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January 13, 2015

Best-of-the-Best Practices on Slideshare – My private collection

by Tom De Baere

best of best practices on slideshare - private collectionThe first time I ever published something on Slideshare, I was excited. It was a presentation called “Spreading the Content Marketing Virus”, which in essence told “my story”.

It tells the story of why I dramatically shifted the marketing strategy of the company I worked for at the time. From outbound to inbound marketing.

Hybrid marketing is probably more correct, as we kept on applying paid media where useful. But also from analog marketing (does that even exist ?) to digital marketing.

I was excited because it was ‘my’ story. And obviously that’s important to me. Ever since then I have continued to post presentations on Slideshare.

Today I want to

  • share with you what I learned on Slideshare,
  • and share some of my “private web resources collection” of best practices about Slideshare publishing.

Results of 2 years on Slideshare

Slideshare featured presentation - best of the best practices Slideshare

I admit. Getting this kind of email from Slideshare gives me a kick…

Meanwhile I’ve published a few more presentations on my Slideshare. Although I do not publish very often. In the last 2 years I only published 7 presentations.

I know I should publish more often, because it definitely works. But hey, as a young (?) entrepreneur that just started his own business, somehow ‘time’ is one of those things I never seem to have enough.

In the 2 years I’m using Slideshare, I learned a couple of things. Not that I am an expert, far from it. But, in all humility, I’m slowly getting the hang of it.

The last presentations I published constantly top a couple of thousand views in a single month. The last one on “How to Plan and Design your Social Business” even did more than 6000 views in a couple of days. That one got picked up by Slideshare and was featured on their homepage, and obviously drawing much more traffic than before. Some others in the meanwhile got picked as Slideshare of the day or something similar.

My slideshare history. Up and down...

My slideshare history. Ups and downs…


Of course, these numbers don’t mean zip in the Slideshare ‘universe’.

Some presentations rack-up 10’s of thousands of views in a single day. And some are mind-blowing in terms of views, like the most recent presentation of Brian Solis on Disruptive Technology Trends 2015-2016 (when I checked this it was at 725.000 views in just 2 days!).

At the end of 2014, a lot of marketing related companies started curating their top presentations of the year 2014, and I recommend you definitely check-out some of them:

But still, I’m happy with what I have today. I enjoyed making them, and enjoy that they are liked and downloaded by people.

That’s after-all what the internet is about.

My Slideshare Best Practices “Private” Collection

There’s lot’s of really good advice you can find on the web on how to create a good Slideshare, how to promote it, and how to optimize it.

Here’s my little private collection “best-of-the-best” how-to’s and tactical advice on Slideshare publishing and lead generation:

My most important learnings in creating Slideshares

With all these best practices freely available on the web, it should be easy to build sky-rocketing Slideshares.

But it’s not that easy. At least not for me.

I don’t have all the time which I feel that should be put in a Slideshare. I know that I can do better. An easy step to improve would be to hire a graphical expert to make it better. But as always, as a starting entrepreneur, I have a lot of things that I need to do. And other things that I want to do (like spending time with my family).

Still. There are a couple of things that I learned that seem to be working, without putting in too much effort. I also experimented with a couple of things, from which I also learned.

When I create new presentations, there’s only a few things that I always keep in mind. And I am happy to share them with you today:

1. Title Slides:

My first presentations contained a large image, and a small title. Big mistake. Title slides are incredibly important for getting people to click (i.e., begin) your presentation both on and off SlideShare.

Before I knew how title slides need to be designed.

Before I knew how title slides need to be designed.



2. Create a visual story:

In my first presentations I used slides as they are used in Powerpoint. An image and some text on the same slide. And so on. One slide after the other.

before - slide by slide on slideshare

before – slide by slide on slideshare


Today I tell my story step by step, and I use a slide for each step. If you want to use an image without text, and you feel people need a “voice-over”, in that case insert a voice over text balloon. People on Slideshare always quickly want to go through a Slideshare, and this voice-over helps them to do that.

storytelling on slideshare

after… multiple slides telling a story.

 3. Always use a Call-To-Action:

In the best practices you can find on the net, I consider the following these as the best on call-to-actions:

  • Lead generation: don’t allow visitors to download your presentation. Instead, send them to a landing page on your website to download the presentation, after you’ve asked their email.
  • Call for more content: Slideshare are the place to communicate big concepts. End presentations with a call for more content, and point it to your website (to a blog post or an ebook about the concept you explained in the Slideshare).
slideshare CTA - more content

Call for more content… pointing to your blog or website.











4. Go for premium quality:

OK, this is probably an open door, and something of an empty statement. Of course your content needs to be of high quality. But when posting on Slideshare, you have to know that you are competing with millions of others of presentations. Be thoughtful, inspire, and go the extra mile.

What this actually means is : put some extra time in your presentation. Go the extra mile!

5. Treat Slideshare like a social network

Because it is. Connect with other active users on SlideShare. Engage people by commenting on their presentation just like you would a Facebook status. Most of the best practices we’ve come to “know and love” for Facebook/Twitter/etc apply to SlideShare as well because, at the root, you are dealing with people not technology.

In my case, each time when someone follows me, I’ll follow them back (but only when they already published on Slideshare).

Often forgotten, but I think it’s important to fill out your bio. I’m always surprised by how many people don’t do this and then wonder why they have no following on SlideShare. I don’t want to follow a username with no profile pic or description. Neither does anyone else.

Contribute regularly. Just as it would be ineffective to use Facebook and never create a status update, having a SlideShare account and not uploading presentations gives people nothing to remember you by or engage you on.

And the last thing, look for things to like. Regularly go to the homepage on Slideshare and like presentations. Liking these presentations will be amplified not only through your Slideshare social network, but also on LinkedIn.

Other “private Slideshare best practices sources” ?

Do you have a “Slideshare best practice” that you can add to this list ? If you have a great source for others to discover, drop a comment in the comment box below !

Warm regards,

Tom De Baere