Best Practices

IASourceLink: Choosing the Best Presentation Software

Published Mar 25, 2015
by: Valyn Reinig

So you’ve got a big presentation next week and you know you’re going to use a visual aid. Do you break out your trusty PowerPoint template and start typing away, or should you try something new?

Worldwide, there are more than 500 million PowerPoint users, creating over 30 million presentations everyday. So if you’ve got a few minutes to spare and want to break away from the crowd, you should check out these free alternatives. And who knows, they just might save you some time, stress, and give you the competitive advantage you’ve been looking for:

Prezi- This is a free presentation builder that utilizes non-linear movement to get your points across. Beware though, depending on how long your meeting is and how crazy you get with all the zooming, your audience might start to feel a bit dizzy.

Keynote- If you have a Mac and you’re still hesitant to move to something other than PowerPoint, Keynote might be worth a try. Essentially it has all the same features as PowerPoint, but with the simplified design of an application you’d typically find in iOS apps.

Haiku Deck- For the design inclined, Haiku Deck gives you 19 different themes to choose from. One killer feature is the ability to type in a phrase and immediately see generated photo options related to your keywords to use in your presentation. No more searching for images!

Google Slides- Google Slides is great for when you’re working on a team presentation. Changes get saved automatically and you can see what your coworkers are editing in real-time. One downside might be the lack of design templates to choose from.

Powtoon- Another free alternative; when you first create an account on Powtoon you’ll be asked whether you want to make a professional slideshow or an animated presentation. This versatility in design is impressive and the templates to choose from are very modern.

Projeqt- Have a classic PowerPoint that you use often, but it just needs a little updating? Upload it to the Projeqt dashboard, and gain the ability to pull in live tweets, easily embed videos, and add audio notes.

Emaze- This cloud-based, online presentation platform boasts multiple 2D as well as 3D slide templates and HTML5 compatibility. There’s also an automatic translation tool; handy for when you’re presenting internationally.

Slides- This sleek, well designed presentation software is free for public use, but if you want your decks to be private you’ll have to pay. However, the paid version comes with some cool features like syncing to dropbox, exporting to PDF, and Google Analytics integration.

Powerpoint Plugins

Now if cutting ties with PowerPoint seems too overwhelming right now, maybe a new plugin is just what you need. Here are three plugins that are sure to spice up your slides:

VisualBee- To add a few more template designs into PowerPoint, give VisualBee as try. This plugin takes existing presentations and shows you what they might look like with different themes and photos.

Office Timeline- Timelines are used frequently in business presentations, so why not add a really compelling visual instead of that long paragraph? The free version of this plugin easily walks you through each step of creating a visually appealing timeline to insert into your slide.

Oomfo- Create advanced charts with Oomfo, and integrate data from other cloud applications. You also have the ability to customize charts using animation.

Whatever your presentation, try out some of these alternatives to PowerPoint and start standing out in your meetings! Comment below if you’ve heard of these or know of other great alternatives! 

Content contributed by Valyn Reinig, IASourceLink. IASourceLink is a proud affiliate of U.S.SourceLink, America's largest resource network for entrepreneurs.