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What to consider when choosing the right software application for presenting your content.
Proper preparation and research before choosing software strengthens your presentation, maximizing meaning while minimizing the risk of being derailed by unforeseen technical difficulties.
Before choosing a tool, consider the following questions:
- What kind of content will you be presenting?
- How do you want your ideas to be presented?
- How do you want your audience to interact with the presentation?
Once you’ve mapped out your presentation. Consider the following list of tools as a starting point:
- PowerPoint: Industry standard desktop presentation software from the Microsoft Office suite. Includes a wide variety of unique features, with a lite version available online.
- Keynote: The Apple alternative to PowerPoint tailored to Apple devices, though can be saved in PowerPoint format. Uses iCloud to sync across devices.
- Google Slides: Web based collaborative presentation tool offered through Google. Contains less functionality than PowerPoint or Keynote, while offering more options for sharing and collaboration.
- Prezi: Web-based tool where presentations are built on a large canvas, rather than individual slides. Generally not transferable to other presentation formats. App available for tablets.
- Haiku Deck: Web-based and strongly visual, relying on images with minimal text. App available for tablets.
- Know your limitations: Is there internet access? Is there a cost associated with the software? Is accessibility a consideration? Will you need to share the presentation with others?
- Do your research: Take the time to learn the software and get familiar with it’s capabilities. Make sure you can get set up quickly and smoothly, and know how to troubleshoot common errors.
- Be prepared: Have a PDF or PowerPoint backup saved to portable storage if possible. If using desktop software, be sure your presentation venue supports the software, or bring your own laptop (with all required cables!).
- Roberts, Stu. "The Best Presentation Software: Top 5 PowerPoint Alternatives." TechRadar. N.p., 15 July 2014. Web. <http://www.techradar.com/us/news/software/business-software/the-best-presentation-software-for-businesses-1256592>.
- Reinig, Valyn. "Choosing The Best Presentation Software." LinkedIn Pulse, 24 Mar. 2015. Web. <https%3A%2F%2Fwww.linkedin.com%2Fpulse%2Fchoosing-best-presentation-software-valyn-reinig>.
- Hoskins, Britta. "Which Presentation Software Should You Be Using." The Hub: The Marketing Technology Resource. N.p., 28 Apr. 2014. Web. <http://www.thehubcomms.com/news/which-presentation-software-should-you-be-using/article/344370/>.
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