Your conference slides don’t get a lot of love, do they? You tend to use them to present at conferences, then throw ‘em in a virtual desk drawer and forget about them.
Yet slides are visual aids that help us tell important stories about our research. And they can be useful to those who weren’t able to see your talk in person. So, why not share them?
In today’s challenge, we’re going to get your slide decks onto Slideshare so the world can see them.
Complete the Slideshare basics
Slideshare is a popular, free slide hosting service that many academics use to share their conference and classroom lecture slides.
First things first: visit Slideshare.net and click “signup” in the upper right corner. Next, you can choose to sign up with an email address or with your Facebook or LinkedIn profile.
Choose a handle for your profile that matches your name or your blog’s handle, so it will be easy for others to recognize you across platform.
Next, create a professional profile. If you’ve created your Slideshare account using LinkedIn, some of your personal information from LinkedIn will already be imported. If not, here’s how to edit your profile:
Hover over the person icon in the upper right corner, select “Account Settings” from the drop-down menu.
Select “Profile Details” from the left-hand navigation bar. Click “Personal Details.”
On the “Personal Details” page, add a photo (the same one you used for your LinkedIn account is perfect), your name, and information about where you work and what drives your research. Link to your website and click “Save”.
On the “Contact Details” page, add links to your Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook profiles. Click “Save”.
Now, whenever anyone finds your slide decks on Slideshare, they’ll be able to easily learn more about you and your research, and find you on other sites.
What to upload
You can upload your Powerpoint, PDF, Keynote, and OpenDocument slides. Powerpoint and PDF work the best, however; we’ve occasionally had problems uploading Keynote slides.
If you encounter errors uploading your Keynote or OpenDocument slides, a good workaround is to save your slides in PDF format and then upload them.
If you’re like me, you often use the Notes portion of your Powerpoint slidedeck to leave reminders to yourself to “cite So-and-so’s 2003 paper here” or to “break down definitions here for beginners.” Beware: these notes can be read by others who download your slides! Double-check your slides and their notes carefully before you upload a presentation to Slideshare.
Make uploading a snap
Next, we’re going to make it super simple for you to share your slides moving forward. To do that, we’ll need to connect your Slideshare account to the cloud storage platforms that your slides tend to live, and set a default license for all the slides you share.
Connect to the cloud
If you’re like me, you tend to create your slide decks on your desktop and then add them to Dropbox or Google Drive when they’re ready to present. (That way, you don’t have to fiddle with thumb drives when presenting.) Slideshare connects to these cloud storage services, making it very easy to import your slide decks when they’re ready to share.
To connect your accounts, click the “Upload” button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. On the next screen, click the “Upload files from Dropbox…” tile in the lower-left corner of the screen.
In the dialog box that appears, choose the cloud service or email provider you want to connect to. Connect your account, then connect any other accounts you might use in the future to store your files. When you’re finished, exit from the dialog box and–that’s it! Your accounts are connected from here on out, so it will be very easy to transfer files to Slideshare in the future.
Set a default license
An intellectual property license applied to your slides gives others a clear idea of what they can and cannot reuse the slides for.
Slideshare allows you to either keep “All Rights Reserved” for your files or select a Creative Commons license. We recommend that you use a Creative Commons license if you’re sharing research slides. Doing so will allow others to blog about your work, cite you on Wikipedia, and reuse and share your work in other ways that can increase your impacts.
To set a default license for your slides, hover over the person icon in the upper-right corner, choose “Account Settings,” then select the “Content” tab from the left-hand navigation bar.
On the “Default License for your Content” drop-down menu, select the license you’d prefer. We recommend a CC-BY license, as it allows the most reuse and sharing of your content.
Got your default license selected and your cloud storage platforms connected? Now let’s share some slides!
Get your slides online
Choose a slide deck that you’re ready to share with the world. To get it onto Slideshare, click “Upload” in the upper right corner, then find your file on your computer or cloud storage.
As your file begins to upload, you’ll be prompted to describe your file. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Category: Select the category most relevant to your talk. It’s likely the categories aren’t very useful to you; the most granular they get for science research is “Science”. That’s OK–we’ll add better information in the following fields.
Title: Keep it the same as the title of your talk, and feel free to add the conference name and date in parenthesis, so others can see in a glance if this presentation is the one they’re looking for.
Description: Include your talk’s abstract in this field. You’ll also want to preface your abstract with a sentence that explains when and where you gave this talk, and link to the talk’s related publication (if applicable).
Tags: List some keywords that others in your discipline might search for. Tags will help your slides’ SEO, making them more discoverable online.
Once you’ve adequately described your slides, go ahead and finish your upload. You’ll be prompted to share your newly-uploaded slides on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networks. Do it!
Bonus: If you’ve got a video of your talk, you can add that, too! On your upload confirmation screen, click the “Advanced Settings” link.
On the next screen, click the “Edit YouTube video” tab, add your video’s URL, then select where you want the video to appear in the slide deck. We suggest adding it after your title slide.
Share your slides smartly
Now that you know how to get your slides online, let’s talk about all the ways you can get others’ eyeballs on them.
Some strategies for sharing your slides include:
Using the social share buttons after you’ve uploaded your slides to share them on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networks
Autotweeting your slides while you’re giving talks at conferences
Blog about your talk after the fact, and embed your slides in your blogpost
Connect Slideshare to LinkedIn and Impactstory, so your slides will be automatically imported and embedded in places where others might encounter your work (more on Impactstory in a later challenge)
Dig into your slides’ impact statistics
Now that you’ve got slides online and are sharing them, you can track how often they’ve been viewed and, in some cases, how often others are reusing them.
On your slide deck’s page, scroll down to find the “Statistics” tab under the description section, then click on it. Here you’ll find all the metrics related to others interest in your slides.
Some metrics you might accumulate include:
Views on both Slideshare and other websites
Embeds, which can tell you how many times and where others have shared your slides
Downloads, which can tell you if others have liked your slides enough to save them to their computer
Comments, which themselves can tell you what others think about your slides
Likes, which as you might guess can tell you if others like your work
You can choose to receive email updates for your slides’ stats–we’ll cover that in a future challenge.
Slideshare’s usability leaves a bit to be desired, and the amount of emails they send can border on spam. To fix the latter, go to “Account Settings” > “Email” and opt-out of any emails you don’t want to receive.
Slideshare also shares a limitation with social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn–it’s a for-profit company that sells your personal data and clutters your browser with ads. And due to its focus on sharing, the platform doesn’t give much thought to a preservation guarantees. So, always make sure your slides are backed up elsewhere.
You’ve got two tasks for your homework: get slides from your most prominent talk online, and start thinking about how you’ll share your slides for maximum visibility after future talks.
Next up: Open Access publishing to increase the impacts of your work!