Meetings. Reviews. Sales-Pitches and practically every conference room congregation revolves around presentations. Like me, if you have been to slide-fests often enough, you probably dislike presentations as much as I do. While a lot depends on the presenter, their ability to tell a story and their command on the subject. It is the tools that often let one down. Boring slides, insipid clip-art and charts that have been done to death.
For years I used PowerPoint as the only tool to make presentations. The familiarity with the tool ensured effectiveness but the story-telling was missing from it. It is this slide-fatigue that compelled me to look for alternatives. Presentation tools that helped me paint a picture & tell a story like never before. I am rounding up five tools here that will help you hit one out of the park without burning a hole in your pocket.
The first time I sat through a presentation on Prezi, I was dazzled. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. It literally puts the show back in the slideshow. The slide transition is neatly replaced with zooming through inter-related ideas. With Prezi, the focus is on slick custom animations, images and graphics to draw attention to the text. The presentation turns into a moving ride through your story board.
Prezi is available for web, windows, Linux & iOS. What’s more, the basic account is free and comes with 100MB of cloud storage. You may opt for Enjoy ($59 per year) or Pro ($159 per year) accounts. The paid options give you 500MB and 2GB storage respectively.
A few months ago I was preparing a pitch for a new business concept. It was new idea for the market and I wanted the story to be simple yet memorable. I used Haiku and the response was more than flattering. Haiku focuses on high impact images with little text to convey the message to the audience. The menu is uncluttered and simple to use. Choose a slide type, enter keyword (s) to find a relevant image, add text and the slide is ready! You get access to a loaded library of Creative Commons and Getty images. You can also import, edit and use your own images.
It’s available for free on iOS and web.
Here’s a tool that promises to take the labor out of creating good looking presentations. It’s a cloud based tool with an intuitive menu options and loads of good looking themes and images to choose from. It’s simplicity and visually appealing interface makes it extremely user friendly. Another great advantage with emaze is it supports all platforms and devices. Give it a spin if you are looking for a stylish presentation without breaking a sweat.
Projeqt is a tool that successfully marries the best of creativity and connectivity. The result is captivating presentations that are straight out of the box. Projeqt fetches real time material from any source online and integrates it into your presentation. It can pull data from you Twitter feed, Facebook or LinkedIn page or even your blog. The sign-up is free.
What Google Presentations lacks in terms of visuals and aesthetics, it compensates by making the tool collaborative. It’s simple to use and an efficient Cloud based tool. Like stated earlier, it’s biggest USP is real time collaboration. You can use stock theme and images or upload your own. It’s fast, flexible and hassle-free. Folks who have grown accustomed to using PowerPoint would find the transition seamless.
I hope these tools will help you make better presentations. Do take time to prepare, rehearse and know your subject. As the saying goes “A tool is only as good as the craftsman using it”.
Did your favorite tool make it to this list? What apps and tools do you use for presentations? Share them in the comments here.