Three Alternatives to PowerPoint and Keynote
I have to admit, I love Keynote, Apple’s presentation application. I love the design tools, especially the powerful color selection tool. Keynote also has amazing cinematic style animations and slide transitions built in. Of course, Microsoft PowerPoint is ubiquitous. Knowing how to use PowerPoint is one of those unspoken criteria for almost any job in business. While these two applications are the gold standards, there are a number of alternatives (Mostly free!) that can be used. In fact, these alternative applications each have some unique features.
SlideRocket is a web application for building presentations. When I first started using SlideRocket I was impressed by its wide range of features. Today, it has only improved. SlideRocket has a free version with limited features as well as pay options. The great thing about SlideRocket is that you don’t need any software and your work is saved in the cloud so you can work on it from any computer anywhere. As a marketer, my favorite part about using SlideRocket is the ability to share a presentation on the web and get access to analytics. You can see who viewed your work and what they did as a result. Try it out for free! They also have a great gallery of presentations made using SlideRocket that is a must see.
Prezi is an online presentation tool with a unique format. Presentations are built in scenes spread out onto a large canvas. To get the effect of slide transitions, the “camera” pans, zooms, or rotates from scene to scene on command. The overall effect is very cool and gives the impression that higher end animation or video graphics are being used.
Prezi can be used to great advantage for certain kinds of information. For example, you could display a large map of the U.S. and zoom in on different political areas to tell the story of an election. Prezi is made even more powerful when used with a design program like Photoshop. Some of the best Prezi presentations I have seen consist of custom designed murals that are then presented by zooming in and out of detailed parts of the mural.
3. Google Docs
When it comes to presentation collaboration it is tough to beat the Google Docs presentation application. Although I find Google’s design tools to be very limiting I still find it useful based on the ease of collaboration. Most business presentations are put together by a team and in today’s mobile work environment it is nice to have a tool that allows multiple people to contribute from anywhere on earth in near real time. In fact, I have used Google Docs to write a presentation or create the general structure with a group of colleagues and then used Keynote to create the final polished version.
Let me know which of these you have tried and what you thought.