Tired Presentations? Alternatives to PowerPoint

We recently discussed some top tips for creating great presentations. However, in this post we’d like to discuss some great alternatives to just defaulting to Microsoft PowerPoint. There are a growing number of people now relying on cloud based Internet hosted applications for presentations, without the need for desktop software. Not only does this make presentations easily accessible, it also provides some fresh alternatives to the look and feel of your presentations.

We’re not here to bag PowerPoint at all, it’s a great piece of software that many of us rely on daily. However, since it was launched in 1990 there have been a range of other presentation tools that have come onto the scene. We’d like to share some of the other alternatives out there that might be better suited to you, make your job easier and help your next presentation stand out from the norm.

Prezi

Prezi was launched in 2009 and is a web based presentation application that brings a new perspective to the traditional whiteboard and slide formats for sharing of ideas.

We all know just how important visuals are in your presentation. That’s one of the reasons why the zoom functionality of Prezi is so popular, it allows you to zoom and rotate around your page or ‘virtual canvas’ to help the audience visualise your ideas. These may be in text, images or even video.

Many presentations are also not linear, often there are many concepts that are inter-related. Instead of jumping back and forth in your presentation deck, with Prezi you just zoom up, down, left or right as you please. If your presentation is more linear, you can even create a storyline to take your audience on a journey.

Prezi also has a cool Prezi Viewer iPad App so you can present from your iPad.

Google Docs Presentation

Google Docs is actually a suite of tools on the web that allows you to create and edit documents online so you can collaborate with others in real time.

The Google Docs Presentation component has come a long way since it was launched in 2007. Not only can you create your presentation online, you can store it there so you can access it almost anywhere. There is also a great selection of interesting themes, custom drawings and animations to make your presentation more exciting.

Another great feature of Google Docs is you can collaborate in real time with others whether they’re in the same room as your or on the other side of the world.

Google Docs is also easy to access on any device so with many of us now having tablets and smartphones, this functionality is really handy.

Keynote

Keynote is developed by Apple and was first launched in 2003.

Keynote is a favourite with the Apple crowd and for good reason. It’s a very advanced presentation tool. One of the main benefits of Keynote is that it’s compatible with all your Apple devices and by using iCloud you can create presentations and access the latest version from any device. There is also a great collection of themes and we all know one thing Apple does well is design.

The software has a similar feel to PowerPoint but has it’s own unique features and functionality such as great graphic tools and drag and drop for images, video and music. You can even add on the Keynote Remote which lets you use your iPhone as a wireless controller.

SlideRocket

http://youtu.be/nija_9mLTPE

SlideRocket was founded in 2007 and is a web based presentation platform with a slick set of professional design tools with eye catching themes, charts, tables, images, audio and Flash. What is particularly cool about SlideRocket is the ability to measure how effective your presentation with the great analytics feature.

As with other web based presentation solutions, you can access SlideRocket from anywhere and make your presentations available via computer or mobile devices. SlideRocket also integrates with Google Docs and Flickr so you can pull in live data and content easily.

So there are just a few of the great alternatives to PowerPoint. Go forth and challenge yourself to try one for your next presentation. Just remember to give yourself some training time so you can learn the full functionality first before you get in front of your audience. Better yet, have a few practice runs with your friends or colleagues.

If you want some more great ways to reinvigorate and deliver your presentations, check out these handy tips for creating great presentations. If we’ve missed anything you’re using that’s not listed, please let us know in the comments.

Tablet Advertisers Need to Step Up

While we congratulate companies who have jumped on the tablet advertising bandwagon, we suggest that they look closely at how they are constructing their tablet advertisements. Early adopters are failing to take advantage of tablet orientation changes (portrait to landscape) and, more importantly, the interactive capabilities of tablets.

In fact, most tablet advertisements are simply replicas of print advertisements. There is little use of animations or interactive features, other than a less-than-innovative URL inclusion. In terms of orientation change, the only alterations made to print advertisements are generally a slight cropping or re-positioning. Even worse, sometimes this cropping isn’t even taken into account and users have to scroll across the screen to see the entire advertisement. Much of this also applies to mobile advertising too.

This is perhaps a reflection of the nature of the marketing industry. Are marketers all too focused on ‘thinking outside the square’ and ‘looking at the big picture’ to take into account the all-important details? Are we so busy with our broad brush strokes that we have forgotten about the end-user experience? Maybe it is time to get back to basics.

There are so many possibilities out there when it comes to tablet advertising. If we start with the basics, make sure that a tablet advertisement changes its headline, background artwork and product shot when the tablet is rotated. This, in effect, gives advertisers the opportunity to include two advertisements for the price of one.

With technologies such as HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, developers have a wealth of tools and platforms to bring ads to life. The only limit is your imagination.

The next level is, of course, to introduce some interactivity (touch, tap and swipe) into tablet advertisements. Include calls to action: maybe an extra button for product details or a ‘shop now’ button which redirects users to websites on which they can buy the product and view other products in the range. If you have the budget, then why not incorporate an interactive game, animation or a video.

The use of tablets is on a steady rise in Australia. According to Nielsen, approximately 39% of homes will be using tablets by the end of this year. Advertisers should get on board properly and take full advantage of this growing medium.

Marketing.com.au would like to thank Sally for sharing this interesting post with us.

 

 

Interesting Trends in Mobile Access in Australia

With smartphone usage in Australia estimated at a whopping 40%, if you’re not already getting serious about mobile, now may be the time.

According to Morgan Stanley research mobile internet access will be greater than access from laptops and desktop computers. And according to Google, 44% of searches last-minute gifts will be performed on mobile devices.

12.81% of all visitors to Marketing.com.au are using mobile devices. At the time of writing iPhone, iPad and Android are the top device type. I’ll post a follow up article with more detailed statistics in a few weeks when the sample is larger.

I’ve checked a few other sites and the stats range from 5% to 20%. I’d be very interested in your stats, in particular the overall percentage of mobile visitors.

These exciting figures provide great opportunity for savvy marketers, but it’s not just the mobile web where the action is. The Envato Marketplace Newsletter has 223,000 subscribers, with over 6000 new subscriptions every month. The Envato infographic itself is quite interesting, however most interesting of all is the “most frequently used mail client” being the built-in iPhone mail app client.

If you’re keen on getting into mobile, you might be interested in a group called Mobile Monday. There are chapters all around the world with groups in most Australian cities.

Image taken from Google Analytics.