Speaking engagements have been a big part of my business for a while now. Earlier this year, I traveled to Bahrain to speak at the 15th International PMI-AGC conference, a gathering of project managers, engineers and other planning and productivity experts from around the globe.
You should've been there; it was a great time. But you also didn't have to be there to get some value from what I had to say or to learn what I can offer as a speaker and social media consultant. The entire presentation -- and the associated table of contents -- is available on SlideShare.
There's good reason for this. Not only is SlideShare part of LinkedIn, but it's also vastly underrated as a social engagement platform. Over 80% of the site's 70 million visitors arrive through organic search. Adding relevant, rich slides to your website with a SlideShare presentation may help your audience find and engage with you. Here's how to do it.
Using SlideShare to improve your site
The true beauty of SlideShare is that every presentation can be embedded, like so:
Embedding is easier than you might think. First, on the page where SlideShare hosts your presentation, click "Share." Then, highlight and copy the code in the "embed" window and paste into an HTML gadget on the desired page on your site.
Place your presentation where it counts, either on the sidebar or as an anchor for a blog post. My favorite strategy is to use embedded slides to extend content, effectively turning a single narrative into 10 to 20 pieces of great information that readers spend time with.
Say you're writing a post including your 10 best tips for saving money before the holidays. Turn each tip into a slide with the very best royalty free images that you either create or find at sites such as Pixabay or Flickr's Creative Commons catalog. Next, turn each slide into shareable jpegs to use as tweets, Instagram posts, or Pinterest pins and make sure all of it leads back to your site. After all, the more time visitors spend at your site, the more likely it is they'll want to know more about your services.
3 ways to get more value from your SlideShare Presentations
Multi-purpose presentations add value in multiple ways, but only if you do the hard work to make your presentation really stand out. Start by choosing the right tool for your design.
PowerPoint used to be my favorite for all the reasons everyone else uses it. Also, it was easy to export to SlideShare. Now I start with Haiku Deck, which takes boring PowerPoint presentations that tend to get too text heavy and templatized, and uses a particular brand of artificial intelligence to turn them into art.
Of course, SlideShare design doesn't begin and end with images. Here are three more tips for keeping your audience engaged with your SlideShare presentation:
- Keep it short. Remember that your average reader has the attention span of a goldfish. People are not going to stick around to read 87 slides. If you have a call to action at the end, you want them to act on it before slipping into a coma. 2. And if you keep it short enough and interesting enough, they will want more from you.
- Keep the text light. Let your photos tell most of the story. Keep your bullets to 5 or fewer, and aim for 5 or fewer words per bullet. No one wants to read a novel, especially a novel that's delivered in the form of a presentation.
- Add a contact page and a call to action. Don't hook people and then leave them without an offer or some way to contact you for more information.
Like it or not, even SlideShare is a calling card that says something about you and your business. The clearer the message and the better the design, the better you -- and your site -- will look to your intended audience.