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Death by PowerPoint? 5 Programs to Bring Your Presentations to Life

Death by PowerPoint? 5 Programs to Bring Your Presentations to Life

Many of us have sat through countless PowerPoint presentations, waiting and wishing for them to end. Why? Honestly, the presentations are mind-numbingly boring! But when you need to give a presentation and want to avoid the blank stares and awkward yawns, here are five programs you can use that can help breathe life into it.

1. Knovio

www.knovio.com

    Knovio

    is a free, easy-to-use program that allows you to bring your presentations to life by adding video or audio. With Knovio you can take your existing PowerPoint slides and easily add your own video or audio to synchronize with the slide content. You can then share this presentation by e-mail or social media. The best thing about Knovio is that whether your presentation is for business, educational or personal use, you are not limited in the number of videos you create under your free account.

    Check out this video to see how Knovio works:

     

    Helpful hint: Knovio can be an extremely powerful tool in circumstances where you want to deliver a strong digital presentation, but still use a PowerPoint presentation for your delivery. I have used Knovio remotely to give presentations for which I was unavailable in person to present the material. 

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    2. Prezi

    Prezi

      Prezi

      allows you to create presentations in a highly engaging and dynamic way. Prezi creates animated presentations, though instead of creating a series of slides with typical presentation programs, you put all of your content on a single canvas. You trace a path from one item to another until you cover everything in your canvas. When the presentation begins, the browser zooms in the first item you created in your path, then out and back in again to the next item in the path. This continues for each remaining item, until it reaches the end of the path.

      Prezi is a little more complex to use, but the online program definitely accommodates not-so-tech-savvy individuals. Prezi is accessible for free, but for limited use. Under the free membership you are entitled to only 100MB of storage space, which is enough for only a few presentations, and all your Prezis will be marked public. Only paid versions of Prezi receive more storage space, amenities and the option to make your presentations private.

      Here’s an explanation of how Prezi works:

       

      Helpful hint: Prezi can be a more refreshing way to deliver a presentation still covering the content used within a traditional PowerPoint presentation. Many of the premade templates are very professional looking, and the transitions are more attention grabbing than traditional PowerPoint presentations. I have used Prezi when I know that I am going to be presenting to a “tough” crowd and I want to be sure to keep their attention.

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      3. PowToon

      www.powtoon.com

        Looking for an “out-of-the-box”  way of presenting your presentations? PowToon is the program for you. PowToon is video animation software that makes creating engaging, interesting and exciting animated videos extremely easy. You can create an amazing animated presentation without needing design or technical skills.

        Worried that PowToon is hard to use? The PowToon program is extremely similar to creating a PowerPoint presentation, the only major difference is that you have the ability to add animation and timing to your slides. It’s that easy. PowToon is free for limited use. In the free version, you can create as many videos as you want, but your videos can only be five minutes in length. In addition, the PowToon logo will be in your presentation. If you want a longer or logo-free presentation, you can purchase a premium version PowToon for an annual fee.

        Here’s the instructional video showing how PowToon works:

         

        Helpful hint: PowToon should be used more as an introduction or conclusion to a presentation. Although PowToon is an innovative tool for presentations, it may be hard to put a lot of content into them. I use PowToon when I want to present an overall theme or topic during my presentation, and I use it more as a supplement – or my “wow” factor. I find that creating one is a little more time consuming than I would like, so I try not to make them too long.

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        4. Hakiu Deck

        Haiku Deck

          Haiku Deck is the Instagram of presentations. Haiku Deck allows users to be more creative in the presentation-making process by its versatility with text and pictures. Users will find that this platform is easy to navigate, and that you have the option to work web free with a computer or from a free iPad application.

          Once you have completed your presentation, you are able to make your “deck” public, restricted or private. You are able generate a PDF or convert it into a PowerPoint presentation. You are also able to share your deck on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, WordPress and through e-mail. You also have the option to copy the link or html and insert it into a website. With all of these sharing options, Haiku Deck is becoming the new way to create online presentations.

          Check out this video to see how Haiku Deck works:


          Helpful hint: If you feel limited with PowerPoint and feel the need to express yourself more, Hakiu Deck will give you that outlet. I like the flexibility of being able to work seamlessly from your iPad to your computer. And for those people who have a strong social media presence or travel often, this is the go-to program for you.

          5. Emaze

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          emaze

            Emaze presentations are simply amazing. Emaze, by far, has some of the best templates of all presentation programs out there. Templates range from a newspaper article to something that looks like it came out of a commercial. In addition, the Emaze website offers a tutorial before users begin to create their presentation, something that many other presentation programs do not offer. Emaze is free for limited use, or you can upgrade to a basic, pro or business version for a monthly rate.

            What makes this different from other presentation programs is the ability to collaborate on a presentation. Users have the ability to password protect their presentation and invite others through e-mail to collaborate. When your presentation is complete, you have the ability to e-mail, link and embed your presentation, or share your presentation on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

            Here’s how Emaze works:

             

            Helpful hint: Emaze is one of the best tools to use for digital collaboration on projects. It’s a great tool for projects that require group work.

            Featured photo credit: Tom Everitt via flic.kr

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            Last Updated on May 14, 2019

            8 Replacements for Google Notebook

            8 Replacements for Google Notebook

            Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

            1. Zoho Notebook
              If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
            2. Evernote
              The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
            3. Net Notes
              If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
            4. i-Lighter
              You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
            5. Clipmarks
              For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
            6. UberNote
              If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
            7. iLeonardo
              iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
            8. Zotero
              Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

            I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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            In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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