Fun Fact: By night I’m the brains behind this fabulous website, spending my idle time decoding Lemonade and researching satin bonnets. By day, I’m a Communications Consultant for a brand managing firm who spends her time creating strategies, crafting emails and pitching media. PR and journalism hats all in the same bag (no hot sauce, I actually prefer ketchup. Side Note: does that qualify me for swag?). Anyway, strange stuff, right?
With my day job also comes a lot of presenting, presenting to, with and in front of people. If you’re anything like me, creating the perfect presentation can take days, sometimes weeks until it’s ready to make its public debut. And if creativity isn’t your thing, creating something visually stunning yet comprehensive can be, well, intense. Iconography, color palettes, infographics, font type, looks matters. And in the world of adulting, missing the mark on a presentation is basically the equivalent of Becky watching Lemonade in room full of black women.
A strong presentation shows attention to detail, highlights your creativity, and is a memorable leave behind that makes your ideas pop long after you’ve left the building. As someone who has made my share of presentations, I know firsthand the value of being able to make a solid visual aide (or “deck” as we call it). It automatically sets you apart from your peers and is a great way to highlight your strategic thinking without writing a dissertation. So, for the sake of playing grownup and standing out among the Power Points, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite presentations programs and software.
Haiku Deck is a great PowerPoint alternative, particularly if you’re short on time but want to make a bold impact. The program is iPhone and iPad compatible and offers a free trail and tons of pre-loaded imagery and graphics to choose from. For best results, strong photos and concise wording are ideal. While the final product is visually awesome, there is limited space for large volumes of text, making it a bottom pick for a leave behind or major report. It does however work great for a TED Talks style presentation or lecture where you, not the presentation, are the primary focus.
An oldie but a goodie, Prezi offers a modern, sleek and web-based alternative to traditional presentations. It’s zoom-in feature is guaranteed wow those unfamiliar with the program, and it’s ideal for showing the relationships between the big picture and the fine details. I’ve used Prezi a few times and while it does provide a memorable look and is a great way to break up the monotony for your audience, it takes up a good amount of space on your computer if you export the file.
One of my personal favorites is Canva, a design presentation software that creates stunning graphics in minutes. Pre-stocked with imagery, hundreds of fonts and templates for presentations, flyers, social media graphics and infographics, the software is also compatible with iPad devices. Think of it as a godsend shortcut to achieve the visuals of a professional graphic designer with half the hassle. And it’s free!
So if you’re in the mood to do the complete most, emaze is perfect for you. The cloud-based software creates 3D and 2D designs with ready-made templates and built-in animations. It’s compatible across multiple devices and also has a language translation feature. While the program has various pricing packages, the free version is sufficient for a standard presentation.
Animoto is a cloud-based video creation software that creates videos from photos, video clips, and music into video slideshows. Not quite ideal for presentations but if you want to stunt at the family reunion or on Mother’s Day, this is a great way to show photos and videos without the headache of Final Cut Pro.