Half a billion people use PowerPoint and more than a few of them are looking for new alternatives in 2018. If you’re looking for a fresh approach this year, we’ve got a few ideas for you. Before you decide which method to present with, though, ask yourself what purposes your presentation materials have. At the end of the day, we wall want our story, lesson, sales pitch, or update to be compelling and memorable. For each PowerPoint alternative we’ve listed below, we’ve included a few of its best scenarios and benefits, so that you can pick the best presentation method for your purposes.
PowerPoint Alternative #1: Haiku Deck
It’s very near and dear to our hearts, as you may imagine — but not just because it’s our job. Haiku Deck embraces our favorite aspects of presentations and storytelling: simplicity, beauty, and fun. We designed the app around the key principles of great presentation design: express one idea at a time, reinforce that idea with powerful images, apply consistent formatting, and keep it simple. If you’re not familiar, watch the short video above for a taste.
- Inspiring your audience with memorable stories and impactful ideas illustrated with stunning images.
- Presentations that abide by the presentation best practices that experts embrace around the world.
- Visual Storytelling
- Makes it quick and easy to create gorgeous presentations on the web or iPad
- Supports you as a storyteller with over 40M Creative Commons License photos.
- Fully mobile.
- Your slides will look clean, attractive, and professional — without the ‘template’ feel of a PowerPoint or Keynote slideshow
- You can print handouts from your deck
- Your materials will be available online for easy sharing.
Someone who uses Haiku Deck:
Lots of people use Haiku Deck, for a wide range of purposes! Here are a few good examples from our gallery to check out:
PowerPoint Alternative #2: Print-Outs
Even though we’re in the presentation business, we know that sometimes a simple handout works better than a presentation.
This alternative is great for:
- Kicking off new projects involving lots of detail and exhaustive task lists
- In-depth content that your team might want to reference later
- Meetings outside of the office
- Being prepared ahead of time so you won’t have to fuss with technology
Handouts allow your audience members to interact with the materials, and take your presentation home with them. Your attendees:
- Can read while you speak, benefitting from both auditory and visual learning aids
- Won’t have to divert attention to taking notes
- Will be able to focus more energy into thinking about what you’re presenting on
- Can share your work with others
Handouts in action:
One person who strongly advocates the use of handouts is Edward Tufte, a pioneer in the presenting world. In his words:
Overhead projectors and PowerPoint tend to leave no traces; instead give people paper, which they can read, take away, show others, make copies, and come back to you in a month and say “Didn’t you say this last month? It’s right here in your handout.”
A paper record tells your audience that you are serious, responsible, exact, credible.
PowerPoint Alternative #3: Flip-Boards / Whiteboards
If you’ve got artistic chops or just like to scribble, you might try a using a flip board or whiteboard to present with.
This method can be great when:
- Your topic can be diagrammed
- If you like drawing or sketching
- You want to brainstorm with your listeners
- Listeners can find the physical action of drawing more engaging than looking at a screen.
- This method allows you to be more dynamic, using different styles and colors to drive home understanding and emphasis in real time
- You can make the presentation more interactive, inviting listeners to get involved at the whiteboard
How to pull it off:
- Use color to your advantage. Make sure your listeners can see what you’re writing from the back of the room! Check to make sure there isn’t too much glare for your audience to see.
- Practice beforehand. Practice writing at a whiteboard angle, which is very different from writing on paper.
- Speak toward the audience. Remember, if your mouth is pointed at the white board, your listeners might have a hard time hearing you.
- Include visuals with your words. Lines, shapes, and drawings make a boring whiteboard much more compelling.
PowerPoint Alternative #4: No Slides
Sometimes the best stories are delivered without any slides at all.
- You don’t have data to share
- Your meeting topic involves interaction with the audience
- You’re confident and entertaining
- This method puts your personality front and center, free from visual distraction.
- The situation lends itself nicely to connecting on a personal level with your audience
- You can move around more, unencumbered by a projector or whiteboard
How to pull it off:
- Use props and artifacts to illustrate your key points and trigger emotion from your listeners
- Rehearse enough that you can deliver without a script
- Watch the audience for visual cues you can interact with or respond to, so it feels fresh and unscripted
PowerPoint Alternative #5: Mind Maps
Mind-mapping tools are great for drawing out ideas and building connections with your audience. This can be a fun exercise and, when done correctly, keeps listeners very engaged.
- Idea generation
- Strategic planning
- Great for connecting and building upon ideas from listeners
- Helps to organize different thoughts that come up in a free-form discussion
- Results in a visual that gathers input, rather than showing specific findings.
So, what PowerPoint alternatives do you use?
Have another PowerPoint alternative not listed here? Any other apps you’d like to recommend? Let us know!