Whether you are preparing for a pitch, a briefing, or a video conference, a great presentation can accomplish more than just getting your message across to your audience—it can inspire, establish consistent branding, and get you heard loud and clear.
While your delivery and knowledge about the topic you are going to discuss are crucial factors to a presentation that will leave an impression, presentation design should never be overlooked. After all, visuals are highly effective elements in a presentation. According to Duarte, presentations that utilize visual aids are 43% more persuasive than those without visuals.
Your presentation should be more than just text and images on a bunch of slides. For your topic to be easily understandable and more memorable, design your presentation in a creative and well-structured manner. You can even include interactive elements to make your audience feel more involved.
So, which tools or software can best help you achieve this goal when it comes to creating presentations?
Read through our rundown of the three most popular slideshow tools for your presentations—Keynote, PowerPoint and Google Slides—and choose which one will help you deliver your presentation best.
Keynote: Stylish, Easily Navigable Option for Mac Users
If you are a Mac user, Keynote might already be your go-to software for creating presentations. Part of the iWork productivity suite, it has the trademark sensibilities of the Apple ecosystem—sleek, stylish, and easily navigable. It features:
- User-friendly and simple interface that earns points for ease of use
- Various customization options. Along with about 30 build animations, 40 transitions, and a library of more than 700 elements, Keynote has the option of integrating themes from third parties.
- Flexibility to work on multiple devices. With the option to sync your Keynote presentation through iCloud, it is possible to work on the same file across multiple devices, making it easier if you need to use your iPad or iPhone to work on your presentation.
- Easy export. Keynote can be seamlessly integrated into QuickTime or PowerPoint and other iWork software.
Meanwhile, some of its limitations are:
- Limited formatting options compared to PowerPoint. Although you have several ways to customize your presentation, Keynote still has fewer options compared to PowerPoint, which can be a disadvantage if you want to create a slideshow that’s heavy on visual elements. You might also encounter a steep learning curve when using Keynote if you’re a PC user.
- Exclusive to Mac. Keynote is only accessible through Apple software. Although a version can be accessed through the web for Windows, users may find it limited and less fluid than its desktop version.
- Less robust help and support. Because there is a smaller community of users for Keynote compared to other software, resources are not as comprehensive.
PowerPoint: Comprehensive, Well-Established Software
PowerPoint has enjoyed a sizeable user base since it launched in 1987. Part of the Microsoft Office suite, it is the most popular tool for presentation-making. Widely supported for its usability, some of its other features are:
- Easy-to-use interface which should be familiar to anyone who has worked on Microsoft software
- Comprehensive customization options, including many animations, effects, transitions, themes, and the option to integrate elements from third parties; the availability of more features and functions makes it suitable for advanced users
- Supports import and export across multiple file types, including audio files, and integrates well with other Office apps, making it handy if you want to include data in your presentation
- Mobile support. Free mobile apps on Apple and Android make it easier to work on your presentation on your smart devices.
- Extensive community support. Its large user base means there are lots of resources available if you need help and support in using the software.
However, PowerPoint still has a few weak areas, including:
- To access PowerPoint, you need to purchase the Microsoft Office package. Although it has a web version, it is less comprehensive than the desktop app.
- Collaboration options. While it is possible to share and collaborate with other users through PowerPoint by saving your document on OneDrive and inviting your collaborators, there are more steps to the process than Google Slides.
- Limited flexibility across devices. Mac users may not get the same experience as those using PowerPoint on Windows.
Google Slides: Fuss-free and Intuitive Tool Ideal for Collaboration
Though relatively newer than other tools, Google Slides is fast becoming a popular option for its easy online sharing and intuitive presentation features. Here are some of its other highlights:
- Shallow learning curve. Google Slides is relatively easy to learn to use, and there are various help resources you can access.
- Web-based functionality allows you to work in real-time and ensures the document is always up to date.
- Collaborative and cross-platform. Multiple users can work on the presentation simultaneously, and they can work on the same file regardless of the device or platform they are working on.
- Innovative elements: for instance, there is a Q&A feature for more interactive presentations.
While Google Slides has a lot of key strengths for collaborative projects, it still has a few disadvantages:
- Limited customization options. The interface is simple and easy to use, but some may feel that the features are too basic for creating more advanced presentations. There are fewer choices for effects, templates, and other elements. There are also limited options in terms of exporting into different file types.
- Limited offline functionality. While available offline, Google Slides offers limited functions compared to the online version.
- A Gmail account is necessary to access Google Slides, so you would need to sign up for a free Google account to use the software.
Which One Works Best for Your Project?
Consider your convenience and goals when choosing the slideshow tool to use for your business project presentation. If you are loyal to Apple software and aim to create a simple, solid presentation, Keynote might be the best app. Consider PowerPoint for more comprehensive design and effects choices without a steep learning curve. Meanwhile, a collaborative project would work best with Google Slides.
Author Bio: Garry Everrett
Garry Everrett is a Tech Geek who is a freelance writer by passion. Mostly, he writes about topics revolving around the latest gadget and technology, specializing in new or refurbished iMac. In his free time, he likes to walk his dog, read sci-fi novels, and play golf.