Recycling existing content into a SlideShare is a great way to get more mileage from content you have already spent the time and effort to create. It is a wonderful medium for presenting information visually.
By the end of 2013, SlideShare averaged 60 million unique visitors a month…215 million page views” and was “among the top 120 most-visited websites in the world, according to its website. SlideShare is the perfect vehicle for extending the life of your content. Adapting existing content into a Slideshare allows you the perfect opportunity to present your information in an exciting, humorous or unexpected light. It provides a platform from which you can inform and educate your viewers about the subject matter.
Consider the following 5 tips as you repurpose your content into a SlideShare.
1. Tell a story
Your content may have been great as a blog post, an article or white paper, but to gain traction on SlideShare it needs to fit the medium. That means using less text than would typically be found in an article and more visuals to engage the viewer. Make sure your presentation frames the problem and conveys to the viewer why they should care about your particular topic (the “why”), outlines the solution and how it will improve the life of the viewer (the “how”), and ends with a strong call to action (the “what”) to encourage and provoke the viewer to respond.
As you begin to adapt your content, it may be helpful to work on paper first before moving to the design of slides. Tease out the theme and key points and think of each slide as a billboard, containing just enough text to get your point across while remaining easily digestible to the viewer.
2. Focus on design and be sure to maintain a consistent visual style throughout
Presentations should be well-designed to gain any sort of traction on SlideShare. Having a captivating title and visually appealing cover slide is of paramount importance if you hope to get featured on the SlideShare homepage. This is so important, in fact, that SlideShare ranks these two tips at the top of its list of guidelines to increase your chances of being featured. Be original. Aim for a title and cover that convey your content but also engage and surprise the viewer.
Remember to keep your colors, type, and placement of images and text consistent throughout the deck. Looking for color inspiration? Check out Colour Lovers for palette ideas.
While it is important to keep a consistent visual style throughout the presentation, it is equally important to complement this style with some well-placed and unexpected surprises throughout. Use a variety of visual tricks to keep your viewers clicking through such as:
- Vary between light and dark slides
- Hide part of a slide and promise a reveal later on in the deck
- Use scale to emphasize a point. Think large text versus small text
3. Think outside the box when it comes to imagery and type
Instead of copying and pasting images you find on the web, there are a few options for sourcing images that are tailored to your presentation. Search for visuals on any number of sites offering beautiful, high-resolution, and free images. Unsplash, picjumbo and flickr creative commons are a few places to look for free images. Or you can also buy images on a stock photo site such as istock or shutterstock. And, if you are feeling ultra-creative, take your own photographs. Many smartphones are equipped with cameras that can produce pictures with an adequate resolution for a slide. Look for images that not only reinforce the information you are trying to convey, but stir an emotion in the viewer.
Play with fonts. Instead of working with the standard fonts installed your computer, check out all the interesting and free fonts available on sites such as fontsquirrel and dafont. Playing with type on your slides allows you to further tailor the mood of your presentation, but don’t go crazy. Stick to two or three different fonts that are readable and well-designed.
SlideShare recognizes commonly used fonts, but if you decide to infuse your slides with a less common set of fonts make sure to upload your slides as a pdf.
4. Keep it short, but not too short
While the majority of presentations on SlideShare fall under 50 slides a piece, you shouldn’t necessarily be concerned about staying under this threshold. If it takes more than 100 slides to communicate your idea, but your slides are well-designed and visually captivating, the viewer won’t mind flipping through.
Limit the number of words on your slides, but make sure the presentation flows and makes sense without your voice. You won’t be there to walk viewers through the content, so the story and supporting information must be complete.
5. Include links and increase your reach
SlideShare allows users uploading content to embed links in presentations and infographics. Don’t forget to include hyperlinks to push traffic back to the original content you are repurposing, your company’s website, or social media sites (think Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter.) It is also a good idea to include links to other pieces of content that support the information you have presented, thereby increasing your credibility on the subject matter.
What tips would you add to this list?
This post is courtesy of guest blogger Stephanie Meeusen.