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Book Review: Present Yourself - Using SlideShare To Grow Your Business

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Books 40

benrothke writes "SlideShareis a free web 2.0 based slide hosting service where users can upload presentation-based files. Launched in October 2006, it's considered to be similar to YouTube, but for slideshows. It was originally meant to be used for businesses to share slides among employees more easily, but it has since expanded to also become a host of a large number of slides which are uploaded merely to entertain. SlideShare gets an estimated 58 million unique visitors a month and has about 16 million registered users. With such a strong user base, authors Kit Seeborg and Andrea Meyer write in Present Yourself: Using SlideShare to Grow Your Business how SlideShare users can use the site (including other similar collaborative sites such as Prezi and Scribd) to present their story to a worldwide audience. Given that visual presentations are the new language of business, understanding how to maximize their potential can be a valuable asset for the entrepreneur, job seeker and everyone in between." Read below for the rest of Ben's review.The truth is a book on SlideShare alone would need no more than 15 pages (20 pages if you include the Pro edition). How difficult is it to upload a PowerPoint? As an aside, there is a huge market for publishing freely available content. Check out Emereo Publisherson Amazon. They have mastered the art of taking free Wikipedia content and charging for it. Enough digression – in this valuable book – the authors show not only how to use the product, but how to maximize its use.

Throughout the book, the authors quote liberally from science and research on the power of visualization. With that lies the inherent power of SlideShare, as humans like images and think more efficiently when they use them. The authors quote a study which shows that when carrying out routine office tasks, if the data is displayed more visually (such as through visual maps), individuals are 17% more productive and need to use 20% fewer mental resources. As to the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words; the authors show that it has a basis in biological fact.

The book is worth it just for the sage advice in the quote at the beginning of chapter 3 where Nancy Duarte, author of slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations states about presentations, that "they didn't come to your presentation to see you. They came to find out what you can do for them. Success means giving them a reason for taking their time, providing content that resonates, and ensures it's clear what they are to do". Using Duarte's call to arms with the guidance in the book can hopefully start a meaningful change in how data is presented.

As to the presentation itself, the book notes that the presenter of today has a huge challenge in keeping the audience engaged. Anyone who has presently recently knows that many, often a majority of the audience will be distracted by their smartphones, Twitter, Facebook, Angry Birds and more. With that, presenters must put in extra effort to compete for the mindshare of a distracted audience. The book shows you how to overcome such obstacles and suggests that one way to win more audience attention is to include engaging visual slides with your presentation and show them intermittently instead of in parallel with your talk.

Throughout the book, it is clear that the authors are passionate about the topic and it lists many resources and uses to make presentation much more effective. The book has numerous real-world examples of such users. One is Adam Tratt of Haiku Deck; a free presentation app for the iPad that makes presentations simple, beautiful, and fun.

Another example is that of Jeremiah Owyang of the Altimeter Group, a research and advisory firm whose reports consistently rank in the top 100 most viewed documents on SlideShare. The amazing thing about their research, which competing firms charge thousands of dollars for, is that it is all free on SlideShare. The example also shows how they use SlideShare Pro for the secure creation of the reports. They view this model of open research as a core asset that has served the firm well, establishing its credibility and reputation as a trusted resource

While the book has business in its title, it still has significant relevance for end-users, specifically in chapter 7. There it details how you can use SlideShare to further your career and find a job. This is crucial regardless of your profession and industry, in that while the traditional resume is still alive and well, the ability to place your experience on-line opens up new horizons. A full professional presence requires both a paper resume and an online presence.

The chapter notes that a comprehensive online presence, especially with a compete profile on LinkedIn, is forty times more likely to receive job opportunities. The authors note that even if a person is not a presenter, there are things they can do on SlideShare to highlight themselves; including a presentation that serves as a visual resume of their career, a portfolio presentation that displays their creative work and more. Even for those who are not speakers, the authors recommend that the serious job searcher consider public speaking as part of their career strategy,

For those that want to take a look, the first chapter of the book is available here. Not surprisingly, it is on SlideShare.

For those that want to learn everything about SlideShare, from the mundane of adding a SlideShare widget to your website, sharing your presentation across social platforms, sharing your content, collaboration, finding a more rewarding job and much more, Present Yourself: Using SlideShare to Grow Your Business is a great resource.

Reviewed by Ben Rothke

You can purchase Present Yourself - Using SlideShare to Grow Your Business from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews (sci-fi included) -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Blocked, like everything else (3, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#44415095)

Websense kills it with the "Personal Storage and Backup" category, meaning that the unemployed, the hipster, and the non-Fortune1000 company employees can access it. Good business model.

Re:Blocked, like everything else (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44415221)

Blame your IT department. Websense has a very wide array of categories they filter based on and it's up to your IT guys to select the appropriate filter categories. Maybe your IT guys felt that storing information outside of the company's servers was a risk they were not willing to entertain.

Re:Blocked, like everything else (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#44415329)

Just being curious here: does Websense still block sites like the ACLU under all categories? They used to, about a decade ago.

Re:Blocked, like everything else (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44415423)

No, just sites for you f-ing ultra liberal jerk off wankers on Slash Idiot. F-off with the politics on every damn thing.

Re:Blocked, like everything else (1)

Steve_Ussler (2941703) | about a year ago | (#44415497)

Websense? Do you mean a different company? They do web filtering.

slashdot the advertisement company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44415103)

sigh

Re:slashdot the advertisement company (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44415181)

Yep, it falls into the category of "X but on the internet" in this case: Powerpoint. Which was already on the internet. Provided by the single biggest website. For free.

Thankfully here is slashdot to hawk a book that hawks a no-name service to provide what we don't need, and really don't want.

Re:slashdot the advertisement company (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44415229)

There's a reason "news for nerds stuff that matters" is no longer the slogan. Dice.com is just hawking front page stories to the highest bidder in an attempt to make any of their money back.

Re:slashdot the advertisement company (1)

Steve_Ussler (2941703) | about a year ago | (#44415613)

Did you read the review? The book is about being a better public speaker, better collaborationwhat’s wrong with that? Due to the review I went to the Altimeter Group web site, which he referenced in the review. I found 2 reports that are free. Same report from Gartner would be $2,500 each. They use Slideshareso it has to be good.

Re:slashdot the advertisement company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44416129)

...might want to work on that rammingwordstogether thing there, slugger... people might listen more.

Re:slashdot the advertisement company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44416847)

Why do you think its an advertisement?

Re:slashdot the advertisement company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44416289)

Go fuck yourself. Slideshare won't help you be a better public speaker, that is thinly veiled at best. A ton of other more popular technologies accomplish the same goal. Choke on some web 2.0 slashvertisement cock.

Re:slashdot the advertisement company (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44416435)

Look, it only needs to work on 1% of the slashdot userbase for it to be an effective advertisement. Seeing as steve here appears to be a regular user, he is, in fact, the sucker.

Re:slashdot the advertisement company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44416925)

No one is truly saying Slideshare alone is gonna help u b a better public speaker.
But speaker training and using the underlying power of SlideshareWILL!

DESLIDE, BEEOTCHES (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year ago | (#44417327)

slideshows (and videos) are useless timewasters, slowly dribbleing out vastly diluted information shackled to the clock.
if your stuff is worth a shit, I'll jack that right into my cerebral cortex

http://deslide.clusterfake.net/ [clusterfake.net]

Re:slashdot the advertisement company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44419123)

The book is worth it just for the sage advice in the quote at the beginning of chapter 3 where Nancy Duarte, author of slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations states about presentations, that "they didn't come to your presentation to see you. They came to find out what you can do for them."

Hey... you know, I never even thought about that. That's totally worth spending $29.95 for that once in a lifetime, insider's advice that heretofore was the tightly guarded secret of only top pros in the field.

Thanks Nancy Duarte! That was totally worth it!

Thanks Ben Rothke! That was totally worth it!

Thanks Dice Holdings! That was totally worth it!

Thanks Samzen... OK, sorry pal.

Ugh... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44415115)

"SlideShareis a free web 2.0

Stopped reading there. Looks like a Slashvertisement for something worthless.

ACs thread to the rescue (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44415581)

Let's rescue this from the jaws of advertisers. I propose a multi-part critique of the first five "words" OP selected. I'll lead off:
- "SlideShareis" seems like a strange name for a product
- "free web" seems redundant
- "web 2.0"...brb...back...had to vomit. Someone else take over!

Re:ACs thread to the rescue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44415719)

Let's rescue this from the jaws of advertisers. I propose a multi-part critique of the first five "words" OP selected. I'll lead off:

  - "SlideShareis" seems like a strange name for a product

  - "free web" seems redundant

  - "web 2.0"...brb...back...had to vomit. Someone else take over!

The response to all of these is the same: "So I take it you're not a successful businessman, eh? Haha, just kidding... (he's not really kidding...) ...so what's this inter...net...thing?"

Er...make a PowerPoint and upload it? (4, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a year ago | (#44415179)

Seems like it would be a short book. Step 1: Make a PowerPoint presentation. Step 2: Fricken' upload it to a site designed to accept PowerPoint presentations.

Why did this make SlashDot (once a home of IT gurus and programmers) again?

Re:Er...make a PowerPoint and upload it? (0)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#44415215)

When samzenpus gets offered a blowjob, everything is news for nerds.

Re:Er...make a PowerPoint and upload it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44415731)

Even when it's from his crackwhore momma!

Re:Er...make a PowerPoint and upload it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44415913)

Seems like it would be a short book. Step 1: Make a PowerPoint presentation. Step 2: Fricken' upload it to a site designed to accept PowerPoint presentations.

But this is a free web 2.0 based slide hosting service! That's gotta be worth way more than the ability to disassemble translate the XML in a frickin' PowerPoint into HTML, doesn't it?

Free: We monetize clicks on it.

Web 2.0: We track who uploads and who reads it, click by click, slide by slide, so instead of just some HTML with a bunch of IMG tags, where you could click on one piece of static HTML that loaded the images, and then just page down or scroll through the entire presentation, we're going to require that Javascript be enabled, use lazy-loading to make sure only two or three images are actually visible at any given time, and track whether people scroll up or down, and how long they read each slide, and so on...

Service: For example, this slideshow on FAIL [slideshare.net] could have been represented with a few paragraphs of text, but it's 93 mouse clicks from start to finish, and a big happy sidebar with facebook, twitter, whatever the fuck inShare is, g+, Pinterest, and Wordpress social icons!

/throws keyboard through monitor and walks away.

Re:Er...make a PowerPoint and upload it? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#44416027)

In Korea, only old people use Web 2.0.

Another one? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44415257)

SlideShareis a free web 2.0 based slide hosting service where users can upload presentation-based files

So it's all web 2.0, but like all of these things you lose control of your data, and you're information is how they're making money.

Sorry, no.

Holy slashvertisement for Slideshare (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44415267)

Are you kidding me Dice? Piss off. This is just distasteful.

I find presentation softwas (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#44415339)

To be the most boring technology ever. It was kind of cool when it first came out, like desktop publishing, but over time it has become old. The thing I dread is for teachers to stand up with multicolored text and read. Keynote was and is still interesting, but only because of the rich animation it allows. It is easy to illustrate how things are related. Prezi is an interesting option for online presentations, in that encourages extremely concise and relation messages.

The way most people use it, all it saves is printing plastic sheets to use on an overhead.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (4, Funny)

Raenex (947668) | about a year ago | (#44415367)

I hope they did the environmentally responsible thing and printed this book on toilet paper.

Been saying that about US currency... (1)

Dareth (47614) | about a year ago | (#44417181)

What size roll do you think is right... um... give me the $1000 roll.

So you know your money is always worth a ....

Resume vs online presence (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44415805)

Amazon hired a RPO (recruiting firm) to find software developers. These people basically troll linkedin for anyone with bingo-card skills within a certain radius of their next event. They don't look at the linkedin profiles of the people they find (because linkedin tells you if your profile has been viewed), and don't know who you are. You have to send them a resume, and then go (at your own expense) to their prequalification event, and only then can you ask Amazon for a job. So why bother having an online presence? I've had a web site for a number of years, and people ignore it. They want resumes.

So, basically, it's powerpoint + youtube? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#44416395)

I don't want to live on this planet any more.

Re:So, basically, it's powerpoint + youtube? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44416957)

And Twitter! :)

Since no one else has brought this up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44416643)

> free

From their ToS for the API:

> YOU SHALL NOT:
> [...]
> sell, lease, share, transfer, or sublicense the SlideShare APIs or access or access codes thereto or derive income from the use or provision of the SlideShare APIs, whether for direct commercial or monetary gain or otherwise, without SlideShare's prior, express, written permission; or

It's gratis proprietary software.

Re:Since no one else has brought this up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44416801)

Duh? They never claimed to be a freetard company.

Re:Since no one else has brought this up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44417101)

Do you know of any other API that is different?

We live in a proprietary world. Get over it.

The only other option is communism.

slashdot book reviews (1)

Beorytis (1014777) | about a year ago | (#44417103)

The average rating of the last 5 book reviews is 8.4 out of 10. I think we need to see a review of something bad for a change.

Re:slashdot book reviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44417187)

I think most reviewers don't want to:
1. waste there time on bad books
2. write a view of a bad book that may end up ultimately promoting it.

Re:slashdot book reviews (1)

benrothke (2577567) | about a year ago | (#44418989)

As a matter of fact, I have a number of books that are would be a 2.0 out of 10. Just don't want to waste my time reviewing them.

Re:slashdot book reviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44419341)

I think Ben Rothke would give 8 out of 10 to "It was a dark and stormy night" by Snoopy.

Re:slashdot book reviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44423227)

I love snoopy! its a classic!!

10 out of 10!!!

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