PowerPoint and Presenting Stuff

Present Yourself: Conversation with Kit Seeborg

Kit Seeborg is a digital media consultant with over 15 years working in the online environment. From 2010 to 2013, Kit curated presentations for the SlideShare home page, wrote and edited its blog and newsletters, and represented SlideShare on its social platforms. SlideShare co-founder Rashmi Sinha refers to Kit as the “voice of SlideShare.” Formerly the web producer for WebTrends, Kit was a member of the editorial team for WorldChanging.com and consults to Forture 100 companies and universities.

In this conversation, Kit discusses her new book, Present Yourself: Using SlideShare to Grow Your Business, which she co-authored with Andrea Meyer.

Geetesh: Tell us about your new book, Present Yourself — and what motivated you and your co-author Andrea Meyer to write this book.


Kit: Many of the millions of the people who create and deliver presentations have been doing so in the same way they have for years. With the introduction of SlideShare six years ago, a whole new platform appeared, and with it the opportunity to use slideshows in new ways. While working at SlideShare, I noticed that creative ideas for using presentations were getting tweeted, blogged and mentioned in interviews, but there was not a central place for people to go and learn about new best practices for using presentations as communications tools, and for being successful on SlideShare.

When all three SlideShare founders gave their full support for gathering these ideas into a book, we were on our way. With Andrea’s years of successful book-writing experience, and my experience on the SlideShare team, we partnered to create a book that conveys the transition to more visual thinking in business, in addition to the first how-to guide for using SlideShare. We learned a lot from the community about how people are leveraging the SlideShare platform in new and creative ways. O’Reilly Media is the perfect publisher for Present Yourself. Their audience spans technology, design, business and innovation. And Tim O’Reilly, himself, is a SlideShare user.

Geetesh: In a world where content is being fed continuously, how can one presentation on SlideShare stand apart from many others?

Kit: When it comes to curation of the SlideShare home page, first impressions matter. Make sure your presentation has a distinguishable design and a title that quickly reflects what your presentation is about. Humor and the element of surprise always win the day!

The four factors that drive findability for a presentation are: content, context, design, and relevancy. These are also the criteria for getting your presentation featured on the SlideShare home page.

Content: Give a new twist to an established topic, or introduce an idea and explore it with your slides. Tell a story, and make it brief but complete. Be thoughtful in your selection of images and aim to make a visual connection with your audience and viewers.

Context: Be sure to explain, either visually or with some text, what connects your presentation to a larger conversation or topic. This is a good place to include what makes you qualified to offer this presentation, and what inspired you to take it on.

Design: Presentations are competing for views, so it’s essential that yours stands out visually. Unless you have an audience as large as that of Mary Meeker or Jeremiah Owyang, your slideshow design had better pop. Keep an eye on SlideShare presentations of the day to stay up-to-date on presentation design trends. For inspiration, you can view the archive of presentations of the day here.

Relevancy: Presentations that reflect current events, significant milestones and large (global impact) announcements will get immediate attention. When uploaded while an event is still getting press coverage, these presentations will rise to the top both on SlideShare and in search engine results.

If your presentation is truly going to stand out, it needs to be findable. Use the same best practices for SEO that you would for any other type of media. Create a meaningful title, using catchy keywords that will get your viewers’ attention. Add tags and include a written description of your presentation while it’s uploading. Share it on your social networks and ask your followers to share it, as well.

Follow Present Yourself on Twitter.

Categories: books, interviews, online_presentations, presentation_skills, powerpoint, slideshare

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