4 Alternatives to PowerPoint

Author: E. Cotner Date: January 24, 2013

Make your business presentations stand out with these programs.

Presentations are a must for small business owners. But your pitch doesn’t have to fall into the PowerPoint trap. 

“PowerPoint presentations have become mundane and often carry a negative connotation,” says Allie Danziger, president of IntegratePR, a social media and public relations agency in Houston. “Veering from PowerPoint is often seen as cutting edge, and can really capture the audience's attention.”

Whether you’re pitching to new clients or presenting an idea to your team, don’t let your message blend with the noise. Consider one of these platforms to make your message stick.

1.  SlideRocket SlideRocket

This Web-based platform stores presentations on the cloud and allows you to insert media directly from YouTube, Flickr or your personal library with ease. Its integration with Google Docs and PowerPoint make it easy to access your presentation on the go, says Raj Shah, a web marketing consultant out of Chicago.

You can promote presentations with social media, include word tags for search engine optimization, and upgrade to SlideRocket Pro to access analytics and work offline.

Disadvantage: Presentations accessed with SlideRocket for iOS mobile devices cannot be edited—only viewed. 

Price: SlideRocket Lite: Free; SlideRocket Pro: $24/user/mo.

RELATED: 4 Tips on How to Open a Successful Sales Presentation  

2.  Prezi Prezi

Prezi is a virtual whiteboard that combines simple design with intricate movement, presenting ideas as visual metaphors. For example, you can present reaching a new goal as climbing a mountain. With four video tutorials under their “Learn” tab, beginners can grasp the basics—and the more advanced features—in minutes. 

Presentations are stored on the cloud or on your desktop, and you can collaborate with others in real time. Plus, you can easily transfer previously created presentations from PowerPoint to Prezi format.

Disadvantage: Adding too many animations can be overwhelming to an audience. 

Price: Prezi offers three “licenses” varying in price: 

  • Public license: free. 
  • Enjoy license: $4.92/mo. Private presentations, more storage, include company logo.
  • Pro license: $13.25/mo. Access offline with Prezi Desktop.

3.  KeynoteKeynote

Apple’s Keynote works on both Mac and PC desktops and is also offered as a mobile app for iPhone, iPad and iTouch. Visually similar to PowerPoint, it is a simple switch—even for the most novice user. 

Disadvantages: No access to other users’ past presentations for inspiration and template use.

Price: Free. $9.99 for the iOS app

RELATED: Using iPads for Presentations and More 

4.  Google DriveGoogle Drive

Google Drive offers collaboration at its finest: You can share and edit presentations with others in real time. With Google, you can control who can and can’t make changes to the presentation. 

Robert J. Moore, CEO of RJMetrics, a software development company in Philadelphia, says new users can transition quickly because of the similarities to PowerPoint, and “the cloud-based collaboration saves us the hassle of emailing multiple versions of large files.”

Disadvantages: Without many of the bells and whistles of other alternatives, presentations are simple and aren’t as visually interesting.

Price: Free

RELATED: 5 Ways to Make the Most of Business Presentation Q&As




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