Think PowerPoint presentations, and you probably think of a never-ending series of slides and the urge to doze off.
Sure, Microsoft PowerPoint might be the industry standard for presentations, but it’s got its fair share of haters (case in point: the Anti Powerpoint Party). Fall back on stock templates too often, and your business presentations are going to lack the impact you desire.
If you need to create a snazzy, animated presentation that captures attention, then you need business presentation software that’s designed to do the job. Here are 6 PowerPoint alternatives to consider.
Prezi is about as different from PowerPoint as you can get. Rather than offering a slide-by-slide presentation, it’s more of a visual and interactive mindmap, wherein you interact with different elements on a virtual canvas. Convert your PowerPoint presentation slides into a dynamic user experience, or create a brand new ‘prezi’ from scratch.
Prezi is an online tool, so it’s available anywhere that you have an internet connection. There’s also the ability to work offline and to set security levels around who can see your animated presentations. Because Prezi is non-linear, it’s easy to jump from editing one part to another, although this can be difficult to get used to at first. Once you’re done, publish it on Prezi.com or embed it on your own website.
In many cases, an informative, animated video presentation is the best way to get your message across. While not strictly business presentation software, GoAnimate provides you with the tools to create a standout animation so you can focus on the narrative. It’s a full suite of applications designed to help users create animated presentations for free.
GoAnimate is a great platform for presenting your idea, with a huge variety of pre-made themes, props and characters tailored for making professional business presentations. Rather than just queuing up images in slides, you can produce a professional-looking video from scratch in minutes – without drawing anything or operating a camera. Just drag and drop from the extensive content library and forget about recording or editing. Then download, share or publish your finished animated presentation to YouTube.
3. Google Docs
Almost everyone has a Google account these days, and therefore access to Google Docs! As a PowerPoint alternative, this may not be as powerful, but it is free.
Presentations are easily customized with text, images, videos, imported slides, and all that good stuff. It’s all done through the cloud, so it’s easy to collaborate on shared documents with other people. If you like, your presentation can be downloaded as a PowerPoint file as well as embedded or shared through a link.
Now we’re talking high end presentation software. Sliderocket is a premium PowerPoint alternative that’s packed with features.
Here’s how it works: import a PowerPoint presentation or start from scratch with the theme library. Embed images, charts, videos, transitions, special effects – all of which can be stored, searched for later and shared with others. Live data from real-time feeds online can also be embedded (slides automatically update with the latest information).
Extra capabilities include version control, privacy control – decide who can view, edit or share your slides – plus metrics to track who is viewing your slideshow, where they viewed it, who they’ve shared it with, which slides they looked at and for how long. Sliderocket presentations are also HTML5 compatible.
5. Zoho Show
Zoho Show’s presentation software is a cloud-based option that supports the import of many file types (.ppt, .pptx, .pps, .ppsx, .odp, .sxi) and retains the look of the original document when viewed online. As a Powerpoint alternative, Zoho’s clean and simple interface is easy to navigate.
Anyone creating business presentations will appreciate the custom flowcharts and diagrams, complete with dynamic shapes and connectors. Enhance your presentations with pictures and videos embedded straight from the web, Picasa and Flickr and add effects or touch-ups in seconds using the image editor. To make things more interesting, there’s a wide gallery of animation and slide transition effects too. Plus Zoho enables universal style changes in a snap through the master slide feature, which rolls out changes to every single slide thereafter.
Version tracking is supported, as is real-time collaboration with other users. You get to choose who has permission to edit or view your presentation.
Ready to show off your final product? Send out a link to your business presentation, publish it to Zoho’s Public Presentations section, or embed it on your website.
Slidesnack is a relatively new and basic option for making slideshows and slidecasts (presentation + voice).
Start by uploading your documents (Powerpoint, Keynote, Word) as PDFs, then design a slideshow from the templates available. You can also record comments for a voiceover. Slidecasts can then be downloaded as video and uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo or any other video sharing service. As for sharing, your presentations can be embedded on your blog or website for all the world to see.