In honor of the upcoming Say No To Powerpoint Week February 7-11, I did some digging to round up best practices and some alternative apps and resources for presenters. By the way, of course I don’t think we should “say no to Powerpoint” — I use it every week. The point of this “special occasion” is to think about good design and get inspired by tips and tricks for old and new digital tools.
Fast becoming a popular presentation platform, this “cloud-based presentation software” has a cool “zoomable canvas” and some great templates for eye-catching and dynamic digital storytelling. You can work online or off, they are mobile-ready, and if you opt for the $5/month pro version, your presentations can be kept private and there’s no Prezi logo. Educator accounts available.
This is my first choice for animated, slickly designed, easily-embeddable slide presentations. Ever since I read about their “presume” product I’ve been a sliderocket fan. The basic version is free, but for $25/month you can get analytics for your online presos, and also play them offline.
My favorite new discovery for my iPad, Haiku deck offers minimalist design templates and auto-searches Flickr’s Creative Commons photos to help you pick the right image for your text. The result is a beautiful online preso, simple, elegant, and easy to share on social networks. Very cool. Free too.
With Google Docs you can create, collaborate on, and share presentations online — and with Google Drive you can edit them offline without worrying that you’ll get versions mixed up because any changes you make while offline will automatically be updated when you reconnect. Free service.
I’ve used this iOS app and I like it, though I will admit that I prefer to consume rather than create media on my tablet. But I use this app for demos or pitches at lunch and dinner meetings.
Thinking About: Great Design
For a fantastic (smart and beautiful) presentation about horrible presentations, don’t miss this one. Having attracted 1M views on Slideshare, this deck covers all the most common slide sins and includes clear ideas guaranteed to improve your design and delivery.
This is this a slide design must-read, my go-to resource for understanding layout, color, storytelling, and public speaking. I purchased it in paperback but then it came out as a slick iBook so I got a copy for my iPad and it didn’t disappoint. Duarte is the creative genius behind Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth data visualizations. Oh, and Nancy Duarte is on Twitter and totally human and nice. Lately she’s been putting out some fantastic work via Harvard Business Review, including an amazingly helpful article and webinar series.
And by the way, if you routinely use Flickr Creative Commons licensed images in your presentations (as I do), you’ll be interested in this blog post by detailing what happened when a photographer decided to change the CC license on a photo from attribution-required to all-rights-reserved and requested that the blogger remove it from her slideshare deck. This happened to me too, which is when I started buying image licences. If your budget permits, consider a membership at Shutterstock, they have a great library. (hat tip to
@hopkinsdavid for tweeting about this story!)