Picture it, crisp autumn leaves, cool air, and bright sunshine. That scene is what you get when you log-in to the online tool, Slideshare.com. Launched in 2011, Slideshare is used by big brands like Bloomberg, Forbes, and the New York Times to create mini-websites to promote their stories and marketing material.
With a free account, you can upload and share presentations, infographics, and videos–all with one click. You can also add interactive elements, like quiz questions and sharing buttons, to your content. And, because it’s online, you can access your content anytime, anywhere. Using a tool like Slideshare boosts engagement, gets the message to the right audience, and allows you to monitor the activity.
Why Should You Care About Slideshare?
The short answer is that you shouldn’t. At least, not yet. Despite its popularity, Slideshare is mostly seen as a glorified imageboard. If you want to create a marketing presentation or pitch, there are plenty of other tools you could use.
The big reason it’s worth your time to take a closer look is that it could one day morph into something bigger and better. With a bit of ingenuity, you could knit this tiny tool into a functional marketing machine.
1. Create a Free Account
Even if you have a Facebook account, you should still create a free account on Slideshare. This will let you access premium features (like creating polls and using sliders to analyze data) and give you a taste of what the service can offer. You can also use the free version to upload and share images and documents, so it doesn’t hurt to have a look around.
2. Set Up Your Blog
The beauty of a tool like Slideshare is that it gives you the freedom to express yourself how you want. If you’ve got a specific topic or subject matter you want to talk about, you can create a presentation around it. If you don’t have a topic yet, no problem – you can always set one up.
For our purposes here, let’s say you want to create a presentation about online marketing. With Slideshare, all you need to do is click on the “New Presentation” button at the top of the homepage. From there, you can either choose a topic from a long list or simply type in a word or two to create a new presentation – we’ll get to the new topic box later.
3. Customize Your Presentation
When you’ve got your topic, you can start customizing your presentation. This is where you can add your own images, infographics, and videos to the page. In our example here, we’ll simply add a quick video to give you an idea of what a premium presentation looks like:
To start, click on the purple “Add a Video” button – this will open up a small window, letting you know that you’re sharing a video from your phone. Next, you can drag the video into the central area of the page.
With the video in place, you can start adding your other content – pictures, infographics, and text. To add a picture, click the “New Badge” button at the top of the page – this opens up a small box, where you can browse the web for pictures you want to use. When you find one you like, click on it and it will be added to the presentation.
Don’t forget about the text. We’ve got plenty of good luck text as it is – maybe even too much. If you want to keep things light-hearted, you can always choose some internet meme’s famous quotes and put them in your text.
4. Set Up Your Poll
Another handy feature of a tool like Slideshare is that you can create polls and quizzes to see how much your audience knows or understands about your subject matter. It’s a great way to get a sense of how much your audience knows about your topic – no matter how trivial or obscure it may be. Once you’ve set up a poll, you can publish it quickly and easily, allowing your audience to give their opinion on everything from the cost of living in Sweden to which season of the year they prefer.
5. Share Your Presentation
Last but not least, let’s talk about sharing your presentation. You can do this in a variety of ways – the most fundamental one being that you can hit the “Share” button at the top of the page.
This will take you to a separate page, where you can choose to share your work with:
If you’ve got a bigger audience on one of these platforms, you can always choose to share your presentation there, too.
In our example here, we’ll choose to share it on Facebook. Once you’ve set up your Facebook share, all you need to do is add your link and select “Public” (optional: you can choose to make the post only visible to your friends).
This is one of the simplest ways to share your work, and it’s incredibly useful. Not only does it let your audience know exactly what you’re talking about, but you can also connect with others on the platform who are interested in your topic.
You’ve got a basic awareness of what Slideshare is, how to use it, and the various platforms it serves. Now what? Well, that’s up to you. You can keep using the free version, happily adding and sharing content with your followers. Or, find a use for this tool that goes beyond simple sharing and discover all the possibilities it has to offer.