You’ve probably noticed that since its official launch in the 90’s, Microsoft PowerPoint has been THE program most of us have been using for slide-only presentations or narrations. You may also have noticed that we have been gradually shifting away from the traditional slide presentations and moving towards more integrated media that includes video casts and other formats. This makes PowerPoint’s little improvements seemingly trivial.
Besides, if you think about it, PowerPoint’s format is downright simple and straightforward with little room for improvement. This becomes apparent when you want to engage your audience in new and cutting-edge ways, make your presentations more interactive, or even incorporate remote collaboration.
Alternatives to PowerPoint
Below you will find just a few of the many tools available which can address any needs you might have and which also allow for new innovations in presentation technology:
Prezi: If you want presentation software of a more collaborative, storytelling type to engage your audience, you will find Prezi extremely useful. Prezi allows you to co-edit in real time and brainstorm and create presentations in one shared virtual whiteboard with the flexibility to present on your desktop or mobile phone.
SlideRocket: This is another alternative to PowerPoint and is known for its state-of-the-art security features. SlideRocket recently acquired Clear Slide, a sales communication platform which enables you to launch; share; and present web presentations, videos, and demos and track how prospects interact with presentation analytics. Because of this merger, you can expect added features that integrate the best of both tools.
Impress.js: Its name speaks for itself. Inspired by the idea behind Prezi, Impress.js is out to impress by allowing you to create 3-dimensional effects which can fit on any canvas.
Keynote: Keynote is Apple’s version of PowerPoint. Like PowerPoint, its functionalities are intuitive and include animation, transitions, graphics, and other effects. You can also save the slides as PowerPoint files or import PowerPoint presentations into the program.
Slidedog: Have you been wanting to create presentations that allow you to launch, manage, and switch between various applications like PowerPoint, PDF’s, videos, and Prezi? Slidedog is one such solution.
HaikuDeck: This is another multi-purpose program by Apple. HaikuDeck is useful if you need to create simple but appealing presentations, whether to generate a sale, instruct, or deliver a keynotespeech.
Beyond traditional slides
The above alternatives to PowerPoint address concerns about online content creation and delivery, above and beyond aesthetics and design. You will get the answers to questions like “How fast can I create, deliver, and share content?” or “How can I make use of it?”
And if you think that seamless integration of various features is all there is to it, think again. Some even believe that a 4D or 5D presentation is possible in the future. Picture a completely immersive experience that will engage more than just your sense of sight—imagine yourself for example, tasting products, touring establishments, or participating in live test results from healthcare facilities—all during a presentation.
So, is this the end of PowerPoint?
Many think the answer is not anytime soon. Even if you think of PowerPoint as banal, it is undoubtedly a pioneer and will continue to serve as the springboard for new innovation. Many of the new presentation tools are still evolving and no one is dominating the market yet. For instance, institutions that use Microsoft technology and those that do not have enough resources for further training will most likely still rely on PowerPoint for presentations in the near future. On the other hand, if you belong in the sales or speaking profession, you will probably be among the first to adopt these new technologies and eventually shape future innovations.
Then again, there are those who argue that the problem is not so much with PowerPoint itself but with users who often create something that looks appealing but is not necessarily effective. Because some emphasize style over substance, you have probably heard the phrase, “Death by PowerPoint.” To some extent, a presenter’s lack of basic knowledge about design and effective communication will render the medium as ineffective and in the end, it won’t matter what tool you use, whether it be Prezi, SlideRocket, or PowerPoint.
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