Often, one of the biggest challenges you face when creating a slideshow presentation happens even before you begin production; the challenge of knowing the right presentation software to use!
PowerPoint, Keynote, or Prezi?
In a market place predominantly dominated by Microsoft software users, naturally most of the corporate world has worked with Microsoft’s PowerPoint. Apple’s “free” Keynote is a welcomed alternative for Mac disciples and for those wanting to move away from Microsoft software. Then there’s Prezi, familiar to many in the Education arena, but most likely a new option for most end-users.
All three are popular options and all viable in their own right; but, like all software, they share similarities. So most likely, your decision will probably come down to: workflow, operating system preference, and aesthetic.
Let’s take a closer look!
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PowerPoint has been the standard slideshow presentation software for quite some time. User familiarity has deterred many from venturing out to use other presentation software available. If you live-and-breathe the corporate, business-like aesthetic, then PowerPoint’s themes and palette are for you. PowerPoint’s traditional themes are more recognizable in the corporate world, and can eliminate the worry of being too flashy for a business presentation. PowerPoint can become a snooze fest – quickly. We have found if you don’t use PowerPoint to its full potential, the transitions and effects seem repetitive … something you definitely don’t want your audience to feel about your hard work. Though it is a Microsoft product, PowerPoint is compatible with Mac’s OS, something it’s rival Keynote can’t claim. No Mac means no Keynote. PowerPoint usually comes with most PC products as part of Microsoft Office Suite. However, upgrades are available through purchase only. So, PowerPoint’s large market share lies in the simple fact that most “work” computers are preloaded with the presentation software and people are comfortable using it by sheer proximity
The first noticeable difference between Keynote and PowerPoint is the templated themes available. Keynote’s themes are a product of the trademark Apple aesthetic; clean, crisp, and frankly beautiful. If you enjoy the simplistic, clean look associated with the Apple brand, Keynote is your cup-of-tea. The new and fresh effects within Keynote break-away from the tired and sometimes overused effects in PowerPoint. Apple strives for the most user-friendly experience and Keynote reflects this mantra. A less cluttered screen allows for smoother workflow and maneuverability. With that said, if you have been a long-time PC user, the task of acquainting yourself with a new operating system can be daunting and not worth the headache — even if the presentation software is easier to use. Users can open a PowerPoint presentation in Keynote, with most, not all, of the animations supported, while PowerPoint users shouldn’t even try to open a Keynote presentation in PowerPoint because it just won’t work. This fact often deters some from branching into the Apple Keynote arena, and should be a point of consideration when choosing your presentation software. Similar to new PC’s equipped with PowerPoint, Keynote comes loaded on Apple Macbooks and iMacs. Yes, the presentation software is “free” but the hardware carries a hefty price tag.
Prezi is the wildcard of the bunch. Rather than a straightforward slide deck, Prezi acts as a dynamic presentation map. Users are able to place information and multimedia in their presentation all complemented by effects and transitions that flow between slides in a push and pull, zooming, non-linear fashion… so get your Dramamine ready! The unorthodox progression of content placement can be pretty polarizing for first time users. It can make the user sea-sick… constantly zooming in and out to fix text and media might have that effect. There seems to be a large collective of “Prezi Haters” surfacing after attempting to make the switch from the more traditional PowerPoint and even Keynote. (If you have some time to kill, some of the reviews are pretty comical.) A cloud-based presentation software, Prezi Basic is available to anyone with an internet connection. You’re able to create and edit presentations in a collaborative environment accommodating multiple users editing from different locations. A desktop edition of Prezi is available for purchase, and should be considered if your internet speed is stuck in the 90s. The biggest downfall is that because of the dynamic progression, viewing the presentation without the dizzying effects is not an option. There is no crossover between Prezi and the other two presentation software programs, so you have to run Prezi through Prezi.
If these descriptions only added to your confusion,
Have no fear, Henderson Creative is here!
We have spent countless hours working in these programs and as a result, we threw together this handy snapshot to help simplify your decision.
Two final considerations in choosing your presentation software are; with whom do you need to share the presentation, and how is it being presented. PowerPoint rarely presents any sharing or presenting glitches, and at the risk of stating the obvious, if your internet connect isn’t dependable, then Prezi isn’t the best option. For Keynote users presenting at an AC convention or large meeting, take the time to check that the AV provider can support your show.
Remember, as wonderful as your presentation may look, if you don’t have quality content to present, you’ve rendered the presentation pointless.
No worries … Look out for our Ten Commandments of Content, coming soon.