Who saw your slides? Six more tips on getting more shares (part 2)
Keith Brooks 100000260A firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  keith_brooks slides ibm_redbooks_thought_lead... ibm_redbooks slidedeck ibm_champion learning presenting
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After you give a presentation at a conference, do you remember to post and share your slides with those who didn’t attend? Besides posting through the organization that ran the conference, you can also publish your presentation on your blog or at SlideShare, which can both feed to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. But in order to get shares, first you’ll need memorable slides!
In my previous post I shared four starter tips on improving your slide presentations to increase the likelihood of them being shared among your colleagues. Here are some further suggestions to strengthen your presentations and increase your shares.
1. Consider the appeal and longevity of the topic
Technical slides have a shelf life, especially if you fill them with lots of good information. Some topics, on the other hand, are more evergreen. What brings people back to your slides? Is it the catchy title? Is it your lead slide? Did you let everyone know about your slides on your social media of choice?
Sometimes the topic itself is enticing enough to get people sharing your slides. I gave a talk on ethical hacking to high school students and the slides get viewed and downloaded all the time. Probably only a few of the original 30–40 students in the room actually downloaded the slides, but clearly the need for this topic pushed it well beyond my dreams. Another session I gave in front of no more than a half dozen people has been viewed more than 500 times.
2. Choose your title carefully
Now a question remains: is it the title that really helps get your slides shared? Views are not the same as downloads, and the latter are a better indicator of your success. Viewers let you know you were on the right track with your title; downloads help in the justification but do not solely prove that you succeeded since people may just want certain slides.
Excellent titles will bring people in, just like Twitter tease lines, but then you have to prove you were worth it.
3. Edit and revise
As someone who thanks his editor all the time (she makes my posts much better), I suggest that you get an editor to help improve your writing. If nothing else, reread and revise the text of your slides to make sure they are clear and well organized.
As I mentioned at the end of my previous post, we may not really be looking for slides full of words, but no matter what you should be sure that you have set up your slides in a way that everyone understands.
4. Put slides in a logical order
Another issue is the organization of your deck. Some slides make the most sense when compared to the next slide in a particular order. It is acceptable to start and close your slides with the information you want people to remember. However, in between you need to lead everyone on a path from point A to Z. Do not hop around or skip what I call bridges. Bridges are what link your slides from one topic to the next, especially when they may seem incongruous.
5. Use reference points that are universal
Are some of the slides too esoteric? Do my references, graphical or textual, play well across the world? Everyone knows about vampires but does everyone understand American football references?
As an American with Irish citizenship, plus five years of corporate management while based outside of the US, I am aware of how hard it is for non–English speaking viewers to pick up on references in slides. My Business Anti-Social slides exemplify this on pages 7 and 10. You may notice that I used an American reference point, Billboard magazine, which is the magazine related to the music industry in America. In this situation it was viewed as an American crowd but I did use international artists’ songs to help get the point across. These slides were a part theory and part instructional set, and it shows by the mixed usage of graphics and text slides.
6. Content is king
In the end, the hope of great content is usually what brings us to a new blog post or slide deck. The author’s efforts to present himself as a trusted source are what invite us back.
Maybe you are a graphical genius and people love the beauty in your slides. Perhaps you have a magical way of storytelling in your slides that enthralls everyone like a lost work of art. Maybe you posted a session of a technical nature that others seek out, even if you posted it in a foreign language (I read non-English posts and articles; hopefully you do as well). If these sound like you, congratulations, you have become the guru on the mountain and you better keep up that great effort.
If this does not sound like you, fear not, you have some basic guidelines in this two-part series that will make you think differently about your posts and slides next time. I look forward to hearing from you and wish you good luck on your future presentations!
Keith Books is the Social and Collaboration Practice Leader for Voicerite, an IBM Premier Business Partner. Keith has spoken at SugarCon, Lotusphere, the View Admin conferences and other industry events on subjects around messaging and social leadership. Keith has written articles, books and blogs around IBM products and solutions for over 20 years. Keith can be reached @lotusevangelist.
Keith is an IBM Redbooks thought leader