I Hate SlideShare

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I hate SlideShare.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the company or the site. In fact, I think the site does a pretty good job of what it does, and I certainly don’t begrudge the company’s right to make an honest, ethical business out of what it does. 

But as a self-professed psuedopsycho presentation snob, I hate that people find value in slide decks. 

So maybe that’s really it: I don’t hate SlideShare itself, I hate the fact that there’s demand for something like SlideShare. 

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I give a lot of presentations at conferences, webinars, and at clients. And I’m usually happy to share my slides with anybody who wants them — after the presentation, that is.

That’s because, as far as I’m concerned, the slide deck itself is useless.

The value of the presentation is what I say and how I say it. The deck is nothing but a prop.

But, as evidenced by the popularity of SlideShare, apparently there are a lot of people who don’t share my philosophy. It kills me when I see SlideShare users fawn over some deck that consists of little more than a bunch of slides showing high-resolution pictures of stuff with a pithy sentence plastered somewhere on the picture strung together.

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There are three components to a great presentation:

1. Quality of the content.

2. Quality of the delivery.

3. Quality of the material.

If I had to weight the three components, I’d say 60/30/10. Great content can compensate for a less-than-great delivery. And great delivery can compensate for butt ugly slides.

SlideShare captures #3. Which means — according to my book — it captures 10% of the value of a presentation. 

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Another reason I hate SlideShare: I posted a presentation I did a while back to SlideShare just to see how many people would download it. Here’s the sobering reality: More people downloaded that deck than will read this blog post. 

So, not only do people place higher emphasis on the least valuable part of the presentation (the deck), it’s become clear to me that one reason for SlideShare’s popularity is that a lot of people are just too damn lazy to read. 

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The irony is that I’m preaching to the choir. By reading this, you’re proving that you’re not one of the lazy-ass heathen ruining the business world with crappy-ass presentations filled with nothing but stupid-ass pictures. 

What’s that? I sound mad? Can’t imagine why.

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I would ask you to tweet the link to this blog post so that others may partake of this presentation wisdom. But the reality is that they won’t read this because it requires too much mental energy. 

If I had half a brain, I’d take this blog post, split it out over 30 slides, paste it on top of a bunch of high-res pictures, and post it on SlideShare. 

UPDATE: Big thanks to @jameswester who created a deck of this post and put it up on SlideShare. Thanks, James!

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