This post brought to you by Knovio. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Growing Your Biz.
Not the biggest fan of PowerPoint? Whether you are looking to break out of those boring static slides, or you just don’t want to shell out money for Microsoft’s full Office Suite, there are plenty of web-based alternatives to PowerPoint to choose from that will help you build exciting, dynamic presentations. What’s more, these online tools and services are easier to use, they come with robust features, and are significantly less expensive then PowerPoint. Finally, being web-based, it means you can access and edit your presentations from anywhere as long as you have Internet access. In this post, I’ll take an in-depth look at three of the best alternatives to PowerPoint for small business owners and self-employed professionals. Each one has its own set of features and qualities that are best suited for particular users or presentation types. But all of these PowerPoint alternatives are either free or offer a free basic version, so you can play around with them to see which one is best for you.
Three Serious Alternatives to PowerPoint
for Budget-Conscious Small Business Owners
With Knovio you can turn those boring PowerPoint slides into rich video and audio presentations that can be accessed anytime on-demand on a hosted website or shared with others via email and social media. Knovio has an intuitive interface that’s extremely easy-to-use. With Knovio’s basic free version, you can upload a pre-made slide show and personalize it further by adding an audio or video recording of yourself talking along side the slides.
If you are starting your presentation from scratch, you also have the option of uploading customized images and slide templates via Knovio’s drag and drop image uploader.
Once those images are uploaded you can easily change their order and add speaker notes on top of each image that only you will see.
When you have finished your presentation, you then have the option to embed it onto your website or share it via social media.
Knovio has many cool features, such as separate video and audio recording for each slide. This is a great feature if you are worried that you’ll make a lot of bloopers and blunders along the way. Knovio also keeps a record of how many views your presentations get, and an app for the iPad is available which allows you record video and audio on the go anytime you want. Though Knovio supports a free basic version with limits on the number and length of presentations, the Knovio Pro subscription (which costs $15 a month, $40 per quarter, or $150 per year), is also worth considering. There are several great features which make the subscription fee worthwhile. Some of the most notable features include:
- Easily correct mistakes and flubs with a unique no-record capability
- Programmable zoom control
- Clickable chapter navigation
- Insert video clips
- Import slides from multiple presentation files
- Export to high-definition 1080p or 720p video files (for posting to YouTube, Slide Share, or other video services)
- Access to a library of customizable player design templates
Who is Knovio for? This platform is really versatile, so it can be used in a number of ways. I know that some educators are using Knovio to remotely teach their students new material that will later be discussed in class. But for small business owners and self-employed professionals in particular, the platform can also be used for webinars and online courses, selling products, illustrating a complex idea or concept, and practicing a speech. For those who want to Try Knovio Pro, they are offering a 14-day free trial to readers of Growing Your Biz.
Of the three alternatives to PowerPoint mentioned here, Prezi is perhaps the most unique. Prezi’s open, zoomable canvas puts entire slides in motion and relies heavily on images, multimedia, graphs, charts and movement to draw attention to text. This effect allows you to show the relationships between the big picture and all the details. In the end, you can create dynamic, non-linear presentations, that take viewers on a real journey. If it’s done right, they’ll walk away informed and energized in a way that just can’t happen with with static, linear slides. Here is a great example of what’s possible with Prezi.
While the above example has a certain wow factor, it should be noted that it’s very easy to misuse or over-use those features leaving viewers feeling dizzy and disoriented. Even so, Prezi is a popular free online presentation tool (though it does have a paid premium option) that’s worth checking out specifically if you are looking for non-linear presentations that allow you to go back to previous topics, show how multiple topics are connected, and fit the fine details into a greater picture.
3. Haiku Deck
Haiku Deck is an elegant, easy-to-use alternative to PowerPoint. With slides made via Haiku Deck, imagery and graphics tend to be the main focus with a bit of text added to them. This platform is specifically targeted to people who want a simple, stunning presentation, but have neither the time nor patience to spend countless hours creating one.
Building presentations is an easy, almost “graceful” process both via its web app and its app for the iPad. Though you can use your own images or import them from sites like Instagram and Flickr, one of Haiku Deck’s biggest pluses is that it allows you to search through over 35 million free (Creative Commons-licensed) images based on the keywords connected to your slide. You can also choose a solid background color or insert your choice of bar, pie, or numeric charts, that you can create and customize on the platform itself. It has many different presentation options, and you can choose to make your slide show private, public, or for limited viewing. When you’re finished creating your deck, you can then share it via social media, e-mail, or get embed code for website.
So, if you want something quick, easy, and visually appealing, then Haiku Deck may be for you. Don’t use Haiku Deck, however, if you’re looking for a more robust online presentation solution.
Now, over to you… Have you had any experience using Knovio for online presentations? What about Prezi or Haiku Deck? Let us know in the comments below.