Every Friday I’ll provide basic tips on how to improve the way you promote your business online and increase your audience engagement. There’s one important element missing though, and that’s your voice. What tactics are you trying? Are they working? Tell us about them in the comments below.

It’s Friday, so kick your feet up, grab your beverage of choice, and let’s talk shop.

Four tips to create a killer Slideshare presentation

This week, I want to give you a quick overview of Slideshare, a presentation-based, knowledge-sharing website. Slideshare is amongst the top 120 most-visited websites online, with millions of visits each month, and page views in the hundreds of millions.

If you’re trying to reach more people online with your branded content, then Slideshare is definitely a tool that should be in your toolkit. For information on how and why to use Slideshare, check out this presentation:

At Bplans, I started using our Slideshare account (be sure to follow us!) to convert some of our more popular articles into a presentation format. There are a couple of benefits to this tactic: first, we gain new viewers on Slideshare who don’t regularly visit Bplans.com. Additionally, when we embed the presentation in our original article, we provide an alternative way for our readers to interact with the information.

However, not all presentations are created equal. If you want to engage your audience and float above the Slideshare noise to increase your reach, you need to create a presentation that is worth sharing. With that in mind, here are four tips to get you started on creating a killer Slideshare presentation:

1. Be bold

most-popular-slideshare-presentationsYou can take a hint from Slideshare’s most popular presentations: bold works.

Most Slideshare presentations are displayed and discovered when they’re just thumbnails on a page.

Your title/cover slide should have big, legible text, and will benefit from a captivating photo. Consider advertising best practices too: images with visible human faces get more clicks than a pretty picture or a solid color background.

2. Show some personality

This advice applies to life in general, but let’s stay focused on your presentation. While it’s important to provide high-quality, valuable information, it’s nearly as important to let your personality show.

Don’t be afraid to include some humor, state a strong opinion, or let your quirky side shine. If you look through our Bplans presentations, you might guess that we enjoy a wide variety of TV shows and movies. You’d be right. Using images from things we love tells you as much about the Bplans brand as it does about the information you want to learn.

3. Communicate visually

Our average Bplans article is around 700 words; however, those 700 words don’t belong in a presentation.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when creating a presentation is to dump a lot of text onto your slides.

Be concise. Can you express a thought in one or two sentences instead of five or six? Try using bullet points. Even better, include an infographic or image that communicates your point for you, like this:

4. Use your tags

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 3.35.28 PM

When you’ve finished uploading your presentation to Slideshare, you might be tempted to breeze past the description and tag fields in your excitement to get it published.

What you might not realize is that a keyword-rich description and appropriate use of tags will do the major lifting of getting your presentation discovered by new viewers. Take some time to write an engaging description that expresses the value viewers will get from your presentation. Think through tags that apply to the content throughout the presentation, rather than just using words from the title. I use 5-10 tags for each presentation (as long as they’re relevant), and Slideshare has a limit of 20 tags.

What about you? Do you use Slideshare? What has helped you get views, likes, or shares? Join the conversation by adding your comment below.

Want to view our first three Bplans presentations? I’ve embedded them below for your viewing pleasure:

AvatarJonathan Michael

Jonathan is the Engagement Marketing Manager for Palo Alto Software, and has spent the last 9 years developing and implementing digital marketing strategies. During that time, he has learned that empathy and authenticity are strengths by which companies can effectively engage with individuals at every point throughout the customer journey.