Monday, July 25, 2016

8 SlideShare Tips for Business Professionals

Last week, we explored why Successful Professionals Use SlideShare. Here are some tips we’ve learned through our own trial and error as well as recommendations from other thought leaders.
SlideShare (acquired by LinkedIn in 2012) is a great platform for getting yourself found by thousands of well-connected people who don’t know you yet—but who should. Not just clients and prospective clients, but journalists, analysts, speaker bureaus and conference program organizers all looking for experts on topics that are right in your wheelhouse. Think of Slideshare as YouTube for professional presentations (not cat videos) and can easily accommodate
PowerPoint, PDF, Keynote or OpenDocument presentations.

NOTE: Our blog and website has more about this and related topics. 

1. Take the descriptive tags seriously. For ideas, see how other wealth managers, estate planners and business succession planning experts are tagging their presentations. According to Hubspot, SlideShare presentations carry lots of weight in search results, so you should be targeting the keywords you want to get found for in search in the slideshows you upload.

2. Treat your title slide like a video thumbnail. Your title slide must be eye-catching from both a content and visual point of view.

3. Personally brand EVERY SINGLE slide. Put your name, company name, web address and phone on each slide or page of your content. Not every SlideShare user will get to your presentation from the title page. Make sure they remember and credit you when they share, clip or download your digital words of wisdom.
4. Be generous…to a point. Like it or not, we’re in the sharing economy. Don’t be stingy about sharing your smarts with the world. Put most of your slides or a chapter of next book on SlideShare free of charge, but don’t provide anything else that’s proprietary or of deeper value unless users contact you directly for more information. See Tip #8 for more about calls-to-action.

5. Long form is OK. Even in this A.D.D. era of tweets, vines and snaps, social media experts like Dan Zarrella have data indicating that longer slideshows perform better than shorter presentations. For instance, did you know that presentations with 60+ slides or longer generate the most views? Unlike most social media channels in which shorter content tends rules, Zarella says SlideShare users welcome comprehensive content. Again, they’re primarily professionals.

6. Remember your audience. One reason SlideShare is so useful for thought leadership marketing is that is that is core users are well educated professionals (hence its attraction to LinkedIn). Unlike the casual followers you might get from Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, most SlideShare users are searching for content that will help them advance professionally or build their businesses. This is also a good indicator of the types of content that performs well on SlideShare.

7. Looks matter. Strong, bold colors and large text to capture users' attentions and make the content easy to follow along. Provide detailed charts, graphs, images and graphics that are easy to scan and understand. On the web you only have a split second to capture users’ attention.

8. DON’T let downloaders be freeloaders. Anyone who is familiar with SlideShare will tell you to include a final slide featuring a call-to-action for lead generation or potential speaking engagements or strategic alliances.


There are a number of other good knowledge sharing platforms out there for smart professionals like you. We’ll get to them in a future post, but we wanted to start with SlideShare since most of you are regular LinkedIn users, you are already great presenters, it has critical mass and you can’t beat the price. If you have other favorite knowledge sharing tools, please send them along, and we’ll mention in a future post.


TAGS: SlideShare tips for professionals, Dan Zarella

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Successful Professionals Use SlideShare

Most of you on this distribution list are thought leaders and successful professionals. You enjoy the spotlight and are comfortable on the podium. You’ve done countless presentations to groups large and small and chance are you’ve got it down to a science. But what about AFTER you’ve wowed the live audience with your presentation?

Maybe you printed out handouts in advance or asked attendees to email you for a copy of the presentation. Some will. Many won’t and that’s just part of the reason why your great thought leadership content is left to die on the vine. Whether it’s a presentation, a white paper or a chapter of your new book, you want to share your smarts with as many clients, prospects and centers of influence as possible. SlideShare (acquired by LinkedIn in 2012) is one of the best ways to do that. It’s also a great tool for getting yourself found by thousands of well-connected people who don’t know you yet—but who should. 

In its simplest form, SlideShare is like YouTube for professional presentations (not cat videos) and can easily accommodate
PowerPoint, PDF, Keynote or OpenDocument presentations. Like YouTube, there are featured presentations and you can search the vast archive of presentations by keyword or topic--and the archive it is VAST. The sharing site gets an estimate 70 million unique visitors per month and an estimated 400,000 new presentations are uploaded daily.

Unlike YouTube, SlideShare gives you quality eyeballs, rather than quantity. SlideShare is a favorite hunting ground for journalists, speaker bureaus and conference organizers. They know if you’re on SlideShare then (a) You’re in the know, (b) You’re probably a thought leader and (c) you know how to put a compelling presentation together. They can see the quality of your work before they book you or interview you and they don’t have to worry about your ability to deliver respectable presentation materials on time for their event.

NOTE: Our blog and website has more about this and related topics. 

Convenience: When it comes time to share your presentations or other long form content, it’s much easier to send a SlideShare link than is to push a memory-hogging 70-side presentation through your email server. For example, here’s a recent presentation that my son Jake and I did about Drones for Business People & Investors. With all the animations and embedded videos, it would have taken quite a while to send this to you via email, but it’s a snap to send, view and clip via SlideShare.

Analytics: We received almost 100 views in the first few days after posting the presentation and most were not people who attended live. In addition to the number and source of views, the basics analytics package tells you the number of clicks, likes, shares, comments, downloads, embeds and lead forms completed.

This relatively new feature allows users to clip and save the best slides they discover from throughout the SlideShare universe into handy topic-specific clipboards. You can share your clipboard with others and if you’re a presenter, you’ll receive a notification when someone clips one of your slides (and which slide it was).

IMPORTANT: Always have your company name and contact info on EVERY single slide or page of the content you upload to SlideShare. You never know you’ll be clipping you or checking you out.


Next week, we’ll share more tip about leveraging SlideShare to your advantage. It’s a simple, yet powerful way to expand your reach exponentially—but you want to make sure you do it the right way.


TAGS: SlideShare for professionals


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Unlocking Innovation: How to know what you don’t know

Remember the old cartoon of the military sergeant who asks one of his troops the difference between ignorance and apathy? The troop’s response: “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

I think of that cartoon sometimes when we attend innovation workshops or visit with clients who are dutifully hosting their annual off-site brainstorming retreats or “all hands in the conference room” idea days.  HR brings in the balloons and sticky notes and off we go! Right? Wrong. Innovation doesn’t just happen on-demand; it’s a fluid process that must be cultivated all the time—from all corners of your organization at all levels of the org chart. That way, whenever a customer/client need or opportunity hits, you’re more than ready to fill it.

As the old saying goes: “Good luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” But how often are we really prepared when opportunity knocks?

Last month, Michael Dunham, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of Georgia, Inc. told me that if you have all the money in the world and a lot of staff, you can just sit around, throw out a bunch of ideas and see what sticks. “That’s not the case here. You need to go stay alert, identify needs that must be filled and then look for creative ways to solve them. My job is to find out what members need before they know they need it and then have a solution waiting when they get there,” said Dunham. See more insights from Dunham here.

Last weekend, Warren Berger, author of the book A More Beautiful Question, argued in a New York Times article that encouraging employees to ask good questions is one of the best things companies can do to help spur innovation. At a time of rapid change and rising uncertainty, Berger wrote there is constant “pressure to keep learning and to keep anticipating what’s next.” In fact, Berger referenced an organization called The Right Question Institute which believes that the simple act of formulating questions “organizes our thinking around what we don’t know.”

Of course, as Berger points out, getting management to respond well to questions is not as easy as training employees to ask more and better questions. “For questions to thrive in a company, management must find ways to reward (not thwart) the behavior.” It could be as simple as publicly acknowledging a “good question” when asked and by encouraging employees to think in terms of “What If?” and “How Might We?” wrote Berger.

The only trouble is that most of the world’s best question-askers don’t work for our companies—they tend to be kids, whose question-asking acumen peaks at age 4 or 5, not 40 or 50, according to researchers.

If your innovation practices still need a jumpstart, we strongly recommend webinars and conferences from the
International Association of Innovation Professionals (IAIOP), where you learn more about the difference between the art and science of outcome driven innovation.

Our blog and website have more about this and related topics. 


According to Berger, “leaders could do more to encourage company-wide questioning by being more curious and inquisitive themselves.” Of course, that takes a great deal of courage whether you’re a sole practitioner or a Fortune 500 exec.

So at the end of the day, how do you know what you don’t know? Simple. Just ask. And never stop thinking like a kid—something my wife says is never a problem for me.