April 23

Two Alternatives to PowerPoint

For—I don’t know, 200 years?—the standard for presentations has been Microsoft’s PowerPoint. Ever since we dropped the overhead projector/transparency model, we’ve emphasized key points of our educational sessions with hard-to-read, badly designed bullet-point slides.

Although PowerPoint is still the most popular program, it has become the software we love to hate. That’s why we’re always looking for alternatives.

Prezi: Storytelling PowerPoint Alternative


Chances are you’ve seen a Prezi. The presentation is kind of like you have a giant whiteboard with all your information for your presentation. The presenter has a high-quality video camera. As she tells the story, the camera zooms in and out of relevant areas of the whiteboard, even rotating the camera into new areas to draw people’s attention to the right elements, then pulling back to show the big picture.

As with PowerPoint, your content will be organized by slides even though the final Prezi looks nothing like a slide-based presentation. Each slide represents where your Prezi will move next.

#NerdConfession: I just don’t like Prezi. So it zooms in and out and does a little twisting and turning. Big deal. It’s kind of a one-hit wonder. And frankly, it makes me a little dizzy, all that zooming around. I can do so much more with PowerPoint.

The free version of Prezi lets you create public presentations and share them online. Starting at $7 a month, you can keep your Prezis private, and $19+ a month gets you the software to create Prezis without an Internet connection.

PREZI UPDATE… The swirling presentation thingies are still there, but an upgrade they call Prezi Next now includes infographics, other documents and a really, really cool video tool. Click here to see my first Prezi Video, which happens to be a review of Prezi Video.


Sway: Microsoft PowerPoint Alternative… Created by Microsoft


Believe it or not, one of the coolest PowerPoint alternatives comes from… the creator of PowerPoint. Sway is a sleek presentation tool that enables you to create a slide deck that’s more like a flowing website, including dynamic content like embedded videos and social media posts. You can use it in place of traditional slides or let it stand alone.



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