What application springs to mind when you think of creating visual aids to accompany your business presentation? Wea€™ve rounded up five compelling alternatives to PowerPoint, including Web apps that let you dispense with installing software, and mobile apps that allow for presentation-building (and presenting) on the go. Our goal is to showcase presentation options that will help you get your point across a little differently, so your audiencea€™s eyes dona€™t glaze over in the middle of your pitch. Haiku Deck for iPad is designed to turn your ideas into beautiful presentations in about the time it takes to ride the train to work.
Haiku Deck provides excellent tools for finding free art to illustrate your business presentations.
Indeed, half the battle in crafting attractive slides is finding appropriate artwork to go with the text.
Leta€™s say your slide contains the word profits and the phrase 3D printing: Youa€™ll quickly get a list of thumbnails matching those terms. Ultimately, Haiku Deck is all about whipping together attractive slides, and ita€™s great for that task. The app doesna€™t support sound, transitions, or animations, though, and you cana€™t manually place your text or change the background color for charts.
That said, once you figure out Haiku Decka€™s mechanics, youa€™ll find it a great tool for building short, simple, and attractive slide decks on the run.
If youa€™re looking for a more traditional alternative to PowerPoint, one that runs in Windows and closely emulates the standard slideshow-building process, Kingsoft offers a compelling option in Presentation Free 2013.
If youa€™re already familiar with PowerPoint, youa€™ll have a huge head start on Presentation Free: Its default interface borrows heavily from Microsofta€™s Ribbon, though it has a second interface option that closely resembles older versions of PowerPoint. Presentation Free 2013 looks and works very much like Microsoft's PowerPoint, but you don't need to buy an entire productivity suite to get it. Kingsoft supplies a generous library of presentation templates that you can use as a jumping-off point, along with a nice selection of layouts, color schemes, animations, and the like.
Perhaps of greatest importance, Presentation Free can open existing PowerPoint presentations, including those saved in the newer .pptx format.
Presentation Free 2013 is without question the prettiest PowerPoint clone you can get, and save for VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) support, the free version is every bit as capable as its commercial counterpart, Office Suite Pro 2013 (which also includes word processing and spreadsheet programs). Building a story works the same as building a presentation: You create individual slides (known here as scenes) and populate them with data. These needna€™t be static additions, either: Perspectivea€™s bar and bubble charts are a€?motiona€? charts, meaning that you can animate the elements to better highlight data such as sales forecasts and market trends.
Pixxa Perspective Pro costs between $50 and $100 depending on the features you want, but it allows you to create compelling presentations in the office or on the go. Alas, the app doesna€™t let you embed videos or webpages, and you cana€™t add audio elements such as music or sound effects.
It may take you some time to learn how to use Perspectivea€™s various tools, especially for arranging elements in a scene and tweaking the data in motion charts.
Although the Perspective app is initially free, you can use it to create only one storya€”think of it as an app test drive.
Thata€™s a little steep relative to some of the other tools here, but Perspective offers robust data-visualization options.
It works like this: You assemble various snippets of informationa€”text, graphics, videos, and the likea€”onto the virtual equivalent of a giant, themed poster board. If Microsoft ever decided to release PowerPoint for Android, it would probably have a lot in common with SoftMaker Presentations Mobile. To be fair, Presentations Mobile offers little of the mobile-presentations finesse of Haiku Deck or Pixxa Perspective.
It can, however, import presentations from a variety of sources, including local memory and online services such as Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, and SkyDrive. In our tests, Presentations Mobile did a great job importing a 54-slide PowerPoint file from a Google Drive account to a Barnes & Noble Nook HD. Ultimately, this app isna€™t so much about replacing PowerPoint as it is about making PowerPoint mobile, with simple tools for building basic slides and robust tools for accessing your existing presentations on the go. The only experience more painful than sitting through a boring presentation is givingA a boring presentation. Amazon Shop buttons are programmatically attached to all reviews, regardless of products' final review scores. For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. PCWorld helps you navigate the PC ecosystem to find the products you want and the advice you need to get the job done. One sure-fire way to keep your viewers on their toes is to use short bursts of poetry throughout your slides.
To give the audience a real sense of your corporate identity, try customising your slides in accordance with your trading model. There’s no better way to get your audience in the mood for engagement than by offering up a selection of themed snacks during your opening sequence.
If you’re strapped for cash or stuck for ideas, you can’t go wrong with a cake decorated with product line miniatures. Be advised, though, that any on-the-spot experiments should be carried out in compliance with health and safety regulations.
If you’re concerned that the complex information you’ll be discussing might be lost on some of your viewers, try commissioning a dedicated animation company to cartoonify your more complicated points.
Not only will these fantastic-looking cartoons engross your listeners with their professional simplicity, they’ll also eliminate any language barriers  and lend your presentation a comically charming touch.
The opportune use of props can help give your talk a new and captivating dimension, and draw your presentation above the industry standard of PowerPoint text and handouts. If you’re explaining the inner-workings of your amazing new line of hair-dryers, for example, a techno-savvy audience might appreciate a hands-on look at the internal circuit boards. If you’re having difficulty designing an important presentation at short notice, check out our Ten Tips for Great Presentation Design. We also offer free scientific PowerPoint templates for you to use as a starting point in making your poster.
Download your free copy of our Periodic Table of Scientific Posters, a handy "how-to" infographic for making a great scientific poster.
If you've made your way to this PowerPoint Research Poster Tutorial, you're probably already familiar with scientific posters, but need some help making one yourself.
Scientific poster presentations1 are usually large posters that students and professionals use to effectively communicate research at a scientific meeting.

If your poster is clear and concise, an individual should be able to read it in less than 10 minutes.
A well thought out title will attract viewers and will clarify the subject matter of your poster.
Most meetings will require you to submit an abstract2 for approval before admitting you to present for their poster session.
In this section you will cover the materials and methods (shocking!) that you used in your research process.
It’s always a good idea to begin the Results section with an initial summary of your results. In your next paragraph, you can discuss the relationship between the data and your research question.
Charts and graphs are usually more effective than tables, but whatever you choose to use, make sure everything is labeled clearly! In your conclusion section you want to briefly review your research questions and the results you obtain. If you have an extremely extensive list of references, you may want to break it into 2 columns.
You can acknowledge people who have helped you with your work, such as other members of your research group or your funding source. When adding e-mails and web addresses, be sure to deactivate the hyperlink so they don’t show up as blue with and underline. A lot of posters include this section so the readers are able to contact the author later or read more about the research. Not included are well-known options such as Google Docs, OpenOffice, and Zoho Show, all of which offer basic slide-builders that can easily pinch-hit for PowerPoint and dona€™t cost a dime. Haiku Deck lets you add your own (from your iOS devicea€™s camera roll or from any other image library), but it can also search millions of free, Creative Commons-licensed images based on the words youa€™ve chosen for that slide. In fact, trying to make any major slide changes often causes you to lose the work youa€™ve already done. Available separately or as part of the Kingsoft Office Free 2013 suite, this program should satisfy most of your slide-deck needs.
You can add a wealth of elements to your slides, everything from sounds and background music to movies and Flash animations.
If youa€™re short on artwork, the appa€™s handy Web-search option makes it easy to find online images for your story. You can, however, record a voice-over after your story is complete and ready for presenting. But ita€™s not unlike learning PowerPoint: Once you know what you need to do, presentation-building goes pretty quickly. To unlock all the features and create unlimited stories, you must upgrade to Perspective Pro, which costs $50. In many cases, ita€™s notA because the content is dull, ita€™s just that audiences have seen enough static slideshows to last a lifetime.
It looks like something a professional effects shop would take weeks and thousands of dollars to create.
You can now include background music that plays during the presentation, or even add voice-overs or sound effects to a€?path stepsa€? (the transitions between areas of the scene). If youa€™re as sick of creating static slide decks as people are of seeing them, you should give Prezi a try. It is, at best, a rudimentary PowerPoint clone, allowing for the creation of only the most basic slides. Once you have those files in place, you can make basic edits and then restore the files to their homes, or forward them via email.
The process went slowly, however, requiring several minutes to download and open the slideshow. Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links. And you’ll love the end result, since the promise of rewards for the most attentive participants will keep concentration levels high throughout your presentation. Your discussion could be jam-packed with original and exciting concepts – but if its delivery is drab and lifeless, the audience will leave the room feeling anything but inspired. If you’re presenting a comparison on London’s best new restaurants, for example, a menu-themed set of slides could suit you well.
Any reputable caterer, given enough notice, should be able to work to your specific requirements. This might not be the most original stratagem, but it will show how much effort you’ve put into your presentation, and give the impression that you’re genuinely passionate about your company. So, as long as your presentation won’t cover any confidential material, you might consider inviting a long-term client to your talk.
And considering the number of presentations that ultimately fail because of the speaker’s inadequate performance during the Q&A session, you’d be wise to bring along a creditable subject matter specialist. It’s easy to back up your points with an abundance of favourable statistics, but nothing will serve to convince your audience as effectively as a live-action demonstration. Many outfits, such as VIDOONS, specialise in the animation of presentation sketches, and can even implement a recording of your voice into the sequence to maintain that personal touch.
This isn’t to suggest that you thrust a bucket and mop into the hands of each audience member every time you give a talk on household maintenance. Or, if you’re drawing light to your Customer Service department’s most common complaint, a genuine letter from an exasperated client will give your viewers some much-needed outside perspective. As sad as it is, your physical appearance will naturally play a part in moulding your listeners’ perception of you. If this is your first time creating a research poster or just need some pointers to take your poster to the next level, you've come to the right place. Regardless of the content, the presenter's goal is to display information in a clear, concise manner, while generating interest to engage in a discussion. Assuming the overall look of your poster has gotten their attention, you need to make sure that the title keeps it. Many times the abstract is also made available in a “meeting catalogue” or online database for later viewing by meeting attendees.
The introduction section is here to introduce your issue, so be sure to not bore your readers right away with excessive information.
Feel free to include any images, charts, or graphs here that will help the viewer better understand your process.

Don’t address your research question just yet; instead, just address the general aspects of the data you collected or the number of valid data obtained. A graph with missing labels or a table without a title will just leave the reader confused. It is common to shrink the font of the References section if it becomes overbearing and long. If there are any conflicts of interest regarding you and the work you have presented, be sure to include that here. You can include your email or website address, links to relevant resources, or even a QR code (What is a QR Code?) that viewers can scan to go directly to your website or a PDF version of your poster.
Whichever interface you choose, Presentation Free has one amenable feature that still eludes PowerPoint: document tabs that make switching between multiple open presentations much easier. You can also import a wealth of file types, including locally stored Excel and CSV files, the contents of the clipboard, or anything you have stored in Google Drive. And for anyone serious about presenting data, Perspective supports the creation of Sankey diagrams (a specialized kind of flow diagram), though this feature requires a separate in-app purchase ($100). Speaking of which, you can share a snapshot from your story via email or Twitter, and a recently added Airshow option lets you share stories directly from your iPad to up to ten other iPads. PreziA creates eye-catching custom animations that blow ordinary slide decks out of the water. But ita€™s really just a Prezi template stocked with your data and some extra infographics. That might not seem like a huge deal, but Prezi delivers such a smooth, cinematic experience, it almost begs to have a soundtrack. Even something as simple as changing a slidea€™s background is elusive within the appa€™s toolbar system, which consists entirely of unlabeled icons. Depending on which Android device youa€™re using, you can also connect to an external display to deliver your presentationa€”complete with any embedded sounds, transitions, and animations. Because the buttons are attached programmatically, they should not be interpreted as editorial endorsements. If you’re presenting your new bingo website, for example, a selection of gourmet nibbles arranged to spell out your company slogan will likely raise the mood.
Whatever you choose, though, do make sure that a vegetarian option is available; you’ll not do yourself any favours by alienating those with special dietary needs. Not only will this improve PR and help solidify your reputation as an open and consumer-friendly outfit, it will also provide an excellent insight into your corporate shortcomings. If you’re the Head of Customer Services, for example, and expect to receive complex questions regarding the company’s advertising strategy, a Marketing manager would make an ideal sidekick. If you want to prove that your latest waterproof mobile phone series really is more reliable than your competitor’s model, bring along a bucket of water and put your money where your mouth is.
Rather, use your props intelligently to demonstrate concepts and ideas that words struggle to convey. With that in mind, the less time you spend hunched over your laptop or readjusting unruly wires, the better. Research posters are generally a bit larger and designed on a computer with software such as PowerPoint, and then printed out on a wide-format printer. Poster conferences usually host rows and rows of research posters, so the poster should be able to be easily scanned by passersby. Make sure to keep the length of the title as brief as possible without taking away crucial information. You can even include graphics if they will help the viewer understand the work that you have done.
Be sure to include any graphics that can help show you data visually, as the readers can understand graphics more easily and quickly than blocks of text. Summarize your information and remember the goal is to make your poster easy to scan over quickly, so use bulleted lists whenever possible.
Plenty of other tools and services are cooler, faster, easier to use, anda€”in almost all casesa€”less expensive.
Alternatively, you can choose a solid background color or insert your choice of a bar, pie, or numeric chart (with manually added labels and numbers).
On top of that, Haiku Deck lets you export your presentation for further tweaking in, say, PowerPoint or Applea€™s Keynote.
Or if your talk is centred on contemporary art, why not re-create a famous portrait using nothing but sushi and oriental crackers? No company has a flawless sales process, and nobody knows your weak points better than your regular clients.
He or she will impress your viewers with convincing responses to every query, and come to the rescue whenever an obscure question catches you off-guard. Or if you’re determined to demonstrate the superior quality of your new memory-foam beanbags, turn up with a sample cushion and a hacksaw tucked under your arm. To minimise your Igor time, invest in a sophisticated smartphone that’s compatible with presentation software and, ideally, can connect to your projector wirelessly. Most poster sessions suggest that the poster should be readable from six feet away and able to be completely read in ten minutes. Depending on what applies to your topic, you could break the content into the following sections: an introduction to your research question, an overview of your approach, a discussion regarding your results, your conclusion, references for the materials that you have used, and an acknowledgment of the support and assistance from others.
However if you have to include an abstract on your poster, make it very short; remember, the poster itself is already a condensed report of your work. This will give your research more impact on your readers as well as show your professionalism in the study. While you may not be a graphic designer, think about how you could present the information in a more visually interesting way. If you’re failing to reach targets, you could rack your brain for months in a fruitless search for a solution – while the fix has been obvious to your average customer all along. If you’d feel more comfortable sticking with the laptop, the least you can do is have an assistant on hand to change slides, operate the equipment and distribute handouts; this will relieve you of a certain amount of pressure and, more importantly, assert your position of authority in a subtle and appropriate manner. Use charts and graphs wherever possible instead of harder to read tables or paragraphs of text.
Creative infographics have become increasingly popular and are a great way to convey information more attractively.

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