The world is a presenter’s oyster right now – with the presentation software heavyweights in PowerPoint, Keynote, and Prezi at their disposal, as well as options like Haiku Deck, SlideBean, and Microsoft Sway. Navigating the advantages and disadvantages of each application can be a time-consuming task, so we compiled a list of pros and cons for the three most ubiquitous players in the presentation game.
The versatility and compatibility of PowerPoint is a primary selling point for many presenters. Since it functions with both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS, PowerPoint is especially ideal for users intending to distribute their presentation out to other individuals and groups. Compared to Keynote and Prezi, PowerPoint has robust design options and multimedia capabilities. Through this program, users are able to follow a simple process to add audio and video clips to their slides.
Although PowerPoint is compatible across both Mac and PCs, the quality of the program is not created equal on each system – with the Mac version falling short of the PC version. On the design front, what PowerPoint makes up for in design options, it lacks in design function. Plus, audiences may perceive PowerPoint templates and themes as outdated – a product of the software’s long-standing reputation in the presentation industry.
Tip: For more professional, business-type settings and topics, PowerPoint might be the best choice. The software is best suited for data-focused and informative presentations, as well as those presentations that will be given by multiple people within your organization or company.
For those well-versed in Mac applications, Keynote will be breeze. Beginning presenters, along with veterans who are pressed for time will also appreciate the ease of Keynote. Equipped with templates with built-in layouts into the themes, Keynote allows its users to essentially knock out two birds with one stone. Are you featuring animations in your deck? Keynote handles these much better than PowerPoint or Prezi. Compared to PowerPoint, Keynote boasts more elegant, sleek templates and design features powered by Adobe programs. If you want to save your Keynote presentations as a YouTube video or Quicktime slideshow, there will be no hassle involved in the effort.
PC users might really struggle with Keynote upon first introduction. For example, the application’s design tools are nested in dropdown menus and tabs, possibly foreign to the avid PC user.
Tip: For those preparing to craft a persuasive presentation, Keynote could be the better choice in comparison to PowerPoint and Prezi. PC users with time to spare could benefit from shortening the learning curve and utilizing the more dynamic format. Also, if you will be the only one giving your presentation and you won’t be sending it out to multiple parties, Keynote could work well for you.
Prezi is a useful option for particularly storytelling-driven presentations. It’s non-linear storytelling capabilities far surpass the offerings in either PowerPoint or Keynote. From integrating multimedia and pngs and vector images constructed outside the web-based application fairly seamlessly to allowing collaboration among team members invested in the presentation, Prezi provides unique design and distribution capabilities. This presentation-building option also adds movement to a presenter’s message, which could be particularly engaging in many settings.
While Prezi’s web-based format provides simple embedding processes for blogs and web pages, any disruption in Internet connection or tiny glitch can reduce design quality and functionality. Even utilizing the zoom functions within Prezi can lead to fuzzy and pixelated photography. Some audiences could find the zoom functions gimmicky, while others could succumb to motion sickness. Designing within Prezi can be a challenge too, as users are limited to a set amount of colors and fonts and shapes are difficult to manipulate.
Tip: If your presentation utilizes a creative storytelling format or a compelling visual metaphor, Prezi might be your best bet, as it provides more freedom in your efforts to construct a narrative structure. Even if you have never worked with Prezi, but you have the time and patience to learn how to get around it, the resource hands you the tools you’ll need to wow your next audience.
The presentation design software options available to presenters in this day and age can be overwhelming, but a quick assessment of your own technical skills and abilities paired with insight into your audience’s needs will drastically improve the quality of your next presentation. To find out more about the distinctions between PowerPoint, Keynote, and Prezi in addition to the other resources out there, search below.
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