These days, there are many uses for a presentation slideshow other than giving an actual presentation. You can use a presentation as a sales tool, upload them to a social site or even embed them onto a page on your own site.
However, to create a presentation, you need some sort of software. Or do you?
If you are going to create a presentation slide deck, you would likely think of PowerPoint. But what if you do not want to pay for the full version use it more than the trial period allows.
Keep in mind that when you are using one of the options below, you will be somewhat limited. If you are looking to make something super fancy, you may want to look into Keynote (Mac) or PowerPoint.
Some common features all of the below will have are:
- Downloading as .pptx (PowerPoint) file
- Save to PDF
- Print slide deck
- some sort of collaboration
1. Google Docs
In Google Docs, there is a presentation option. Like the other Google applications, you can collaborate with other people on one presentation. These same people can view a live version of the presentation. This may come in handy if you are rehearsing for a presentation with a partner who is in a different area of the building, or even the world.
If you want to put the presentation onto your web page, you have the option to get the code to do just that. If you update the presentation, the embedded version will automatically update.
2. Microsoft Live
A while ago we talked about how Hotmail added a lot of cool features. One of these features is a cloud based Office suite. A simple version of PowerPoint is usable to anyone with a Hotmail or Live account.
It works in much the same way as Google Docs does. Everything is stored in the clouds on your SkyDrive. You can share and view the presentation with other Live account holders.
Aside from being able to download the presentation as a .pptx file, you can smoothly transition from the cloud to your desktop. You are given a choice to edit in your browser or open with PowerPoint (assuming you have it installed).
Show is Zoho’s online presentation application. I was pretty surprised at how many features Show has over Google Docs and the cloud version of Office. You can embed and print the presentation just like the others too.
One feature of Zoho Shows is the ability to add transitions. Not just one or two transitions, but over 30 different transitions.
The other feature that stood out as being very different than the other two, is to play the presentation remotely to anyone. Email them a link, no need to sign into Zoho or create any accounts. This is handy for simple webinars or trial runs of an actual presentation.
Google Chrome Web Apps
The next two options are applications you can add to your Google Chrome browser.
4. 280 Slides
280 Slides has a very Mac-like feel to it. It doesn’t have the same drag and drop abilities like Keynote does, but the clean and minimalistic feel.
You can upload your completed work to your SlideShare account if you have one. Other ways of sharing are embedding a copy of your presentation into a sales page or blog post. If you would prefer, you can link to the presentation in an email or instant message.
You can work on and export your presentation with no account. But if you want to save a copy online, you will need an account which is free. If you don’t want yet another account, you can download the file and import it next time you want to work on it.
5. Slide rocket
Sliderocket is a pretty cool little web app. You can do the same basics as all of the others, but the unique features set it apart.
The share option is simple. You can embed or send a link. Sliderocket lets you customize your link. This means the presentations will be easier to determine which presentation is which when you only have the link in front of you.
Of the two web apps, this is the one you will want to use if you need transitions when you change from slide to slide.
You also have access to a few plug-ins. These plug-ins add some cool functionality I didn’t see with the others. The Twitter plug-in will let you place a live Twitter feed in your presentation. The Quote plug-in will help you find and display the perfect quote to fit the mood of your presentation.
While there are some limitations to each of these options, they are a great way for the occasional user to create a brilliant looking, easily sharable presentation.