December 4, 2014 | Lauren Nelson

7 Ways to Make SlideShare Presentations Look Professional

If you haven’t heard of SlideShare, it's time to jump on the bandwagon. It’s the YouTube of slide presentations, or "decks," and the site gets tons of monthly visitors—around 60 million!

So how does it work? Well, the site converts your SlideShare presentation into an embeddable code that you can put pretty much anywhere.

SlideShare makes it easy to embed your presentation directly onto your website or blog, or share it to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, any other social platforms. You can also discover content and interact with other users by liking, commenting, and sharing decks.

Basically, SlideShare is just another way to get people’s attention. Some people like reading blog posts, and others like flipping through a slideshow (that's why we have both options in this blog post!).

Here are 7 ways to make your next SlideShare presentation look polished:


1. No Boring Ideas

Boring SlideShares with unhelpful content are a waste of everyone's time. Clear, passionate ideas will get you the attention and action that you want. Visitors should be able to consume your content easily and say, “Hmm.. That’s interesting,” or “I didn’t know that!”

2. Keep the Copy Short & Sweet

Lose the filler. The easiest way to lose your audience is including looooong blocks of text. People should be able to understand your message in 3 seconds. Extra slides are free, so break up your copy if it’s too long. Find out what the point is, and make it using as few words as possible.

3. Wow Them with Your Cover

An exciting cover is the best way to get clicks. This is the viewer's first impression, and it needs to be well-designed or they won’t open your presentation. Colorful typographic covers with photographs as backgrounds do well on SlideShare.

4. Use Relatable Photos and Visual Metaphors

Photos are the most common backgrounds for slides. The photos you pick should all work together, and the most successful SlideShares use a combination of graphics and photos. Beware the dreaded clip art!

5. Make It Pretty

Use a color palette.

Choose about 3-4 colors for your color scheme. You can pull a color palette directly from a photo you love, find a scheme on the web, or create your own—just be consistent with it.

Find unique fonts.

Avoid Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Courier, and Comic Sans; standard fonts like these are boring and overused. Google Fonts is a great resource for free fonts, and there are tons of others. Because each slide is an image, you don't have to be concerned about using web fonts, which gives you a lot more flexibility with typography. A great font pairing can do wonders for your design!

White space is a good thing.

White space (or, more accurately, empty space) actually works in your favor by adding more significance to the point you’re making. Don’t be afraid of it!

Use shapes to highlight words.

A trend in design is using shapes to highlight words. Your text pops when shapes are used under words and above background photos.

6. Have an Information Hierarchy

When you separate your presentation into recognizable sections, let people know where they are in the "story" you're presenting and keep them from feeling disoriented. A good flow of information would be to present the problem, offer a solution, explain your reasoning, and then circle back around to the benefit to the reader.

7. Brand Your Slides!

Want recognition for your content? Brand it! When people share your SlideShare around the web, make sure all your viewers know who to thank. You can include a small logo at the top or bottom of every slide, and even basic contact information like a web address. If that’s too much for you, just put your logo on your cover slide and/or your final slide, and be sure to include some form of contact information on the final slide.

You can even include clickable links in SlideShares - but I'm going to do my next blog post about that!

SlideShare is one of the best resources for finding and sharing new content on the web. So get in there and share your great ideas! With our 7 tips, you’re definitely on your way to becoming a SlideShare all-star.

SlideShare is a great platform for you content, but it's just one part of an inbound marketing campaign.

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Lauren Nelson

Lauren Nelson

As one of VIEO's graphic designers, Lauren Nelson works on in-house and client design projects like ebooks, infographics, and websites. Though illustration is her favorite, she also enjoys layout design, including magazine layouts and book covers.

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