This past week in my French class we had to give presentations with at least five slides on a french film of our choice.  Since I do not own Microsoft Office I could not use PowerPoint, and would not have used it anyway. I was under the impression that nobody used PowerPoint anymore except for boring history teachers who are out of the know. However, this last week I was the only one in my class who did not use the retched PowerPoint to give my speech.  So, because most of my classmates did not know that better alternatives to PowerPoint existed I figured it was my duty to spread the word.

There are probably hundreds of alternatives to the all popular PowerPoint but, I think there are two that are most worth mentioning.  Those two are Google Docs and Prezi.

There are many reasons why PowerPoint is a pain. One of these pains is the fact that it is not online. In order to transfer a PowerPoint presentation from one computer to another, one must save it on a flash drive, or email it to themselves and download it in front of the class which can take a while. Another reason to not like PowerPoint is because you have to pay for it! It is $140 dollars to buy PowerPoint. That is crazy.  The biggest pain I think, however, is that the different versions of PowerPoint are not always compatible with one another.  If you use a newer version of PowerPoint and try viewing it on an older version, your slides can look screwy or perhaps not work at all.

So, if you are sick of PowerPoint and want some good alternatives, then you should use either Google Docs or Prezi.

Google Docs

If you don’t use Google Docs yet, you should, it will change your life. Google Docs is the reason I do not own Microsoft Office, because it has fine alternatives for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Their presentation making program is pretty basic in regards to making fancy slides and transitions and all that, which you could probably do without, anyway. However, where Google Presentations beats PowerPoint is in the fact that it is all online, when you make the presentation, and when you show it. The significance is that the presentation can be accessed anywhere on any computer with an internet connection. This also gives you the ability to share the presentation. Meaning other people on different computers can see/work on the same presentation as you at the same time, making it a fantastic tool for group projects.

Prezi

There was a past HC post  a while ago about Prezi, but it is very much worth mentioning again.  Prezi is a another online tool, that allows sharing just like Google Docs does. However, Prezi is a completely new way to give presentations. Prezi gives you a huge canvas that you can create your own custom “slides” of any shape and size on. You then create paths to each of those “slides” that can spin and zoom in or out to get to there. This online program makes presentations fun again like when you made them in sixth grade with word art and windmill transitions, while actually looking professional. If you are intrigued, check out that past post I mentioned, or head over to prezi.com and look at some sample presentations.

 

So, next time you have a presentation due in a course, rethink PowerPoint and perhaps use one of these innovative online programs.