Mining SlideShare Zeitgeist For ...


I continue to be surprised that more companies don’t include SlideShare as part of their “owned media” strategy.

It’s an ideal storytelling medium, can cultivate the company’s personality, and establishes a digital touch point with viral potential.

SlideShare recently aggregated analytics from its platform to formulate what it calls the Zeitgeist deck.


While not exactly groundbreaking, there are a couple points worth exploring.

If your story is compelling, the length of the story doesn’t come into play.

The SlideShare data even suggests that some “length” correlates to compelling (popularity).

I say that because the more popular SlideShare decks average 63 slides compared to an average of only 19 slides across the rank and file presentations.

Affirming this point, my own sleuthing shows that the five most popular presentations on SlideShare last year all exceeded the 63 number:

  • Social Media for Business (82 slides)
  • Steal This Presentation (74 slides)
  • What the f**k is social media now (104 slides)
  • Rethinking the mobile Web by Yiibu (140 slides)
  • PSFK presents Future of Retail report (84 slides)

Here’s the key –

SlideShare is a visual storytelling medium.

The Zeitgeist research indicated the more popular SlideShare decks average only 24 words per slide, and even that sounds a smidgen high.

Of course, all of this is moot if you don’t cultivate the right components – anecdotes, conflict, drama, fun with language, etc. – to create a story that will interest others.

Keep in mind the storytelling bar in business is different than reading a novel or watching a movie. No one expects you to be J.D. Salinger or Steven Spielberg.

If you can simply amuse or bring a smile to the viewer’s face, you’ve succeeded.


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