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 basis, including any kids you may have!
Microsoft Office’s PowerPoint is the most commonly used application for this task, but it’s not the only tool which can get the job done. In fact, some alternatives to PowerPoint might even be better, depending on which features you desire the most. Did I also mention that these tools are openly available on the web and entirely free? Plus you aren’t even required to be connected to the Internet when it’s presentation time!
If you commonly use Google‘s online applications such as Gmail, you’ll definitely find a lot of use in Google Presentations. A part of the Google Drive suite of office applications, Google Presentation is meant to be an online PowerPoint replacement with a Google twist. While it may not be quite as feature-rich as the latest version of PowerPoint, it does offer some very nice advantages over PowerPoint. Such advantages include the ability to access the application (as well as any Google Presentation files thanks to Google Drive) from anywhere in the world, on any computer or mobile device, with a simple Internet connection.
Additionally, Google Presentations makes it very easy to embed special items such as YouTube videos directly into your presentation, so you won’t ever have to click on a link to awkwardly open a browser ever again. You can also export your Google Presentation file into a PowerPoint file, PDF file, and many more. Finally, Google Presentations maintains the status quo by including all of PowerPoint’s core features, such as slides, transitions, offline presentation, and more.
My next choice is called Prezi. This online application completely abandons the norms set by PowerPoint’s massive presence, and creates an entirely new form of presentation. With Prezi, you’re given a single canvas which has infinite width and length. You are then free to put on it whatever you’d like, from text boxes to pictures to videos. Either while you’re working on the presentation or after you finish filling the canvas with your material, you can add something called “frames”.
Frames are what Prezi will focus on during the presentation, and are the equivalent of a slide in PowerPoint. In other words, Prezi will zoom in on the canvas to the exact frame that you created. Whenever you switch frames in Prezi, the application smoothly moves over from one frame to the other. Therefore, Prezi’s advantages are that it is modern and visually appealing, with its unique presentation style, color themes, and more. Prezi is free so long as you keep your presentations public; otherwise, you’ll have to pay a fee to set it as private.
If most of your presentations are simply a bunch of pictures that you want to show to friends and family, then PhotoSnack is the way to go. This service makes it extremely easy to create picture slideshows with just a few clicks. You can add pictures to the presentation from multiple sources, including your computer, Facebook, Picasa, Photobucket, flickr, SmugMug, and Instagram. Music may also be added to your presentation if you would like. You can then choose from different templates, and share with whomsoever you’d like! The presentations are shown using HTML5 instead of Flash, so as long as your recipients are running a modern browser, they should be good to go!
Hopefully with these tools, you can easily create a presentation exactly how you want it. All three of these tools have their own strengths and excel at specific purposes, but by using a combination of the three, you should be well prepared for presentation creation without using PowerPoint.
What do you use to create your presentations? What features of applications do you value the most? Let us know in the comments!
Image Credits: Michael Porter
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