3 tips from viral Slideshare presentations

Slideshare is a great and often overlooked platform. Claiming 60 million monthly visitors, it allows users to upload visual presentations and easily share them. Over time Slideshare has evolved into a thriving social media site in itself. Users are keen to ‘like’, download and share presentations and, similarly to YouTube, the site is somewhat addictive. Once you’ve seen one presentation, you won’t leave without seeing three more!

So what makes a good Slideshare presentation good? I decided to find it out by having a look at top 5 all time favourite slide decks on the subject of Technology.



Name Date published View count
Facebook: the Perfect Startup 8 months ago 6.3m
Meet Dave, Meet Slideshare 4 years ago 1.7m
Reveal.JS: HTML Presentations made easy 6 months ago 1.3m
2012 KPCB Internet Trends Year-End Update 2 months ago 1.2m
State of Cassandra, 2011 1 year ago 982k

As I browsed through these excellent presentations, I recognised at least three common patterns that any aspiring Slideshare presenter should take into account.

1. Provide in-depth insight

It may sound cliché but content does matter. All top 5 Slideshare presentations provide useful, insightful statistics. Ask yourself: “Would I really want to share this presentation with my friends or colleagues? Would they find it useful?” People love insightful and up-to-date statistics. Depending on industry, it can take merely a couple of months for statistics to become outdated. There is a great demand for fresh insights and you can tap into this demand by doing original research and sharing it on Slideshare.


2. Design eye-catching experience

Having great content is not the end of the story though. Slideshare is a visual site, and, similarly to Pinterest, the platform rewards original design. Ask yourself:

  • Brevity: Are my points concise and to the point?
  • Simplicity: Are there more than 3 sentences per slide? Is there too much text?
  • Accessibility: Is the font size big enough?
  • Fascination: How captivating are your illustrations? Do they grab one’s attention?


3. Tell a great story

However, what distinguishes excellent Slideshare presentations from mediocre ones is the author’s ability to tell a good story. Insightful data with great, dazzling visuals will help a lot but they are of no use if there is no story. What is the main point of your presentation? How does each slide contribute towards your big point? I’ll leave you with this simple and yet captivating deck that tells one simple story (and has attracted 1.7 million views). Enjoy!

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