I’m a fan of Slideshare. I upload all of my presentations there. Well, at least those that I feel are of value to the masses.

When asked for a copy of my presentation after a speaking engagement, I always provide the URL to my personal slideshare space or e-mail a direct link to that particular slide.

But, I’ve learned that Slideshare provides so much more opportunity and value and we should all view it as a social network that allows us to connect with others, much like our other favorites.

Here are a few ways you can connect and build community through Slideshare.

  1. Check to see who has “favorited” and/or “embedded” your slides. This is the ultimate lead. Once you do this you will have a list of people who are genuinely interested in your content.If someone has embedded your slide, click through to the actual post and comment. Thank them for sharing your content.
  2. Visit their profile and view their slides. You may find something you like since you clearly have similar interests. Learning more about their content is a perfect way to decide if you want to connect.
  3. Send a personal message asking to connect. You now have enough info to compliment their work, ask to use their presentation or maybe even get them to guest blog for you.
  4. Search keywords for your topics of interest. Once you do this, repeat steps 2 and 3.
  5. Share your slides on LinkedIn and Facebook. This is very easy to do, and it exposes your Facebook and LinkedIn contacts to your presentations. A win-win.
  6. Post thoughtful comments and offer feedback on presentations. Not everyone will appreciate this, but some will. It’s worth a shot.
  7. Share presentations with others and be sure to let the creator of the slide know about it.
  8. Embed slides (yours and others) in blogposts and on your website. This will bring your current audience to Slideshare and you could be providing new opportunities for your readers as well.
  9. Consider sharing more than just slides. I recently shared the media kit for my book on Slideshare. It accommodates many types of files, so think outside the box and get creative.

The point of this post is to encourage you to do more with this great tool. I was able to connect with @MeriWalker on Twitter after noticing her interest in one of my presentations, and it’s largely because I live and breathe “community.”

You don’t have to live and breathe it, but be mindful of new opportunities and try to look at every tool as more than what it seems. It usually is.
What other platforms are you using to build community?

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