Sharing presentations is fun — really

For many people, PowerPoint (or Keynote) presentations are like root canals — you know they’re necessary, but they’re painful and they make you uncomfortable. And they’re a little like dental surgery in another way as well: they put a lot of people to sleep. That said, however, they are a fact of life, and SlideShare, which just got $3-million in funding, is one of the companies that has been doing its best to try and make them more interesting by letting people share them (it’s not aimed at helping you *create* them — that’s what companies like Zoho.com, SlideRocket.com and Empressr.com are trying to do). But can you really develop a community around something like that?

I think the answer could be yes. From my own point of view, I’ve put together a few PowerPoints for presentations to companies about social media and blogs and so on, and in doing so I spent a bunch of time looking around for examples. And I came across some good ones — like Dick Hardt’s presentation about Identity 2.0, which I highly recommend as an example of how to do it right, and which has become almost legendary in some circles. After all, giving a presentation is a kind of performance, and there are those who do it well. Some PowerPoint shorthand has even emerged, like the “Meet Henry.”

I’ve shared my “decks” or slides with others to get their feedback, and they’ve shared theirs with me. In some cases we’ve traded some really good slides if we’re giving similar presentations. And I’ve browsed through the “most popular” at SlideShare more than once, or the related items after searching for a term, and found some pretty good ones. You could argue that having something like SlideShare helps to improve the average calibre of PowerPoints — and that has to be a good thing, especially if you have to sit through them regularly 🙂

11 thoughts on “Sharing presentations is fun — really

  1. I love slideshare. Actually I think from a global creative collaboration perspective it's probably my favorite site to get insights from those that work in my industry.

    • I know others would probably agree Leigh — and in fact, your interest
      in SlideShare was one of the things that got me interested in it and
      made me want to write about it.

    • I definitely use slideshare as a learning resource, especially for marketing and dev related material

  2. I need to have my Manager go to this website. She is absolutely clueless when it comes to PowerPoint presentations. She wants the presentation to be the same as the hand out. It's dull. It's boring. And it's uninformative. I don't want people reading their handout or staring at the screen – I want them focused in on me.

  3. Matthew, Thanks for writing about us.

    Leigh, a bigger thanks for carrying the word. The community is what makes SlideShare – the people who hang out, share ideas, learn from each other.

    Rashmi
    Cofounder, SlideShare

  4. I'd rather put hot pokers in my eyes than watch a power point presentation, much less invest in a start-up that aggregates the nonsense.

  5. Another similar site is authorSTREAM.com, they do not do open office presentations but only Microsoft Office. THey support animations, narrations and also convert PowerPoint to video format which makes it possible to download on iPOD or upload to YouTube.
    authorSTREAM is better for MS PowerPoint file sharing. For open office Slideshare is better. They definitely have more content and head start on others.

  6. Another similar site is authorSTREAM.com, they do not do open office presentations but only Microsoft Office. THey support animations, narrations and also convert PowerPoint to video format which makes it possible to download on iPOD or upload to YouTube.
    authorSTREAM is better for MS PowerPoint file sharing. For open office Slideshare is better. They definitely have more content and head start on others.

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