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3 Simple and Creative Alternatives to Using PowerPoint for Presentations

When you think about creating business presentations, this first thing that might come to mind is Microsoft's PowerPoint software. But some people find creating and viewing PowerPoint presentations to be tedious or not very engaging.

The good news is there are a number of alternative presentation-creating tools. To make inspiring and creative business presentations, consider one of these easy-to-use options:

1. Prezi: Creating visual metaphors.
Instead of working with the traditional scrolling slide presentation, Prezi delivers zoomable, visual metaphors. It begins with a template which is a single image like a tree, a mountain or a map. From there, you define your slides by choosing sections of the image. Fill in your text, add images or video to each section.

When you present a Prezi show, you don't move from left to right. Instead, each click triggers a camera zoom to each of your sections.

Prezi can be useful for presenting interconnected ideas or nonlinear information such as a portfolio of past projects. It can also work well for presenting interconnected ideas. If you don't mind making your presentations public, you can use Prezi online or download the iPad app for free. For $4.92 a month, you can keep your presentations private, add your own logo and get more storage space. For $13.29 a month you can also work offline with Prezi desktop.

Related: New Tools and Tactics for a Killer Presentation

2. PowToon: Let cartoons do the talking.
PowToons are like animated infographics. You build your presentation using a library of cartoon characters that can walk, scream, wave and point. Combine the characters with cartoon props, basic shapes and text effects for a unique and humorous presentation.

PowToons can be handy for presenting an overview of your company at a trade show booth or the front page of your website. It works best for simple, bold concepts so keep it light and skip the small details.

The free membership allows you to create unlimited presentations under five minutes. But you can only upload them to YouTube they come with a PowToon watermark. To download and remove the branding, you can pay $8 per use or upgrade to the $19 pro account which also allows you to create presentations up to 15 minutes.

3. PreZent for iPad: Industry meets art.
With PreZent for the iPad, you can seamlessly combine still photos and videos to create a final product that looks like a digital art book. When you flip the pages, the videos start and stop automatically so they feel more like moving images than clips.

Another unique feature is the ability to add supporting pages to any section of the presentation. For example, a page that includes an ad your company produced might include a supporting page with a montage of behind the scenes photos or outtake videos.

At $8.99, PreZent can be most useful for anyone who uses a visual portfolio to sell their work, like graphic artists, photographers or filmmakers. But it can be tricky to use. All of the elements in your presentation have to be created using photo and video editing software on a computer, then imported to your iPad via iTunes. That includes resizing and converting assets to PreZent's precise standards so you'll need at least a basic understanding of editing software in order to use the tool.

Related: Making Sales Presentations
 

Cynthia Boris is a freelance writer based in Orange County, Calif. Covering all things tech and TV, her work has appeared on websites such as Tecca, MarketingPilgrim, SheKnows and io9.

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