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Speaker Deck vs. Slideshare

July 18, 2013

Speaker Deck

Lately I have seen several references to Speaker Deck, a relative newcomer to the list of presentation-sharing options. I have been a fan of a competing product, SlideShare, for several years and thought I would check out the competition.

Both of these services let instructors upload class presentation slides and make them available as public web pages. The slideshows also be embedded into a page on a course site in Sakai and similar systems. This arrangement is also very useful for conference presentation slides.

TIP: If you want to simplify things for your audience/students, run the slideshow address through a URL shortener (try bit.ly) and make the last slide a QR code of the URL (try kaywa.com).

Speaker Deck was successfully designed to be very simple and user-friendly. It’s owned by GitHub (a site that enables programmers to collaborate in writing code) and the service is free. There is no up-charge for a “Pro” version with more features. Speaker Deck only accepts PDF files. This makes a little extra work for users but means that the developers don’t have to support multiple file formats.

I like the look of the gallery and the ease of use, but I don’t see enough to make me switch. I don’t really care that there are ads on the SlideShare pages. Most of the time I am embedding them in blog posts or other websites anyway. Bottom line — I like Speaker Deck, but I’m going to stick with SlideShare for now.

Below is a quick side-by-side summary, followed by a more detailed chart as a Scribd download. Please let me know if I have left out anything important.

Pros Cons
SlideShare
  • Accepts many file types
  • Large max file size
  • Mobile friendly
  • Ads
  • Cluttered web pages
  • Must pay for some features
Speaker Deck
  • Easy to use
  • Clean gallery display
  • Free
  • Only accepts PDF
  • Not much help (unnecessary?)
  • Must allow download
View this document on Scribd

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