Last month I was sharing some Slideshare content ideas including re-packaging screenshots, collecting quotes, curating content and re-using your presentations from events you are visiting.
This time let’s share some tools that will make a presentation creation a breeze!
First of all, a few words about PowerPoint which I am not including into the list for two reasons:
- Everyone knows the tool already and there plenty of guides on how to use it (why list it here: It’s pretty obvious!)
- It’s not free (not even freemium) and I’d like to give you an opportunity to play with free tools today.
So let’s get down to the fun tools to put together AWESOME presentations and do that quickly!
Best part: Creating awesome presentations takes minutes!
HaikuDeck is by far the fastest way to put together awesome presentations. It is well supported on iPad, so you can create presentations on the go (even using your iPad photo collections).
Just login, select the theme and start putting in some text:
It doesn’t have an overwhelming choice of options (But that’s also what makes it so productive). You can select:
- The text template (header slide, list or text)
- Background type (an image or color)
- Layout (where the text is located)
- Chart type:
HaikuDeck will put text backgrounds the way it’s very readable and elegant.
The only feature that would make it even more productive would be the ability to store uploaded images. The tool will force you to upload each one as well (so if you don’t like what it looks like, you’ll have to upload a new one).
Here’s an example of a presentation I put together using HaikuDeck. It took me about 30 minutes to create which I think is awesome!
Read more HaikuDeck tutorials to make the most of the tool:
- Presentations in Poetic Motion
- Haiku Deck: Making Presentations Poetic by Mark Traphagen
- Haiku Deck for iPad takes the work out of building a slideshow presentation
If you want to get inspired, check out their official Pinterest account with lots of awesome examples.
Best part: A new way to look at the presentation
Prezi.com is the tool that will make you embrace an absolutely new approach to creating presentations. Here’s a quick thread comparing “traditional” (PowerPoint) and Prezi presentations. I first came across this tool through this awesome guide that lists all types of blog content (Overall, the whole beginner’s bloggers’ guide is a must-bookmark!).
Its online version is freemium (I never had to pay for the PRO access).
It has awesome templates including world map, dashboard, chalk board, etc
Once you choose the template, it usually starts with the overview of the presentation and then closes up to each part of it. Prezi is awesome for creating step-by-step instructions and tutorials.
You can upload your own images and backgrounds. You can also customize the theme using filters (“Sunset”, “Space”, “Vintage”, etc). There’s a large collection of available symbols and shapes you can use in your presentation:
To make the presentation Slideshare-friendly, you need to export it as a PDF. Here is an instruction on how to export a Prezi presentation into a pdf file.
One more great thing about Prezi is that you can invite anyone to collaborate (which is pretty awesome because you can invite people you trust to improve your presentation before uploading)
Read more Prezi tutorials to make the most of the tool:
Best part: HUGE choice of awesome templates and filters
Canva has a separate section for presentations that has a gazillion of absolutely stunning templates (Canva crowd-sources its photography, templates and illustrations, so its collection is constantly growing):
Canva is free but if you use any of their PRO elements, you’ll be charged $1 per item. Realistically, using the tool for about 6 months, I’ve never had to pay.
You can upload your own images to use in the background (to avoid paying):
[Those images will be saved for you in your Canva account and you’ll be able to access them there. I am not sure if Canva has any image hosting limit (If there is, I haven’t exceeded one yet)]
To set your own background for any slide, just drag and drop it to the picture and the default background will be replaced. You can also set your own filters for your custom background image:
[Play with all the multiple customization options until you find one. But when you do, copy-paste the Filter # to easily apply it to your next slide for consistency.]
Naturally, you can use your own images as presentation elements, not just a background (for example, you can upload your logo and use as watermark on each slide).
Text is as easy to change as well. There is a ton of available fonts:
You can also add more text templates from the “Text” menu:
There are so many great options within Canva that it’s sometimes hard to stay consistent but that’s something you may want to do, so while playing with filters and patterns, be sure to remember what you were using.
Read more Canva tutorials to make the most of the tool:
How to get productive with SlideShare content:
- Any time you are writing an article, think if it can be re-packaged into a presentation
- Alternatively (and additionally), you can use Slideshare to enhance your article (for example, instead of listing related links, you can curate them using a Slideshare presentation)
- Never start creating a presentation until you have all the steps in mind (Otherwise you’ll just end up playing with the tools, NOT creating content. This is not productive)
- Remember that while presentations are FUN (and work best on Slideshare), you can use other types of content to keep your account regularly updated. Slideshare supports PDF infographics and documents as well as videos!
- Finally, I am using the three tools above but I usually edit the final file in PowerPoint to add clickable links and water marks. If you know a good PowerPoint alternative that can do that, please let me know!
Did I miss any free (or freemium) awesome presentation creating tools? Please share them in the comments!