The Anatomy Of A Great SlideShare Deck


Creating the perfect SlideShare slide is more than a skill, it is an art. Your goal is to make sure every slide is crafted just the right way because the whole of the presentation depends on the strength of its parts.

Breaking down SlideShare slides, you can start to find a winning formula that will help you create the better-performing presentations. Good content gets seen and shared, and the best content resonates enough with the viewer to lead to viral status.

Here are some tips to give you a great SlideShare slide.

Ignore The Standard

Standard templates are boring, and they never look good. If you are planning on going with the normal route in your formatting, your presentation is going to look like a seventh grade geography project. So skip any templates that follow by the standard.

Get creative with the look of your slides. Try different combinations that mess around with the text. Put the pictures and images in strange (but readable) places on the card. Make it interactive or animated. Just don’t do the same-old, same-old.

Further reading: Here are some ideas for you to get SlideShare-inspired

Here’s a great example of a non-standard, yet very creative and memorable SlideShare deck:

creative and memorable SlideShare deck

Know How To Enhance With Text, Not Explain

Presentations are not a place to provide too many text facts. It is a visual and rapid fire medium that is meant to convey information quickly, in a way that people remember. Cluttering up a slide with text is pointless; if you are going to do that, you might as well just make a blog post.

Words in a presentation are meant to enhance the visuals, not the other way around. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to say too much. Show, don’t tell.

Enhance With Text, Not Explain

[ offers a good example of the visual deck that doesn’t use much text but still conveys a lot of useful information]

Engage In Some Clickbait

Clickbait might sound a little shady by basic definition, but it is effective. This is the process of using headlines and descriptions to drag people into your content. Sensationalism is employed to give yourself a good chance of having your link clicked.

There is nothing ethically wrong with this, as long as you deliver on the promise. You might hype up your presentation a bit, but as long as the slides are well made and give what they promise, no one will mind.

Clickable slideshare

[I am using external links in my presentation on epic content, but I am trying to be very open about that: Tell your reader what’s going to happen!]

Further reading: Here are some less-known ways to optimize your SlideShare deck for more exposure

Make It Exciting To Look At

There are four major ways you are going to improve the look of your slides:

  1. Template (as mentioned before)
  2. Font
  3. Colors
  4. Images

When selecting these you want to find the balance between cluttered mess and interesting. Bright colors, especially multiple colors, along with simple images are usually best. It will bring the focus immediately to your slide, but it won’t detract from what you are trying to say.

One of my favorite examples of SlideShare design comes from the service itself. Their presentation shows a number of beautiful ways you can create a stunning slideshow.


Further reading: Here are some tools to create awesome SlideShare decks

Don’t Make It Too Exciting To Look At

If you looked through that SlideShare guide, you probably noticed that they have just as many tips on how not to design a slide. Among the biggest tips, are not to overcrowd, not to make it too busy, and to minimize noise.

All of this is important, because with such a small amount of space it is really easy to overdo it. Try to say and show as much as possible, with as little as possible. The “rule of threes” mentioned in the presentation is great advice.

Know What Catches People’s Attention

Certain topics and references are always going to catch more attention. If you can create a presentation that focuses on a subject that is currently hot on the web, or popular in your industry, you already have a leg up. But it goes beyond just the topic of the presentation itself.

Say you have a slide and you need an attention grabber for an image. Take a page out of Upworthy’s book, for example. They use all sorts of images they know will catch people’s attention, even when it isn’t relevant. And because of the context of the presentation, as well as the tone of the information, it works.


I saw a presentation become rather popular because it added in a photo of Loki from the Avengers with every slide and made the image relate to every fact. You can get creative, and it will pay off.

Act As Though You Are Speaking To A Live Audience

Sometimes it isn’t the look, but the tone of the slides that are important. You don’t want to present the presentation like a blog post, but rather as you would directly speaking to the audience.

Here’s a great example of a deck where you almost hear the presenter speak:

Slideshare deck speaker

Remember, this is a presentation like any other. How would you say things (or show things) if you were standing on a stage with a group of people from your industry hanging on your every word? If you can get that tone down, you will create a product that is better suited for the medium.

Provide Follow-Ups Elsewhere

If you are finding yourself tempted to put in too much text on your slides, you might need a follow up. Create your presentation and then write a blog post for your website, or even a landing page. Embed your slideshow there, and also put a link to the blog post in your final slide for more information.

Or, you could link to a number of different blog posts through the whole presentation where people can get more information on each topic. It will keep your slides from getting cluttered, but still offer a way for people to learn more.

Point Them To Other SlideShare Presentations

Which brings us to our final point: linking to other presentations. You should always have a final, clean slide that offers readers more. Pick out two or three other presentations you think they will like, and include a hyperlink.

It is the perfect way to get people to view your other content.

Do you need to religiously follow all the above rules in order to deliver stunning decks? Nope… You can break all the rules and create something absolutely awesome and go hot. This list is for your inspiration rather for following!

What are your tips for creating beautiful presentations that go hot?

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