When you think presentations, you probably envision a long string of PowerPoint slides and a desperate battle to stay awake.
Yes, presentations can be boring, but on the other hand, they can also be interesting! In fact, there are tons of books and sites which help you define, refine and jazz up your presentation style and skills.
However, there’s another side to the equation besides the presenter and that’s the tools used to make the presentation. There are also some great options for pimping your presentations using the latest and best presentation software online. Best of all, many of the presentation software options are free (or offer a free level of use).
To kick-start your exploration of these tools, I’ve linked some of my favorite ones below. Using these do not guarantee that your presentation will get standing ovations, but it should help keep your audience awake. Have fun!
Don’t hate me for introducing you to Prezi. Mind you, It’s a great tool, but it does have the potential to suck up a lot of your time!
Using an intuitive interface (though there is a learning curve), Prezi allows you to create flowing presentations which zoom in-and-out and all over the screen as part of an interconnected whole.
Trust me, it’s cool – watch their introduction video and find out for yourself. They even have an iPad edition though, based on comments, it lags behind the online version.
Animoto allows you to combine images, music, text and more into a slideshow video that punches a hole through your audiences’ mid-meeting nap. The videos can be downloaded, used on YouTube, embeded in your website and yes, used as a presentation.
It has an easy-to-use interface and offers tons of options, especially in the pro edition which includes a “Call to Action” button that turns a presentation into a sales tool and a free-to-use music library.
Expressr also allows you to create an engaging slideshow video presentation and then share it in many places online.
One great feature is the ability to track metrics for the presentation at each place your share the slideshow. Metrics include how many people viewed the presentation as well as how long each person spent on each slide.
Both services allow you to easily (with a bit of a learning curve) create animated videos which can be used in a number of formats and are very fun and engaging for audiences.
It’s likely that you’ve seen a video created by one or both of these services online or on your TV (I believe a major insurance company even used it for a TV spot!).
Give these both a try, though I warn that these can be big time-suckers as well. 🙂
This very cool tool takes your PDF, Word and PowerPoint documents and converts them into glossy magazines which have pages you can turn.
What’s more, these virtual magazines are search-engine-friendly, can be added to your favorite social media sites and tracks views and other metrics.
Though perhaps aimed more at teens, Glogster allows you to create an “online poster” which can feature text, images (they provide a clip-art gallery for you to use), videos and music.
I can imagine using Glogster to present a big-picture view to my audiences, something that combines the power of my message with the multimedia tools to make my point effectively.