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Want your PowerPoint presentations to go better? Most of the work is going to be on you, but the right template can make a difference. Here are a few places to find them, and a few more tools that can help make your presentations just a little more engaging.

There are all sorts of uses for PowerPoint that you haven’t thought of yet 5 Creative Uses Of PowerPoint Presentations You Haven't Explored Yet 5 Creative Uses Of PowerPoint Presentations You Haven't Explored Yet Microsoft PowerPoint can do much more than boring presentations. It’s PowerPoint 2013’s time now and the search for creative and uncommon uses of PowerPoint continues. Here are five. Read More , like building presentations to present your photos with style 10 Free PowerPoint Templates to Present Your Photos With Style 10 Free PowerPoint Templates to Present Your Photos With Style The most common use of PowerPoint with photos is their use as photo albums. Create your own...or use the hundreds of free templates in the Office template gallery. We pick ten attractive ones. Read More . And we could go on and on about how to improve your presentation skills 5 Powerpoint Tips to Improve Your Presentation Skills Overnight 5 Powerpoint Tips to Improve Your Presentation Skills Overnight You step up to the podium. Your palms are sweaty, your heart is racing, and just as you're about to open your mouth and speak, your mind goes blank. Need help? Read More .

But if your slides are ugly and not engaging, that’s going to undermine your point. Here are a few sites and apps for your consideration, to make your next presentation go just a little bit better.

Templates for PowerPoint: Collection of Templates Direct from Microsoft

There are a staggering number of sites out there with mostly hideous PowerPoint templates. You can find them by searching, but if you’re looking for something simple that looks great I recommend heading straight to Microsoft’s collection of templates.

microsoft-templates-powerpoint

There’s probably something here that will suite your taste, or at least serve as a starting point, so dive in.

One potential annoyance: the templates open in Microsoft Office Online, instead of downloading. This is great if you don’t pay for Microsoft Office Don't Pay For Word! 5 Reasons You Should Use Office Online Don't Pay For Word! 5 Reasons You Should Use Office Online Office Online is the free and cloud-connected version of Microsoft Office. Limitations are compensated by features, useful even to users of desktop Office. Best of all is its Read More , but those who prefer the desktop version of the software might be momentarily confused. Don’t panic: you can click the Open in PowerPoint button above the ribbon toolbar to open using the desktop version of PowerPoint.

SlideCamp: Collection of High-Quality Slides for PowerPoint Presentations

Templates give you a background, color scheme, and font choices, but the rest is up to you. If you prefer to browse a collection of pre-built slides to quickly add your data to, SlideCamp is what you’re looking for. This subscription service offers a variety of beautiful slides you can quickly modify and present with.

If you struggle to put together presentations, this is a potential solution. But it’s not free: at $20 per month for a single user, it’s going to cost you. But so far as we can tell there’s nothing quite like this out there, and if you speak regularly it could be an invaluable resource.

Participoll (Windows): Poll Your Audience During Your PowerPoint Presentation

There are no shortcuts when it comes to engaging an audience: it’s on you to be interesting. But interactive features can help a lot, by engaging another part of people’s mind and making them feel involved in the process.

Participoll is a Windows application that adds real time polling to any PowerPoint presentation. People in the room can vote on their phones, and results will show up as people vote. This means your entire audience can participate. Voters don’t even need to install an app: they can quickly go to a URL and make their choice.

There’s a free ad-sponsored version, and there’s an ad-free subscription that starts at $100 a year. It’s pricey, but potentially beneficial if you present often and think the polls add impact. I’d suggest trying out the free version before committing.

Office Mix (Windows): Turn PowerPoint Presentations into Interactive Websites

If you’ve made a great presentation, you might feel bad about archiving it on your computer and not showing it to anyone else. OfficeMix is a relatively new Office plugin for Windows that lets you turn any PowerPoint file into an interactive online presentation, complete with audio narration and interactive elements.

office-mix-powerpoint-interactive

People can watch your presentation in its entirety, or jump to a particular slide. It’s a lot easier than putting together a video version of your talk, and gives people who missed it a chance to get at least part of the experience. Think of it next time you give a talk you’re proud of.

RemarkJS: Make Beautiful Presentations Using Only Markdown

Do you hate PowerPoint? Do you think slides should be quick to create and easy on the eyes? Most importantly: are you a fan of Markdown, the best way to write for the web Learning Markdown: Write For The Web, Faster Learning Markdown: Write For The Web, Faster Markdown is essentially a syntax language for formatting text as you write. It’s fast, and built for people who write for the web. Read More ? If you answered “yes” to all those questions, you owe it to yourself to check out RemarkJS. With it you can quickly create presentations that can be viewed in any browser, complete with keyboard shortcuts for changing slides.

remark-jsYou’ll need to know your way around HTML to get this working, and of course you’ll also need to know how Markdown works. It’s not for everyone, but is certainly perfect for a section of the population.

What Are Your Favorite PowerPoint Resources?

So there it is: five sites everyone should check out the next time they’re working on a PowerPoint presentation. We hope the collection was useful to you, and also hope you can return the favor. What are some great websites, apps, and tools for PowerPoint presentations that we missed? Let’s talk about them in the comments below.

Or, if you want more reading, check out our tips for creating professional presentations 7 Tips for Creating Professional PowerPoint Templates 7 Tips for Creating Professional PowerPoint Templates Nobody benefits from a boring PowerPoint presentation. Use these tips to make sure your efforts always grab their audience. Read More , or this piece about tools that are better than PowerPoint Better Than PowerPoint: 3 Online Tools For Creating Gorgeous Presentations Better Than PowerPoint: 3 Online Tools For Creating Gorgeous Presentations Whether it be for school, your professional life, or pretty much any other reason, presentations are some of the most useful tools for organizing and conveying information to others. Everyone creates them on a regular... Read More .

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