Many people have folders full of PowerPoint presentations, whether they are for business, school, or just a few fun ones that people have sent you as email attachments. Although sending PowerPoint presentations as email attachments is convenient, doing so has some downsides. When you attach a presentation, it dramatically increases the size of an email and can clog up your email database. Plus, if you send a plain PowerPoint presentation file (.ppt file), people can easily edit it and pass presentations off as their own. So what do you do? Fortunately it's possible to share your presentations in other ways.
Actually, a plethora of solutions exist, and each solution has specific benefits that make one option more suitable than another in different circumstances. In this article, I explore a few of these solutions.
SlideShare.net is a community where you can host and share PowerPoint presentations. It has been around longer than the other sites and claims to be the largest community for sharing presentations on the Web. Membership is free; you just sign up with an email ID and start uploading your PowerPoint presentations. These files are then converted to Flash and embedded in a page. To share, you send people an email to your Flash page, so they can see your presentation. SlideShare is almost like a YouTube for presentations.
Viewers can comment on your presentation. If you have enabled the option, viewers also can download your original PowerPoint file. As of now, SlideShare only supports the PowerPoint 2003/2004 and earlier file formats. The newer PowerPoint 2007, Corel Presentations, or Apple Keynote formats are not supported. In fact, these newer formats are not supported yet on any of the other presentation sharing sites either. Fortunately, most of these software applications let you save to earlier PowerPoint file formats. SlideShare allows you to upload OpenOffice and PDF files as well.
PPTshare.com is the name of a site that provides several PowerPoint add-ins they also provide a PowerPoint sharing platform where colleagues in the same company can access the same files. They also include an online PowerPoint slide library where you can access presentations at the slide level, and then search, sort, and create newer presentations.
If the animations in the slides or live links are not an issue, you also can upload your presentations to YouTube. To upload them, follow these steps:
- Export your PowerPoint slides to still pictures choose File | Save As.. and choose one of the image file formats PNG works great.
- Launch Windows Movie Maker (or iMovie on the Mac) and insert this sequence of exported pictures. Time them as required add a background music track or narration if you want, and save to a movie format that YouTube can import. At the time of writing, YouTube supported WMV, AVI, MOV, and MPG files.
- Upload the movie clip to YouTube.
File Sharing Sites
If you are only looking for an easier way to distribute your PowerPoint presentations than email, and you aren't too worried about the recipients receiving editable copies of the presentations, you can always upload your files to a file sharing site like YouSendIt.com. Similar alternatives such as Pando.com or Box.net are also available. If you have to send presentations frequently to more than a couple of people, a sharing site is a much better option than sending a bunch of large email attachments.