Presentation makers have come a long way since PowerPoint was first introduced over 20 years ago. Since then video usage, collaboration and broad sharing of presentations have entirely changed the presentation landscape. So shouldn’t the criteria you use to evaluate them evolve as well? Here are 5 capabilities to consider as you evaluate a new presentation maker.
When looking for the best presentation maker it’s safe to assume authoring (i.e., actually creating a presentation) is core functionality. Authoring is a very broad topic so rather than provide all the details to consider here are 7 key areas of functionality to consider:
- Transitions – Look for a variety of effects to add life to the transition between slides.
- Image Effects – Make sure you can add interesting borders, adjust the coloring, add motion, etc.
- Fonts – You should have plenty to choose from and be able to load your own custom fonts.
- Tables – It’s best to avoid having to constantly update tables when your data changes so look for a presentation creator with built-in tables.
- Charts – If you have the need for tables you’re going to want charts too, so make sure this capability is available.
- Shapes – The ability to make shapes is a basic requirement.
- Animations – Like transitions, look for a solid set of choices for how elements enter the slide.
It’s no secret that emailing a PowerPoint presentation can be a real bear, particularly when file sizes are large. This issue can be easily overcome with online presentation makers that enable you to send links rather than files. Consider also what will be required of your recipients in order to view your presentation. Will they have to download the same presentation creator? Will they be able to view your slides on any browser? Or is it a seamless process that only requires a click?
Adding your presentation to a blog or website is a great way to grow your audience. Make sure your presentation maker enables you to do this with a simple embed code. And with the fast growing usage of iPads, you’ll want to make sure your presentation maker handles presenting on the iPad.
Some presentation creators (e.g., SlideRocket) even have a feature to host web meetings where you invite others to attend and they view your slides as you progress through your presentation. Pretty cool.
The ability to handle video well is not common for a presentation maker. Yet video has become a critical aspect of marketing your business. Large file sizes can trip up many presentation programs, and embedding YouTube videos in PowerPoint can be awkward. Online presentation makers store large files in the cloud to take the onus of storing and transferring them off you. Be sure to monitor the quality of the playback too.
Understanding who is viewing your presentation and which slides they find most interesting is a powerful tool. You should be able to receive alerts when your presentation is opened and then be able to drill-in for more detail on the amount of time viewers are spending on each slide.
Collaboration in a presentation maker can mean many things. You should be able to work on the same presentation with several people without having to email versions back and forth. And your presentations, slides and assets should remain available to your team. When everyone has easy access to the latest and greatest assets, the efficiency of your group and the presentation quality grows tremendously.
These five presentation maker capabilities will help you get started evaluating the best program for your needs. As you look into each presentation program in more detail, but sure to consider the robustness of each capability to make sure they match how you work.