How to Easily Create a SlideShare Presentation

How to Easily Create a SlideShare Presentation

You know how hot visual content is, and you want to jump on board to enjoy the engagement, traffic, and leads that follow. But maybe you’re not keen on writing a blog post, and you don’t have the production resources to create videos. What to do? Create a SlideShare presentation.

→ Free Download: 4 PowerPoint Presentation Templates [Access Now]

I know, I know. You may have felt personally victimized by PowerPoint sometime in your career. When you open it up, you’re hit with stark black Calibri font on a white background, killing any creative spark you may have felt. It’s daunting enough to create a 10-slide deck to report your monthly marketing metrics — never mind putting together slides that can be seen by the large volume of SlideShare users.

Well, there’s good news: Creating a SlideShare presentation in PowerPoint doesn’t have to be that daunting. With the right templates and tools at your disposal, you could easily create an engaging, visual presentation — all without fancy design programs, huge budgets, or hiring contractors.

How to Create a Stunning  SlideShare Presentation in PowerPoint

To help you make a SlideShare of your own, we’ve created some free PowerPoint presentation templates for making awesome SlideShares. That way, your presentations will look great and be a breeze to put together.

Download the free PowerPoint templates, scroll down, and we’ll walk through how to use them. When we’re done, you’ll know exactly how to create a sexy presentation that gets featured on SlideShare’s homepage. Ready? Let’s dive in.

1. Get a feel for the types of presentations you can find on SlideShare. 

Just as you’d master any other medium, it helps to consume other content in that medium to get an idea of the format and what works. Go to SlideShare.net and discover SlideShares that interest you. You can view them on the platform or download them to your computer and peruse them on your local machine. 

SlideShare Presentation Download

Here’s how to download a PowerPoint from SlideShare:

  1. Sign up for a SlideShare account.
  2. Navigate to the SlideShare presentation that you want to download.
  3. Click the button labeled “Download.”
  4. When asked if you want to clip the slide, click “Continue to download.”
  5. Click “Save File” and then confirm by clicking “OK.”

Some may not download as a .ppt file, and some may not be available to download at all. However, this method works in all other cases.

2. Decide on fonts and a color scheme. 

Before you get too caught up in the specifics of your storyline, figure out which fonts and color scheme you want to use. (If you’re using our free templates, you can skip this part.) 

When you’re choosing fonts, consider 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 colors stand out. 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.

Below is an example of what certain fonts and color combinations can look like. Notice how the header fonts stand out much more than the body? You can also see what different color palettes might look like: The top is monochromatic, the middle is complementary, and the bottom is analogous. 

3 combinations of header and body fonts.

3. Outline main takeaways and crucial sub-bullets.

Next up: Creating an outline for your SlideShare’s narrative. I like to treat SlideShare outlines just like I would blog posts — you decide on the working title and main takeaways first. Then, you elaborate on those sections with a few supporting points.

For each of those components (title, section headers, and a few supporting points), create a slide. Below is an example of what those slides might look like: 

Title

title slide using hubspot powerpoint template

Headers

header slide using hubspot powerpoint template

Supporting Points

supporting point slide using hubspot powerpoint template

You’ll also want to create slide placeholders for the 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 paragraphs. No supporting images. Nothing that’s not built into your template already. 

4. Fill out the body of your presentation.

Then, fill in the meat of the content — all the slides between the headers. Just make sure you’re not relying too much on text. SlideShare is a primarily visual platform — people are used to breezing through presentations. So if your presentation reads like an ebook, you should edit down the text and rely more heavily on visual content. 

Another thing to remember is to switch up your format from slide to slide. Try doing a checklist slide followed by, say, a quote slide — it keeps people on their toes as they flip through your presentation.

checklist slide in hubspot powerpoint template

quote slide in hubspot powerpoint template

5. Add introduction slides. 

After you’ve created the majority of your SlideShare presentation, 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 about. In this step, just introduce what you just wrote about — it’ll be a breeze. 

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 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 next. 

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 CTA could be about downloading an ebook, attending an event, or even just visiting your website — pretty much any CTA you’d like to include. Here are two CTA slide examples that we included in the SlideShare template:

cta slide in hubspot powerpoint template

cta slide in hubspot powerpoint 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 “animated slides” and clickable links.

Though it’s easy to create a presentation in PowerPoint and upload it immediately to SlideShare, not all of the same features will appear in both programs. As a result, there are two things you’ll need to add in: “animated slides” and clickable links. 

As far as slide animation goes, SlideShare does not support PowerPoint animations. 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 new elements on a series of slides to make it seem like it’s “animated.”

Once you’ve built in your animations, you’ll also need to make sure people can actually click on the CTAs in your presentation. 

10. Upload your PDF to SlideShare.

After you’re finished with your clickable links, your presentation will be in a PDF format. At this point, you’re ready for the final step: uploading your PDF to SlideShare. When you do this, you have the option to add a description and tags, and even schedule the SlideShare to go live at a certain time. Once your SlideShare is live, you should spend some time promoting it on your blog and social media accounts, and to your email lists. (For more SlideShare promotion tips, check out this blog post.)

Just follow this process when you need to create a SlideShare presentation, and you won’t have to fear that blank PowerPoint template ever again. 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

powerpoint slides


How to Create a Stunning Presentation Cover Page [+ Examples]

How to Create a Stunning Presentation Cover Page [+ Examples]

When you’re focused on creating a meaningful, persuasive presentation, it’s easy to overlook the cover page. But giving that first page of your deck a little more love can actually go a long way towards grabbing your audience’s attention early on and setting the tone for the rest of your presentation.

A stunning presentation cover page can intrigue your audience into wanting to know more and increase engagement with the information you’re presenting. On the other hand, a lackluster slide, or even the lack of one, can dampen audience enthusiasm for your presentation, and maybe even your own.

You’ve put so much work into your presentation — why waste that valuable real estate on the first slide of your deck?

In this post, we’ll cover the basics of creating a presentation cover page that’s informative and attention-grabbing. Let’s dive in.

→ Free Download: 4 PowerPoint Presentation Templates [Access Now]

What’s included in a presentation cover page?

A good presentation cover page accomplishes three simple things:

  • It introduces the topic with a straightforward title.
  • It introduces you (and your organization, if applicable)
  • It sets the tone of your presentation.

Title

We probably don’t need to tell you this one, but your presentation cover page should be centered around a title. And ideally, a title that’s straightforward, descriptive, and simple. If you’re finding it hard to keep your title short, add a subtitle (in smaller print) to clarify what you’ll be speaking about.

Speaker

Next, identify the person (or group) who will be giving the presentation. In some cases, this will be as simple as including your own name, and in others, you’ll want to include your company name, logo, department, or other identifying information. As a general guideline, you’ll need less identifying information if you’re giving an internal presentation.

If your audience is mainly folks outside of your company (or there are plans to distribute your deck externally) you’ll typically want to include more information to identify your company clearly.

Tone

A successful cover page sets the “tone” of your deck — but what does that really mean? The colors, imagery, fonts, and placements of different elements on your cover page all create a specific visual style that the rest of your deck should follow.

A well-designed page conveys a sense of professionalism and preparedness that a simple monochrome text slide simply cannot. Even if you’re not a design expert, you need to pay attention to the aesthetics of your cover page. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to find free, professional-looking presentation templates without needing a degree in graphic design. Whatever you choose, it’s important to remain relevant to your presentation (and, if applicable, your company’s branding).

We’ll explore a few examples of cover pages below so you can see how different elements converge to set the tone for a variety of different presentations.

Presentation Cover Page Examples

Below, we’ve compiled a number of presentation cover pages that succeed in different areas. Remember: there’s no single perfect format for a presentation cover page, but hopefully, you get some inspiration from this list.

Setting An Emotional Tone

The right presentation page can set an emotional tone as well as a visual one. This presentation cover page for a nonprofit conveys a mission-driven approach to protecting nature, with a well-selected, relevant image, and a call-to-action directly in the subtitle. (Photo by Andy Køgl on Unsplash)

Focusing on a Photo

You don’t need to overcomplicate the format of your cover page, especially if you have a great photo to use as a full background image. A simple stock photo here provides a clean backdrop for this presentation on remote work. Just make sure your title text is legible over any background photo you decide to use. (Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash)

Leading With Your Brand

Even if you’re the central speaker for a presentation, it might make more sense to highlight your team or brand on your cover page, instead of including your own personal information (you can always include your own contact info at the end of your deck for follow-up questions). Context (if you’re speaking at a particular event or annual meeting) can be important to highlight as well on your cover page.

Go Minimal

There’s a big difference between a cover slide you didn’t put much thought into and a slide that makes good use of whitespace and leans on strong copy. Sometimes, the best way to lead an audience into your presentation is to create space for a little mystery.

If you’re giving a more casual presentation or a pitch that doesn’t need to follow a particular format, consider going the minimal route and opening with a simple cover page slide that asks your audience a question (one that you of course plan to answer).

Set a Purpose

Many presentations include an agenda slide directly after your cover slide, but that doesn’t mean you can use your cover slide to set a clear purpose upfront. Consider using your subtitle to explain a more robust (but still simple!) description of what you’ll cover.

Presentation Cover Page Templates

Instead of creating your presentation cover page from scratch, using a template can take much of the work out of the process. Check out these websites for templates that you can use for your presentation or for inspiration to create your own designs.

Canva

A tried-and-true favorite of many marketing teams, Canva offers up a wide selection of modern, drag-and-drop presentation templates with truly unique cover pages. If you’re on the hunt for a cover page that looks like you hired a graphic designer to create it just for you, Canva is a good place to start your search. Canva offers both free and paid options.

Beautiful.ai

Beautiful.ai has an intuitive, highly-customizable presentation builder that allows you to import your own visual elements directly from your computer or a Dropbox folder. Like Canva, they offer a number of free and paid template options (with great cover pages). Their biggest differentiating feature is their (frankly, very cool) adaptive AI technology, which intuits how you’re trying to design a slide and makes changes automatically to suit the direction of your project.

EDIT

For a completely free option with cover page starter template to suit a wide range of different projects across different formats, check out EDIT. Their online tool is specifically designed to create cover pages in a simple, easy-to-use interface.

Visme

Another highly-customizable template source is Visme, which gives users the ability to select a starting template from their (expansive) library and customize elements in a simple web editor.

VectorStock®

VectorStock® has a massive selection of PowerPoint presentation cover page templates for purchase if you’re looking for something that’s ready to plug and go without the need for customization (beyond adding your own name and title, of course).

First Impressions Matter

For better or worse, audiences will judge a presentation by its cover page. Because of this, it’s vital that you give your cover page the care and attention that it deserves. Ultimately, a cover page isn’t simply a placeholder, it’s a vital component that can drum up interest for your presentation. The best part is that with the tools available online, you don’t have to be an artist to create a stunning presentation cover page.

The featured image on this post was created using a Canva template.

powerpoint slides

How to Create a Killer 5-Minute Presentation

How to Create a Killer 5-Minute Presentation

Developing and delivering a five-minute presentation seems an easy enough task at first — until you realize the condensed format actually requires significantly more efficiency, focus, and attention to detail than longer presentation types.

When there’s less time to get your point across, every second counts more.

While short presentations can be unexpectedly challenging to create, when done correctly they can be more impactful than longer presentations.

Five minutes is just enough time for you to present a compelling narrative about one topic, without any filler or fluff. The time limit forces you to pack as much valuable information as possible into your presentation while maintaining a coherent structure.

The shorter format also encourages audiences to pay more attention.

But how can you ensure your short presentation accomplishes everything it needs to within just five short minutes? We’ve put together an (appropriately condensed) guide on five-minute presentations to help you get started.

→ Free Download: 4 PowerPoint Presentation Templates [Access Now]

How Many Words Are in a 5-Minute Presentation?

A person speaks on average 120 to 160 words a minute, which means the average five-minute presentation will be anywhere from 600 to 800 words. That means every word should be carefully chosen to support the central idea of your presentation.

When constructing a longer presentation, you might be more concerned about transitions and keeping the audience engaged with more extensive narrative elements.

In a short presentation, everything you say should directly tie back to your central premise and further advance your main point. By keeping a tight scope and using your words carefully, you’ll ensure your time isn’t wasted and the audience leaves with a clear, singular takeaway.

How many slides are in a 5-minute presentation?

Generally speaking, you’ll want to stick to just five or six slides for a five-minute presentation, but there’s no set limit on how many yours will require. You may choose to have twenty slides and to spend about 10 or 15 seconds on each depending on your subject matter.

More important than your slide count is what each slide contains. While it’s a good rule to keep your slides simple and focused on visuals (instead of text) for a presentation of any length, this becomes especially important when you’re dealing with a condensed presentation window.

It can be tempting with a small time window to try to cram in as much information as possible — resist the urge. Instead, focus on simple, clean visuals that (once again) all tie back to your central premise.

If you’re concerned that scaling back the scope of your presentation will leave things out, add a slide at the end of the deck with additional resources and information that your audience can access after the presentation is over.

5-Minute Presentation Example Format

If you’re looking for a starting point for your own five-minute presentation, we’ve created a basic outline below you can use to organize your initial thoughts in the planning stage.

You can choose to devote one slide to each section or multiple slides if you want to break them down further.

Feel free to make departures from the structure depending on the content or format of your presentation. Just remember not to give your audience too much to chew on — the key here is — you guessed it — tying every slide back to one central idea.

An Extremely Short Introduction

Your first slide should serve as an introduction to the topic of your presentation. Try to limit your title to around six words or even less. If your title is too long, it can become unwieldy and your presentation may confuse your audience by covering too much.

Remember: your audience (hopefully!) already has an idea of what you’re presenting on, so you don’t need to spend too much precious time or slide real-estate explaining what you’re going to cover — just jump right in.

A Problem Slide

Most presentations can be boiled down to a problem you’ve identified, solved, or are in the process of solving. Lead with that familiar narrative. It will give your presentation a clear starting point and prime your audience for the rest of your slides.

A Solution/Analysis Slide(s)

Now that your problem has been introduced, tell your audience what they need to know about what you’re doing about it. In shorter presentation formats, you’ll want to focus less on the details and more on the big-picture items. Ask yourself: what does your audience need to know when they leave the room? Anything that falls into the “nice to know” category can be cut and delivered to stakeholders after the meeting in a follow-up email.

A Conclusion Slide

The conclusion side allows you to bring a coherent end to your presentation and summarize the important takeaway points for your audience. Don’t skimp on your conclusion just because it’s a short presentation — it’s the last thing your audience will hear from you. A good conclusion will reinforce the other information you presented and ultimately makes your presentation as a whole more memorable.

5-Minute Presentation Examples

While we (unfortunately) weren’t in the room when these presentations were originally given — and therefore can’t confirm with 100% certainty that they ran for only five minutes — these decks all clock in at under 15 slides and use a simple format to convey a problem and solution.

1. AirBnB Pitch Deck

2. Buffer Pitch Deck

3. Mixpanel Pitch Deck

How Do I Create a Killer 5-Minute Presentation?

Here are some best practices to follow when crafting a short presentation.

1. Focus on the most important part.

The greatest challenge you’ll have when designing your presentation is choosing what to focus on — but from the format we discussed above, you can see how important it is to have a single premise to design your presentation around.

It’s easy to become overambitious in your presentation or to be overwhelmed by the information you want to present. Choosing a single idea to focus on gives you clarity when designing your speech and allows you to cut extraneous information. It also provides a narrative structure that your audience can more easily grasp.

2. Research, fact-check, and do it twice.

Your presentation is your chance to shine — but the shorter format also means that each point you make is going to be more visible, memorable, and consequentially more vulnerable to scrutiny.

Take the time to thoroughly research the subject of your presentation and ensure every point you make is both technically accurate and easy to understand. This will put you in a better position to field questions and discuss your subject in-depth. With a strong command of your subject matter, your delivery will also be more confident and convincing.

3. Appeal to how people learn best: stories.

A story can give meaning to your presentation and elevate it to more than just facts, figures, and some flashy slides. Building your presentation around a simple, easy-to-understand narrative (like the problem/solution narrative we showed you in the template avoid) can make your content more digestible. Your presentation will only last for a few minutes, but the story you tell needs to stick around in your audiences’ brains for longer — and stories naturally help humans understand and retain information more easily.

4. Don’t skip that practice session.

Just because your presentation is only five minutes doesn’t mean you should try to wing it. Your audience’s time is valuable, and practicing your presentation before you deliver it to them will help you make the most of it.

From CEOs to interns, everyone can benefit from practicing their presentations in advance, no matter how confident they are.

If you’re able to deliver much (or all) of it by heart, your delivery will be much more natural, allowing you to develop a stronger connection with your audience. And once nerves hit, you’ll have the muscle memory to fall back on and carry you through the rough patches!

5. Relax and don’t rush.

You only have five minutes to present, so it’s only natural to feel pressure to go a little too fast. Stay relaxed throughout your presentation and avoid distractions, such as someone informing you that you only have a minute left.

Staying focused on your presentation itself will improve your delivery and give you more confidence, even if you’re normally terrified of public speaking.

If you find yourself needing to speed through your presentation to squeeze it into a five-minute window, that’s a good sign you’re trying to do too much and need to consider cutting your slides down.

You Know Your Audience Best

When creating your five-minute presentation, think about your audience and craft it to appeal to them.

The information you decide to highlight and the way you frame it will be vastly different depending on who your presentation is meant for.

It’s natural to be nervous going into your presentation, especially if you don’t like public speaking or have a fear of it, but with enough consideration and practice, you’ll be a master of whatever subject you hope to present.

powerpoint slides