process simple and gives collaborators a clear leader for questions. Identify exactly what it is that you need (photo size, resolution, product shot, head shot, etc.). If you need a description, tell them how many words. If you are linking to their site, ask for their URL.  Be as specific as you can.  Give people a deadline, and make it before your true deadline.  Once you finish the presentation, send an email to all who participated with the URL link and embed code. This makes it super easy for them to share the slideshow.


Recommend each participant write a blog post about it and embed the presentation. Suggest everyone share the presentation across all of their social networks.  If you use Slideshare plugins on Facebook and LinkedIn, the presentation will automatically appear on your page, but I would recommend they write a post linking to it as well. Host a contest where every person will discuss their content in the slideshow and give away a prize.  Think of it as a blog tour for your presentation.  You could do something similar with a scavenger hunt theme. Slideshare hosted a collaborative presentation contest where they curated 14 slides: 11 were from pre-selected “presentation experts,” but the other three were open to the public.  What a great way to generate interest!


The blog tour and scavenger hunt ideas I listed previously are two great example.  What other promotions have you seen that would work well?  Share those with classmates in the Community Forum, and who knows: maybe you can develop a collaborative contest together! Be CREATIVE!  You know your products, your staff, and your business far better than I do.  Use your strengths to reach out to your audience in a creative and fun way.  Be sure to share on the Community Forum your ideas, your promotions, and your results. Identify potential collaborators for your presentation.

Create a group email list of potential collaborators and reach out to them, letting them know about your project.  Be specific about what you need, in what format, and your deadline. Here is an example of an email I used to invite submissions to my month presentation on color:

Hi Talented Marketers

It’s time for the Social Media Though of the Month show and I’m featuring Google+ as the featured network.  We all know how much of a social media is for brands, and they’re hungry for tips, advice, and images to help them be more successful using it.  If you have insights, I’d love to include it in the monthly show.  I feature this slideshow all over the web, and it gets a lot of attention.  Marketers hear from readers every month and see their sales increase, so it’s a true win-win collaboration.
As always, include a couple of sentences to describe your advice on using Goolge+, submit an image (low-res please), and one URL.  I’ll include them all and marketers will love getting the scoop from the best in the social media marketing industry.
Thanks everyone!
Create a slide layout for your presentation, keeping in mind you’ll be getting submissions from a wide variety of colleagues.  Give yourself plenty of room on the slides for their content.  Keep your backgrounds simple, focus on content of presentation; fancy background graphics often detract from the content itself. Create  master slides as demonstrated earlier. Draft an email that notifies participants the slideshow is live and how they can promote it by writing a blog post, sharing on their social networks, running a contest giving away something included in the slideshow, or even invite participation in the slideshow.  Think of creative ways your team can spread the word and post them in the email.

Draft blog post and list of bloggers for outreach

  1. Draft a blog post that showcases the presentation and what it offers. Include a section to list everyone who participated and link to their site.
  2. Make a list of the top 10 or 20 bloggers in your industry who might be interested in telling their audience about the presentation.  Create a group email list with their contact information and a draft email letting them know about the slideshow.

Now all that’s left for you to do is get responses from your colleagues and insert their submissions into the slideshow.  Be sure to respond to their emails and let them know you’vereceived their information.  Once the slideshow is complete, you’re ready to upload the presentation to Slideshare and send an email to participants letting them know the presentation is live and giving the URL. Send an email to bloggers who might be interested in sharing the slideshow with their readers and share the slideshow across all of your social networks. You can search for keywords by entering terms, your website URL, or a category, and let Google return the results.


Use keywords in title, description, and slide text. Once you’ve learned what keywords your audiences uses, make sure to include those in your presentation slides and description field. So now that you’ve discovered what popular keywords people use to search for your products, what’s next? You need to incorporate them, as naturally as possible, into every area available in your Slideshare presentation and description. That includes the slides themselves, your presentation title, presentation description, and tags.

This may not seem like a comfortable process at first: after all, you’re now changing your writing style and approach according to “data.” I’m not suggesting you change everything about your presentation, just the few key terms that will make it easier to find when people are searching.

Slideshare transcription feeds search engines: Slideshare automatically transcribes the slide text places it below the presentation. Search engines read that text, and your keywords it in, and skyrocket your rankings. Upload infographics, checklists, or other images that would be of interest to Slideshare viewers. Slideshare accepts .PDFs, documents, and videos; so anything that is of value to your audience will get more views and drive traffic to your website.


Link to sales page by asking for a link from your collaborators, make sure they provide a link that tells viewers exactly how to buy or contact them.  The page should have a Learn More, Buy Now, or Contact Me button prominently displayed. Appeal to viewers’ emotional side by using “I” messages.  Make sales easy from trusted sources like Amazon and PayPal.  If your sales page links to a trusted website such as Amazon or PayPal, you’ll get greater sales than if you link to your own online store.  Why? Because your clients have purchased from Amazon and PayPal before and they know exactly what to expect. Set up autoresponder to deliver a free download in exchange for email address.  Link to a page on your website that offers something of value in exchange for the visitor’s email address.  You can then set up an autoresponder in your email marketing application that sends emails to that person at a set interval.  For people who visit your site: if they sign up for a newsletter, give them one new email daily for 6 days that links to a free offer.

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