Everyone starts out as a beginner.

What do you do when you don’t know much? Ask people who get it. Collect insights and put them into practice. Eventually, you become an expert.

We weren’t exactly SlideShare novices, but there was room for improvement. So we interviewed the masters of the forum—people from around the world who make creative, successful SlideShares—and asked for advice.

Then we thought, “Why not share these with the world?”  That led to “Masters of SlideShare” deck, which you can get today. (It’s embedded below.)

We interviewed 13 SlideShare experts, spanning industries and regions. People like Doug Kessler of Velocity Partners, Jonathon Colman of Facebook, Michael Brenner of Newscred, and Todd Wheatland of King Content, to name just a few.

We selected kernels of wisdom and put them in one presentation. (We’ll be sharing the full interviews over the coming weeks, so subscribe to the Content Marketeer to get them all.) But going through those interviews, a pattern emerged.

While the specifics varied, the advice fit into four categories: Story, Design, Customization, and Promotion.

1. Story

SlideShare masters agreed, hitting the mark means telling a story. And you need to tell that story fast.

“If you don’t provide a clear and compelling reason for people to care about your message or story immediately, you’ve already failed,” said Marta Kagan, whose SlideShares have commanded hundreds of thousands of views.

2. Design

SlideShare is a visual medium. Look and flow make the difference between languishing and taking off.

Julian Cole, whose designs are well-noticed on SlideShare, spotlights these elements of breakout presentations: two nice fonts, bold colors, and a good theme.

3. Customization

An endless number of presentations (often originally created for events) never get customized for SlideShare’s audience. This is the downfall of many accounts.

“I see each piece of content as something that needs to be maximized, adapted, and shared in as many places as relevant,” said Mark O’Toole, who had the breakout SlideShare of the graduation season.

4. Promotion

Great content promotes itself, right? To an extent. But even the best stuff could use an extra push.

“Follow a mix-and-match approach of promoted posts, highly targeted Facebook ads and LinkedIn ads,” said Stefanos Karagos, whose colorful presentations capture a lot of attention.

That’s just a sample of the advice inside the Masters of SlideShare. Check out and download the full deck for more.

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Jesse Noyes

About Jesse Noyes

Former Senior Director of Content Marketing at Kapost. I enjoy learning, teaching and eating...not necessarily in that order.

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