Category Archives: Microsoft PowerPoint

All about PowerPoint.

Jazz Up Your Presentations with These 10 PPT Alternatives

Powerpoint has long been the staple, go-to software for presentations, but if you are looking to make a switch and try something new, there are plenty of alternatives.  This landscape is changing daily with the introduction of new and feature rich alternatives that can make your presentations a memorable experience for those involved. The list below provides you with examples of some you might want to try out if you are looking to impress your superiors or students with your tech savviness!

1.  Prezi This web based application allows you to create a landscape for your presentation.  You can zoom in and out of your slides as well as rotate the entire landscape in any direction you want.  It has a slight learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, it is pretty simple to use.  Prezi also makes it super easy to add online images, videos and audio to your presentations. You can also upload your current documents and Powerpoints to your presentations from your local hard drive.  Check out this getting started video demonstration of the power of Prezi!

ps…The pre-built templates are great!


 

2.Google PresentationsGoogle Presentations (part of Google Drive), gives you an online, simplified version of PowerPoint with some excellent additional features.  Like all Google Docs, presentations can be shared for collaborative editing as well as viewing.  Adding images and videos from the web is extremely easy and you presentation lives in the cloud, so no matter where you are or what device you are using, you can access your presentation.  With a built in research tool to provide proper citing and bibliographies to your presentation, it doesn’t get much better than this…


 

3. PadletThis website is a place where you can collect just about anything.  You can add documents from your computer, images and videos from the web, even full websites can be embedded into your wall!  You can present the information collected via a click and discover model or by cycling through the various “posts” to your wall.  Very useful tool for topical information.  Padlets could be created instead of wikis.  Also very collaborative as you are about to see…  Go ahead and give it a try here!  For full screen view, click HERE.

[padlet key="uk3to6mopf" height="1000" width="100%" ]


 

4. NearpodThis app / website combination absolutely blew me away the first time  I ever saw it.  Nearpod allows you to create interactive multimedia presentations and lectures using their web application.  Viewers merely need to enter a pin either into the app or the online website and you are ready to start your presentation.  When you advance slides, everyone elses slides advance as well!  You can embed assessment questions and mini quizzes, free-form drawing and much more!  Check out this video to see this great app in action! (The free version does limit what you can do with the app, but most of the functionality is still present.)


 

5.  Google HangoutsIf you have ten people or less, a Google Hangout can be an excellent way to give a presentation.  Google hangouts allow you to have a video/audio conference with up to ten people all at the same time.  You can also call phone numbers if someone can’t make it to a computer to be in on the discussion.  I must say that the screensharing feature is one of my absolute favorites, but you can also watch YouTube videos together, work on anything in your Google Drive as well as a host of other applications that work with Hangouts.  If you have never used one, I encourage you to give it a try.  Here is a quick video demo from Google.


 

6. Haiku DeckThis iPad app doesn’t feature all of the bells and whistles of some of the other presentation software that are presented here.  But what it lacks in features, it makes up for in simplicity and beauty.  The main attraction here folks are the images.  The beautiful, copyright free, images!  By adding a few lines of text to a slide, you can then let Haiku Deck do the rest of the heavy lifting by allowing it to search for images related to the text in your slide.  Simple, easy and effective.   Doesn’t get better than that!


 

7. LiveBindersI have mentioned these in the past, and true to form, they are still a pretty great way to create and collect information.  My wife is a high school teacher and she absolutely loves these for portfolios as well as syllabi.  Any type of information can be stored inside your online 3-ringed binder…websites, pictures, videos, documents, pdfs, etc… the list goes on and one.  Give it a try and see what you can store online!


 

8. Bunkr-  Similar in PPT in the fact that it uses a slide structure, Bunkr is a new competitor in the cloud based presentation world.  What sets it apart though is the introduction of HTML5 presentations.  This means that you can view the presentation in just about ANY browser.  Ipad, Android, Laptop, Desktop, etc… if your browser supports HTML5 (which most modern browsers do), you can view your presentation.  Bunkr also makes it easy to embed YouTube videos and other online content.  Note…the free version only allows you to create two presentations :(  Kinda a bummer, but still could be something to try out to do something different!


 

9. Keynote - This list wouldn’t be much of a list if I didn’t include Apples take on the presentation software Keynote.  This piece of software contains many of the same features as PPT in a nice, clean, Applesque interface.  With iCloud syncing between you Mac and your iPad, you can forget the thumb drive completely and take your presentations on the go with your iPad.  Another new feature that Apple recently introduced was the ability to access your iWork suite of apps and documents in the cloud via iCloud.com.  Similar in functionality to Google Drive, this new feature is currently in beta but I expect improvements to come soon with the release of the next version of IOS.


 

10. VoiceThread - This web service provides a whole different approach to the presentation field.  Using voicethread, you can upload your content and then provide a voice over to your presentation.  Online viewers can then view your presentation, comment on it via text or video.  Whole conversations can pop up around certain parts of your presentation as viewers begin to comment.  Check out the video below for more info on this nifty tool!


 

Thats all folks!  Hope you try out a few of the services mentioned here!

 

PowerPoint Skills Builder – Office.com

Microsoft has put out a website that is devoted to helping you make the most out of your presentations.  This site shows how to make your PowerPoint presentations come alive with animations, transitions, charts and graphs and so much more.  If you want to see more, follow the link to the Microsoft page.

PowerPoint Skills Builder – Office.com.

 

Here is a sample of what you can expect to find on the site.

 

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