Microsoft PowerPoint has long been the go-to software for creating visual slide presentations, but it’s not the only option. There are a variety of free presentation tools that you can use instead of PowerPoint. There are also presentation tools that can turn your boring slideshows into visual mind-maps, screencasts, and full-fledged audio-visual experiences.
Following are ten PowerPoint alternatives that you might not know about. Don’t feel like you have to use PowerPoint just because it’s the tool everyone has been using for years. There just might be a better way for you to create and deliver your presentations.
1. Google Docs Presentation
Google Docs is a free document creation and collaboration suite that is offered for free through your Google.com account. Just visit Google Docs, and log into your Google account (or create a new account if you don’t have one). Start a new presentation document, and start designing your slides and adding content. It’s not as feature-rich as PowerPoint, but it’s free.
You can share your Google presentation with other people for collaboration, and since it’s saved in your Google account on the cloud, you can access it anywhere that you have an Internet connection. You can also download it and save it as a PowerPoint file.
Keynote is the popular presentation software for Mac users. It can be purchased alone or with the full iWork software suite from Apple. As you might expect from a Mac iOS product, Keynote offers a wide variety of easy-to-use design features, so your presentation can look unique without huge monetary and time investments.
Mobile apps for the iPhone and iPad make it easy to work on your Keynote presentation when you’re on-the-go. You’ll need an iOS device in order to deliver your presentation, or you can save it as a PowerPoint file, but some of your work might not convert exactly as you’d like it.
You can convert your PowerPoint slides into a zooming user experience with Prezi, or you can create a new presentation with Prezi. These presentations are more of an interactive visual mind-map than a typical slideshow with elements flying across the screen, zooming, and moving from one piece to the next.
Prezi is an online tool, so your presentation is always available anywhere that you have an Internet connection. However, you also need to have an Internet connection and access to Prezi in order to deliver your presentation. Free and paid accounts are available with tiered space allocations and features.
Brainshark is an online tool that makes it easy for you to turn your PowerPoint presentations into online videos. You can record and add audio to your presentation and make it available on-demand for people to access at anytime. You can also track your presentation’s performance.
You can sign up and use Brainshark for free as well as the mobile Slideshark app. Paid accounts are available if you need advanced capabilities.
SlideRocket is a web-based presentation application that offers a lot of the features and design options that you get with PowerPoint. It’s particularly easy to add content directly from another website into a SlideRocket presentation.
A free version is available, but if you want to be able to download your presentation as a PowerPoint file to use offline, you’ll need to pay for an account.
Impress is part of the OpenOffice.org suite of software programs. It looks like and works like PowerPoint did several years ago. In fact, it offers most of the same features. If you’re looking for a tool that is similar to PowerPoint, this is one of the closest matches.
Impress is offered for free download and works with your existing PowerPoint presentations as well as enabling you to create brand new presentations.
SlideSnack enables you to create videos from your PowerPoint presentations along with audio. It’s also easy to view SlideSnack presentations on iPhone and iPad devices and to share and embed presentations across the web. Downloading your presentations is also quick and easy.
You can purchase points to access advanced features to use with SlideSnack or any other tools from SnackTools.com.
If you want to get even more creative with your presentation delivery, try FlipSnack and turn your PowerPoint presentation into an online book, complete with “flipping” pages. Just save your presentation in PDF format, upload it to FlipSnack, and convert it into a unique book that you can embed across the web.
Points can be purchased through SnackTools.com to access advanced FlipSnack features.
Another great option for extending your presentation delivery is turning it into a screencast. Screencast-O-Matic makes it easy to turn your PowerPoint presentation into a screencast. Using one-click screen-capture recording, Mac and Windows users can turn presentations into compelling screencasts which can be embedded into websites, uploaded to video-sharing sites like YouTube, and more.
The best part about Screencast-O-Matic is that it’s free. However, a paid version is available if you want to access advanced features.
Flair is offered for a flat price and enables you to turn your PowerPoint presentation files into Flash-based presentations. You can also create new presentations, and audio and video recording features help you turn your boring presentations into interesting and attention-getting presentations.