Many people describe PowerPoint presentations as a royal pain – either because they don’t enjoy making them or because they’ve suffered through endless presentations with questionable color, font, and clipart combinations.
Luckily, you can find great guides teaching you how to create engaging, attractive presentations to keep the audience interested. You can make them using both online and offline tools. An excellent way to boost your personal brand is sharing your presentations on the Internet. Whether you wish to draw attention to your ideas and expertise or just want to expand your portfolio, these websites can help you.
You’ve probably heard of SlideShare, as it’s the most popular presentation-sharing platform. It supports many file formats: Keynote, PDF, Microsoft Word and Open/Libre Office documents (PPT, DOC, ODT, ODP …). Uploaded presentations are sorted by categories so you can browse and preview them. Related presentations will pop up on the right side, which I found distracting, but you can always toggle the full-screen view. Note that presentations can be downloaded only if the author enabled it.
If you register for an account, you’ll be able to post directly to social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest…) and via email, as well as embed YouTube videos into presentations. SlideShare also offers mobile apps for iOS and Android, so you can take your presentations anywhere.
Note & Point
Note & Point is all about simplicity and great design. Presentations are sorted by file format – PDF, Keynote and PowerPoint – but can be categorized by theme using tags. You can rate presentations, leave comments and upload files for free. Just fill out the submit form – no account needed. The presentations are displayed on the left, while an informative box about the author with (optional) links is shown on the right. To download a presentation, simply click on it.
Note & Point is my favorite presentation-sharing website on this list because it follows the KISS principle that’s so often recommended for creating presentations. In short, it has one job and does it well.
A versatile tool that you can use to create presentations from rich media templates. SlideSnack accepts JPG and PDF files, and if you upload the latter, it automatically converts pages to presentation slides.
An interesting feature of SlideSnack is recording voice comments or adding written ones to your presentation. This will create a “slidecast” that you can download as a video or share on video-hosting sites like YouTube and Vimeo. However, the free version of SlideSnack is severely limited: your slidecasts can only be five minutes long, and your presentations can have no more than twenty slides (they’ll all get watermarked). If money is not an issue, and you really want to use SlideSnack, I recommend you check out their pricing plans and invest in a paid version.
SpeakerDeck uses trendy fonts and a dark color scheme, giving the impression of a professional, stylish presentation-sharing website. The interface is well-organized and focused on the presentation; there’s no clutter since the comments and social links are displayed below it.
Presentations on SpeakerDeck are sorted by category, and you can download them without an account, but you’ll need one to share your own. You can upload PDF files (up to 50 MB each). SpeakerDeck then converts pages to slides and gives you embed codes for sharing your presentation. It’s simple and quick, which is why SpeakerDeck is my second favorite website on this list.
This website is a complete platform for content creation, hosting and marketing. If you just want to test AuthorStream, you can do so using a guest account, but you’ll need to register to unlock its full power. Presentations can be uploaded as PPT and converted to video, which you can download or embed on your website or blog. You can use AuthorStream’s templates to make new presentations, then create a channel to broadcast (stream) them to the world. Other users can follow you, and you can subscribe to RSS feeds of their content.
AuthorStream also provides analytics and stats of your views and social reach; however, this is not available in the free version. You can preview presentations and download them if the author has allowed it. AuthorStream’s interface is quite busy, like it desperately wants to show you all its features at once, which isn’t exactly the best design choice. Also, the preview mode uses Flash which can cause problems, as pictured in the screenshot above.
Judging by the name, you might think this is like YouTube for presentations – and you’re right! PresentationTube is really focused on video content, and it offers a desktop application for recording and sharing video presentations. To upload them, you’ll have to create an account.
PresentationTube has the usual interface that all presentation-hosting websites seem to have adopted: preview on the left, description and comments below, related content and social media links on the right. It’s actually a project developed by a university professor from Oman as an e-learning and teaching tool. The PresentationTube website serves mainly as a hosting site for videos created in the aforementioned app. If you don’t want to use additional software for creating presentations, you should probably consider other choices from the list.
Your presentations don’t have to be strictly related to your job – you can use these websites to share photos from your travels, collections of your favorite quotes, or bundles of cool and useful links. Where do you share your presentations? Which website from this list is your favorite? Let’s hear it in the comments.
Image credit: presentation eboard woman silhouette economy