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Anything but PowerPoint: five fresh presentation alternatives

Rick Broida | July 10, 2013
What application springs to mind when you think of creating visual aids to accompany your business presentation? For most people, it's Microsoft's PowerPoint. But that's certainly not the only game in town. Plenty of other tools and services are cooler, faster, easier to use, and--in almost all cases--less expensive.

This is one of the coolest PowerPoint alternatives I've seen, period. If you're as sick of creating static slide decks as people are of seeing them, you should give Prezi a try.

SoftMaker Presentations Mobile (Android)
If Microsoft ever decided to release PowerPoint forAndroid, it would probably have a lot in common with SoftMaker Presentations Mobile. This powerful app belies its $5 price tag, allowing you to not only create slide decks from scratch right on your Android device, but also to import and save your existing .ppt and .pptx files.

To be fair, Presentations Mobile offers little of the mobile-presentations finesse of Haiku Deck or Pixxa Perspective. It is, at best, a rudimentary PowerPoint clone, allowing for the creation of only the most basic slides. Even something as simple as changing a slide's background is elusive within the app's toolbar system, which consists entirely of unlabeled icons.

It can, however, import presentations from a variety of sources, including local memory and online services such as Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, and SkyDrive. Once you have those files in place, you can make basic edits and then restore the files to their homes, or forward them via email. Depending on which Android device you're using, you can also connect to an external display to deliver your presentation--complete with any embedded sounds, transitions, and animations. (Unfortunately, it doesn't support videos.)

In our tests, Presentations Mobile did a great job importing a 54-slide PowerPoint file from a Google Drive account to a Barnes & Noble Nook HD. The process went slowly, however, requiring several minutes to download and open the slideshow. But it played back perfectly, transitions and all.

Ultimately, this app isn't so much about replacing PowerPoint as it is about making PowerPoint mobile, with simple tools for building basic slides and robust tools for accessing your existing presentations on the go. For a mere $5, it's hard to beat.

Take the 'no boring presentations' pledge
The only experience more painful than sitting through a boring presentation isgiving a boring presentation. If a concept is worth presenting, it's worth presenting effectively.

Take the "no boring presentations" pledge: Invest a little time, give these programs a try, and create a slideshow that will capture your audience's attention so that you can persuade them to embrace your ideas. It could make all the difference for your business.


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