PowerPoint is old school, and it’s not likely to go away anytime soon. As a user-friendly presentation tool, it still makes a regularly scheduled appearance at conferences and in web presentations, and it still serves its purpose. But you’re not likely to wow your audience with slide transitions and sound effects. There are literally dozens of other options for presentation software that offer new tricks that many audiences haven’t yet seen – or at least haven’t seen enough of to get bored with yet. Showing your audience a novel platform for your information delivery will get them focused on your presentation – if only because they want to see how it works and what you can do with it! Here we present and compare our top three choices for the best PowerPoint alternatives.
For many presenters, Prezi is the next logical step in upping their click-to-next-slide game. The coolest thing about Prezi and it’s major selling point is that you can make text boxes and images into objects that become an instant new “slide” – and when you go to that slide, Prezi zooms in on it. Rather than moving laterally from slide, content zooms in and out, creating a sense of emphasis and even drama. This feature makes for a dynamic experience both in creating the Prezi and showing it off.
Pros: Making a basic Prezi is easy and can be done by anyone from students to executives. Give presentations online or off, and on multiple devices. Educators can get a free account!
Cons: Prezi takes more time to customize, so be prepared to put forth more effort than you would with PowerPoint to take full advantage of the features.
SlideDog is a different kind of presentation animal. It’s branded as a While not a way to create slides in the traditional sense, SlideDog takes content from different applications – like PowerPoint, Word, Adobe Reader, and Flash – and organizes them into a seamless playlist. SlideDog is compatible with nearly all types of files, from images and animations to text documents and full-fledged presentations.
Pros: Use different types of applications in your presentation without having to switch back and forth between programs. Smooth transitions avoid awkwardness and distraction.
Cons: This is not a way to create a presentation in a traditional sense. You’ll have to do most of the work in other applications, and then use SlideDog to organize and display it.
Powtoon creates animations that can be used for explanatory videos, marketing content, and product demos. Using the tutorials and simple creative features, you can make an animated video that looks professionals and does interesting things on screen. This tool is ideal for marketing professionals, small businesses and startups, and trainers and educators to get key points across in a way that resonates with the audience. Because cartoons and comics are much more interesting to watch than live people.
Pros: It’s free and relatively easy to learn. Entertain your audience without breaking the bank or stretching your time. It also exports directly to YouTube.
Cons: Powtoon creates videos, so for a live presentation a Powtoon video can’t make up the entirety of your set. For use in videoconferencing, it has the best effectiveness as part of a webinar.
A full-spectrum package of presentation tools, KnowledgeVisions was designed to be more interactive with the audience that’s watching. The basics are what you would expect: you can create a fully customizable presentation template and publish it online. The bells and whistles are more than you could ask for: embed third-party interactive modules, track viewer analytics and connect content to other platforms – like learning management and customer relationship management systems. KnowledgeVisions lets you better understand your audience, how they are using your presentation and what information is most important to them.
Pros: Create and present from either a desktop, laptop or iPad device. Do more than just share content – get feedback and continuously improve and enhance it.
Con: KnowledgeVision is one of the more complex presentation options, with a steep learning curve. Expect to not get it the first time around, but reap the benefits of doing something a little more challenging.