To create an interesting and engaging presentation for your school/college, boss, clients or lectures, Microsoft PowerPoint is not the only tool in town.
There are many other interesting tools which people argue are cooler, better, faster, easier-to-use and in most cases – less expensive.
So, after some good scratching of my head and losing some hair, I came up with this list of alternatives for Microsoft PowerPoint.
You may want to spend some time going through the videos and then decide which tool suits you better and for the occasion and only then use it to create your super-cool presentation.
11 Best Alternatives to Microsoft PowerPoint for Engaging Presentations
1. Prezi (Web)
Unlike traditional slide-based presentation tools, Prezi lets you zoom in and out to examine the big picture and focus on details, which is great for creating and showing compelling messages.
Prezi generates one giant slide containing the entire presentation, and each important element is zoomed in and out of in sequential order.
So even though you may have multiple points on the slide, you can direct your audience’s attention to a selected area.
It’s fun, slick and draws attention quickly. It takes the often boring experience of a slide show and turns it into a more dynamic, 3D-feeling one.
If you are having a hard time figuring out how Prezi works, you may want to check out some tutorials on their website or on YouTube.
2. PowToon (Web)
PowToon is a freemium web tool that lets you easily create presentations and animated videos with a cartoon look and feel.
The tool is actually aimed at amateur designers and video editors. It is easy-to-use as most of the stuff you do here is just via drag-and-drop action. You can choose the animation, its duration, add text, and even add a soundtrack.
With PowToon, you will be able create a professional-looking presentation which is all very interesting and engaging.
You can share this presentation in MP4 format on YouTube, Facebook and other social networks.
3. Haiku Deck (iPad, Web)
It was specially designed for making presentations on iPad but works well on the web too.
Haiku Deck comes with a mission of turning your ideas into a beautiful presentation in just a few minutes.
How does it do that? Well, simple – It gives you access to a wealth of free art where you need not spend time designing the background or searching for artwork, instead, you can just concentrate on the ideas that you are trying to portray.
Haiku Deck proposes to craft your presentation around one big idea and then sticking to three key points. This would make your presentation simple, clear and more understandable.
However, the app doesn’t support sound, transitions, or animations as Haiku Deck feels these take away lots of time in getting the presentation done (Hmm, that’s a fact).
Visit Haiku Deck
4. LibreOffice/OpenOffice.org Impress (PC, Mac, Linux)
LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org both use the same presentation builder – Impress. (LibreOffice was once a part of OpenOffice.org but later they split. However, both platforms use essentially the same tool for creating presentations.)
It offers an easy-to-use drag-and-drop option for building new presentations. Also, it can easily open and edit Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.
It has a variety of full range features and transitions that lets you control how each slide appears.
In addition to being able to create PDF files from presentations, it is also able to export presentations to SWF files, allowing them to be played on any computer with a Flash player installed.
5. Google Docs Presentation (Web)
My favourite alternative when it comes to replacing Microsoft applications is usually Google.
You may already be familiar with Google Docs, but did you that know you can create presentations with this web-based app?
Google Docs’ main strength lies in the ability to edit the presentation from anywhere and collaborate with others.
It offers numerous templates and presentation creation tools which are easy to use even by a beginner.
It has great animations and slide transitions to make your presentation all the very interesting to watch.
If you don’t need the bells and whistles of a pricier app and just want a fast, free way to create good-looking slideshows on any system, this is it.
Visit Google Docs Presentation
6. Kingsoft Presentation Free (PC)
If you’re looking for a more traditional alternative to PowerPoint, the one that runs in Windows and closely emulates the standard presentation building process, then, the Kingsoft’s Presentation Free is your choice.
Available separately or as part of the Kingsoft Office Free suite, this program should satisfy most of your presentation needs.
If you’re already familiar with PowerPoint, you’ll have a huge head start with this tool.
You can choose from a wide inventory of templates and styles to customize your presentation.
Presentation Free offers a variety of slide-effects including flash, sound, animation effects, etc.
Its default interface borrows heavily from Microsoft’s Ribbon, though it has a second interface option that closely resembles older versions of PowerPoint.
7. Zoho Show
Zoho Show’s is a cloud based presentation software similar to Google Docs.
This way you can create, access, review, edit and even present or broadcast your presentations from anywhere, anytime.
Creating presentations is smooth with Zoho Show’s simple and easy-to-use user interface.
You can engage your audience like never before by importing images from Flickr and Picasa. Now, create custom designed flowcharts and business diagrams while using animation and slide transition effects.
Projeqt is a non-linear presentation platform for creative storytelling that is different from the rest.
Projeqt gives you the ability to weave together stories by pulling material from multiple sources and insert it straight into your presentation.
From LinkedIn and Facebook to YouTube and Spotify, the possibilities are endless. You can even pull live tweets or blog feeds. This real-time twist is what makes the Projeqt stand out.
9. Quickoffice (Android, iOS)
Now owned by Google, Quick Office lets you create and edit presentations on your Android phone and tablet.
Quickoffice even supports the visually impaired people.
It is well designed and entirely capable mobile office application which will allow you to create compelling slides on the go.
Why would you need some heavy presentation software when you can get the job done right in your finger tips on both Android and iOS devices.
10. Keynote (Mac, $19.99)
Sorry PCs, but this one is limited to Mac users.
Apple’s Keynote is probably one of the most intuitive, easy-to-use presentation application to use on Mac.
Keynote has great built-in graphic tools to edit and tweak the images along with support for videos on your slides.
It even supports editing PowerPoint presentations in case if you want to edit them.
What makes it more interesting is its functionality that lets you control the presentation from your iOS device or project the presentation via video out.
The only downside of this software is that it’s priced higher at $19.99 and has no free lite version. But I feel it’s worth buying if you are Mac user.
Visit iTunes Store
Last Thoughts – Take the ‘No Boring Presentations’ pledge
Now that you have learnt how to make some exciting and engaging presentations, please take the ‘No Boring Presentations’ pledge
If you ask me, the only experience more painful than sitting through a boring presentation is giving a boring presentation. If a concept is worth presenting, it’s worth presenting effectively.
So here after, do invest a little more time in creating your presentations. Add necessary images, videos, cliparts, quotes and jokes to make it all interesting.
A good presentation is certain to capture your audience’s attention and could definitely make big difference to you and your work/business.