All of us are presenters at one time or another. When that need arises the following tools can not only ease the creation process but save you some time, and allow you to create a presentation masterpiece. The fastest way to loose your audience and your credibility as a speaker is flip through slide after slide of small font bullets, text and charts. Most experts will agree that you need to engage your audience, to entertain them by sharing your ideas using fresh, graphics to make your point.
Each of the 13 tools or services listed below has the potential to help you dazzle your next audience, whether it be in a boardroom, a school room or your living room. Each on their own might be just what you need, but I suggest that you consider combinations of several in one presentation. Experiment with each, and then combine them into something unique to share. Share your innovative presentations with us all.
If you want to share your slidedeck with others, allowing them to download, embed it or copy it as you feel appropriate, Slideshare will provide these options. I refer to it as YouTube for presentations. Slideshare has an application customized for LinkedIn users, allowing presentations you select to be embedded directly into your profile. If you opt for one of the paid plans, you are also able to capture leads from those that have viewed your slides, as well as review the detailed analytics so that you know which presentations are striking a chord with your audience. Slideshare.net
There are times when Powerpoint/Keynote formats and flow will just not deliver the experience you are hoping for. If you want to explore a free-flowing, non-linear presentations format, then Prezi can provide an entirely new presentation environment. You begin with one large canvas and proceed to layout key points on the canvas, similar to a whiteboard. You then add text, video, PDF’s and even live web links around each key point. When you have captured all of your ideas, you link them together in the order that you would expect to present them. If your audience asks a question that is not in the flow, you can simply click on that area where you address the question, share your point, and then go right back to the established flow. Prezi can be used in both an online or offline environment. If you value an interactive, non-traditional approach for your next presentation, give Prezi a try. Prezi.com
Delivering your presentation/message over email always looses the impact that you can deliver in person. Brainshark bridges that gap by providing an audio track for each slide, allowing the viewer to move through the slides at a pace comfortable for them. You can also embed actionable links within your presentation. One of the most powerful benefits comes in the form of analytics generated from the viewers interaction with your slides. How many times did they view it, how much time did they spend on each slide and did they forward your presentation to others. Brainshark is ideal not only for your sales and marketing efforts, but also for training, HR and public relations efforts. Brainshark.com
Sometimes your slides themselves just don’t convey your intended energy and impact. Animoto provides a very easy to use platform that turns your individual slides, photos and text into a video, and you can add a soundtrack of your choosing. Simply take a each slide in your deck, capture it as an image, then add each slide to your Animoto workflow. Add captions, additional text or photos as appropriate, select your soundtrack and your video will be produced with professional transitions within minutes. Once complete, you have an HD quality video, and the ability to export to YouTube, Vimeo or your website/blog. You can even download a copy onto a DVD to play on a DVD player. Animoto.com
Using graphics in your presentations is one of the first recommendations that experts teach. Coming up with scalable, quality graphics, images and templates for your presentations can take more time than the content itself. Add in the necessity of ensuring you have the rights to use these graphics and it can be a daunting task. The team at PresenterMedia have made this much easier for you with their service. They provide fresh, top-notch graphics and artwork for you to select from, including graphic images, animated images, and backgrounds in several formats. You have the ability to modify each of their graphics for size, shadows, background color, transparency, shadows and reflections. They also have announced video backgrounds. If you have a specific need for a graphic, submit your request and you might just see your image made available for public use. Presentermedia.com
Another deep source for images, icons, graphics and templates for your Powerpoint work is PresentationPro. They have thousands of selections to choose from and provide a helpful search engine to help you find what you are looking for rapidly. There images are scalable, allowing them to stretched or shrunk as your needs dictate. Each month they release additional items, sometimes numbering in the hundreds. I have used their images in slide presentations, websites, landing pages and even printed products for years. PresentationPro.com
An effective tool to create and deliver your critical business communications to your customers, SlideRocket is worthy of your exploration. You can import your existing presentations to get started and then SlideRocket goes to work to reinvent your presentation in a fresh new package. You can access your presentations online, offline and on every type of device from iPhone to iPad or desktop. One of the features that I especially enjoy is the ability to sync presentations from the cloud to my presentation device, ensuring that I am always using the most current version. They have an included set of robust design tools to help you expand your creative powers. Analytics are also available for your review as you desire. SlideRocket.com
This tool might be the most innovative of the 12 mentioned in this post. Cynocast is an online service that enables you to upload each slide you want to share, with the difference that each slide is “live” within the browser, all links are clickable and interactive. You can present your slides to an audience of 1 to 1,000 or more, all at the same time as you would with most web presentation tools. The difference is that each viewer can click on a “buy now” link and complete the transaction independently from every other viewer. You can also “record” your presentation and share it online for future playback, maintaining the same capabilities as the live presentation. This capability is beginning to make significant impact in industries like vacation rentals, automobile dealerships and online computer resellers. Castinteractive.com
If you find challenges delivering your PowerPoint masterpiece to your customers due to file size or firewall limitations, Kineticast can help get your message through. By integrating the delivery of your message into their toolset, you can create a full deck, slide by slide with timing just perfect, add your own voice narration to the slides so that they hear your full message and then review full analytics based on the interaction between the recipient and the slideshow. Your presentation never hits the delivery barriers because all the client receives is a brief message and a web link Very effective and customer give positive reviews. Kineticast.com
Powerpoint is the brunt of many a joke or meeting complaint. It is an easy target to blame the software rather than the presenter. If you are tired of presenting using the same old slide deck over and over, then this free add-on from Microsoft Office Labs might be for you. You will need Microsoft PowerPoint 2007/2010 to use it. The basic concept is simple. You have all your slides on one large canvas, then zoom in and out of individual slides, moving between slides during your presentation. If you use an interactive style, you will be able to move back and forth between slides with ease with a fluid movement. Similar concept as #2 Prezi above, just executed differently within Powerpoint.com. Officelabs.com
Custom, personalized screencasts delivered almost instantaneously to a client can help you win that next deal. Customers value an effective, speedy response to their requests. If you want to stand out from your competitors, one way is to deliver information effectively and efficiently. That is where Screenr helps. It is a web tool that creates and delivers a screencast of your presentation over Twitter. Present your ideas, capture using Screenr and share with anyone that has an interest instantly. Once you use Screenr you will discover all sorts of creative ways it can be of help to you. Screenr.com
Made by TechSmith, the people that make SnagIt and Camtasia amongst others, Jing is like a Swiss Army knife of screen capture and sharing tools. Simply put, Jing provides instant screenshots and/or screencasts of your work. With this ability to capture your ideas effortlessly, you are then able to add to your slidedeck as images or even as an embedded video. The ability to grab an item from the screen and place it into a slide with ease will save you valuable hours as you prepare your next important presentation using any of the previous 11 or even the old standby PowerPoint. Techsmith.com/jing
Effectively presenting your ideas and concepts is as much art as it is a science. Using a creative, innovative approach will not change your content but it can help command the attention of the audience, giving your message a greater chance to get through. Check these sites out, experiment a bit and you and your audience will come out ahead.
From the innovative team at Brainshark, SlideShark is the tool of choice to share your PowerPoint presentations on an iPad. No conversion errors, messed up fonts, just a seamless transition from your desktop to an iPad. Plus they now include valuable analytics right in SlideShark, allowing you to see who opened the presentation and when, how many times, etc. Very helpful if you want to know where the interest is strongest. SlideShark.com
So far, the only one of these I’ve used in Slideshare.. and not even to share. Just to watch. I’m starting a blog and will need more types of content, so I’ll probably be using one of these to create and share presentations on the site soon. Thanks a lot for sharing so many tools. One of the Powerpoint sites that I do use is called Slideshop (http://slideshop.com). They have excellent templates and slide designs. Give them a try on your next professional presentation 🙂