Please raise your hand if you've ever felt personally victimized by PowerPoint.
When you open it up, you're hit with stark black Calibri font on a white background, killing any creative inkling you may have felt. It's daunting enough to creating a 10-slide deck to report your monthly marketing metrics -- never mind putting together a PowerPoint to be seen by the 60 million monthly unique visitors on SlideShare.
... But you know how hot visual content is, and you want to jump on board to reap the sweet sweet engagement, traffic, and leads that follow. So what to do?
Well, there's good news: Creating a SlideShare presentation in PowerPoint doesn't have to be that daunting. With the right template and tools at your disposal, you could easily create an engaging, visual presentation -- all without fancy design programs, huge budgets, or hiring contractors.
To help you make a SlideShare of your own, we've created The Essential PowerPoint Template for Creating Killer SlideShare Presentations. We'll walk you through the most crucial elements of SlideShare Presentations, and give you 10 free slide templates you can use in your next SlideShare presentation. So it'll look great, and be a breeze to put together.
Download the free PowerPoint template, and we'll walk through how to use it right now in this very blog post. When we're done you'll know exactly how to create a sexy SlideShare that gets features on SlideShare's Top Presentations of the Day in now time. Ready? Let's dive in.
10 Steps to Creating a Killer SlideShare
1) Outline main takeaways and crucial sub-bullets.
Before you start diving into any elements of the design, you need to get your story straight. In the bare-bones standard PowerPoint template, start sketching out the general layout of your SlideShare. Just like you would outline a blog post before writing, you want to establish the three or four main takeaways from your presentations, and create a section for each one. Then, you can elaborate on those sections with a few main points -- and create slides for them, too. Also, put slide placeholders for the intro, call-to-action, and conclusion slides (you don't need to elaborate on them just yet).
Keep in mind that these slides should not be complex -- just a title and maybe a few details that you want to remember down the road. No design. No images. Nada. Here's what part of my outline looked like for this SlideShare template:
See, nothing fancy going on here. By keeping design out of the picture, at least for the moment, you can actually focus on the flow of the story.
2) Decide on fonts and a color scheme.
After you've established your storyline, figure out which fonts and color scheme you want to use. Think of this step like you did step #1 -- you're establishing a design outline for the rest of your PowerPoint so that you won't have to figure it out with each additional slide.
For fonts, choose two different ones to use throughout your presentation -- one for your headers and one for your body text. Your header font should be bold and eye-catching, and your body text font should be simple and easy to read. The contrast between the two will make it much easier for your SlideShare viewers to grasp your core messages.
For your color scheme, pick a scheme that will have enough contrast between colors to make certain colors stand out from others. Whether you decide to use two, three, or four different colors in your presentation is up to you -- but certain color combinations go together better than others. Use this KISSmetrics infographic to figure out the right color combination for you.
3) Establish your main headers.
Next, you're ready for the good stuff: fleshing out each section header with text and visual designs. The reason you want to create them all at the same time rather than diving in and out of section headers and section body content is so you can keep a cohesive design between all three -- that way, your viewers will know when one section ends and another begins. The more you can contrast them with the body slides, the better.
4) Fill in the body slides.
Then, fill in the meat of the content -- all the slides between the headers. Make sure you're using a balance of text and different types of visual content. Because you know the saying, a picture can be worth 1,000 words -- so they are especially important when you don't have opportunities to feature a ton of text.
The main thing to remember when building your body slides is to keep switching up your format from slide to slide. Try doing a checklist slide followed by, say, a visually oriented statistic slide:
By switching up your formats, you're keeping your viewers engaged and interested in your SlideShare.
5) Add introduction slides.
After you've created the majority of your SlideShare content, head back to the start. Wonder why we didn't begin here? It'll be much easier to tee up the bulk of your content if you already know what that content is. In this step, just introduce what you just wrote about -- it'll be a breeze.
One thing to keep in mind is that your introduction slides should be designed slightly different from your section headers and body slides. It doesn't have to be drastic -- maybe switch up which color you emphasize or use a certain font size. It's just like how you want your section headers and body slides to be different from each other. You want your introduction slides to be different so that viewers know exactly when they are diving into the meat of your SlideShare.
6) Wrap up the conclusion.
Then, head to the end of your SlideShare and wrap it up in a slide or two. There is nothing more jarring than going from a body slide right to a call-to-action (CTA) slide. You only need a slide or two to conclude your presentation, but it should naturally tee up the CTA that you will have after.
7) Add a call-to-action slide.
At the verrrrrry end of your SlideShare, you want to keep your viewers engaged by providing a call-to-action. The call-to-action could be anything -- download an ebook, attend an event, or even just a visit to your website -- as long as it's aligned with a certain stage of the sales cycle. Here's an example of one we included in the SlideShare template:
8) Edit, edit, edit!
You're almost there! Next, you need to go through and edit your copy and design components. Try to get another coworker -- marketer or not -- to give it a once over. If you need some direction, you can use our ultimate editing checklist to make sure you're catching everything you can.
9) Add final touches for SlideShare.
Though it's easy to create a presentation in PowerPoint and upload it to SlideShare, not all of the same features will appear in both programs. Two things you'll need to specially add are links that can be clicked and "animated slides." We have a blog post with a pretty extensive walkthrough on how to make clickable links -- so definitely check it out.
As far as slide animation goes, SlideShare does not support PowerPoint animation. This means that all of those smooth entrances you planned for your text boxes and objects go out the window once you upload your presentation to SlideShare. But, it's easy to manually introduce one new element on the next slide to make it seem like it's "animated."
10) Export slides to a PDF and upload to SlideShare.
Last, but certainly not least, you want to export your presentation to PDF (if you've added clickable links, you can skip this step). This way, your slides' fonts and design will be preserved when you upload it to SlideShare.
Then, you're ready to upload your PDF to SlideShare and start raking in the leads and customers. And you know what the best part is? Next time, that blank PowerPoint template won't feel quite as daunting. :)
Want to create your own SlideShare? Get your own SlideShare template including some of the slides and tips featured above by clicking here.