PowerPoint is the central standard in German business life. Nevertheless, sometimes alternatives to PowerPoint are desired. Are they worth it?
PowerPoint for free
For over 30 years, Microsoft’s presentation software has been used by the majority of companies worldwide. This is also true for Germany, where the program is installed on the vast majority of company computers. Therefore, it is actually a good question whether one should look for PowerPoint alternatives at all.
Sometimes you may look for a PowerPoint alternative because you want PowerPoint for free. If you’re already familiar with PowerPoint, then you might want to take a look at PowerPoint online first – this alternative to the full version has a few less features, but is actually free and fulfills many functions especially for:
- Small businesses and sole proprietorships
- Clubs and organizations
- Educational institutions
- Private users
To use PowerPoint online you only need an online access and a Microsoft login. If and how you can use PowerPoint Online for commercial applications, you have to read the current license terms, which Microsoft will show you.
You can also use PowerPoint as an app for your iPad/iPhone or Android device for free. Like other Office programs, Microsoft offers the presentation software as apps. Of course, these have fewer functions than the full versions of the software, but they are sufficient for many cases.
So before you want to switch to an alternative for cost reasons: The free version could already help you and you do not even need to familiarize yourself with a new software.
PowerPoint has compelling arguments
PowerPoint has many advantages that most alternatives do not offer:
- fast creation of presentations – especially if you are already familiar with Microsoft programs
- the intensive distribution in companies worldwide as a standard
- high compatibility in the business environment
- linkability with Excel and other Microsoft applications
- a wide range of functions covering almost all tasks
- it is available not only for Windows, but also for the Mac
So, those looking for PowerPoint alternatives should check if the mentioned aspects are important for the company and if alternatives offer them.
In many cases, people look for PowerPoint alternatives because they want to visually appeal to a target group even better with a presentation. If that is your goal and you can ignore the aspects mentioned above, then there are indeed interesting alternatives to PowerPoint. These can help to engage your audience even better.
Still, sometimes you need an alternative to PowerPoint, for example if you:
- want to create presentations that stand out from others (“wow effect”)
- have special requirements for your presentation (design)
- you do not have Microsoft Office on your computer or on the presentation computer
- want to try something new
- want to add more IT qualifications to your resume.
In this regard, there are quite a few alternatives that are free and worth a closer look. Whether you’re a beginner or want to learn more about presentations, some of these PowerPoint alternatives can even be fun!
Let’s take a look at some possible alternatives to PowerPoint and what we like and dislike about them:
Google Presentations (English: Google Slides) are, in our opinion, the best solution if you are working with multiple people. For simple presentations that are to be created together, Google Presentations is unbeatable in our view.
In the technical area, you might prefer to use PowerPoint, because you can define the position of elements more precisely: But everywhere, where it is mainly about text, images and videos in a presentation, Google Slides takes the first place for us.
While international companies work with Google’s business solutions, German companies are still very reluctant to do so. However, we see a separation between the generations: Start-ups and new businesses often rely on Google and the associated advantages in efficiency right from the start.
We remember a case when a Präsi at our company had to be created quite urgently by several colleagues and even translated. At that time we decided to use Google Presentations, because it is possible for several people to work on the file in parallel without any problems.
Advantages of Google Slides:
- you can open, edit and save PowerPoint files
- it is very easy to work on a presentation online with colleagues
- you can dynamically link data from other Google applications
- the presentation is stored online and can be accessed from anywhere via a link
- You can easily access data from Google Drive
Transitions between slides, design templates, design import and multilingualism are common features of Google Presentations. If you want it online, easy and fast, Google Presentations is the right choice for you.
Especially if you want to collaborate with others very quickly and online, you should take a closer look at Google presentations solution.
As part of the open source solution “LibreOffice”, LibreOffice Impress offers you many free tools and templates for an appealing presentation. The scope of services is comparable to many other applications. The possibility of the current version to create 3D scenes with prefabricated objects and components is worth mentioning.
For presentation professionals, the following function is also nice: LibreOffice allows you to display the following slide as a speaker in the presentation – so you can prepare your verbal transition even better and sharpen your presentation.
For Windows, Mac, FreeBSD and Linux operating systems, Calligra Stage is another free tool for creating presentations. Its popularity and distribution are low compared to other programs, but if you are looking for an easy-to-use application that is compatible with both Office and OpenDocument programs, you will find it here.
Calligra Stage needs to be installed and, unlike other products, is not available as an app or in the cloud. Therefore, installation takes some time and you can only access your presentations from your computer. However, for some users, these are not disadvantages, but desired advantages.
With Prezi, you can quickly achieve a real wow effect with your presentations: With the application, you can use wonderfully modern templates with animations. Great: You can record a video of yourself and animate your presentation: This makes your presentation personal, modern and a real eye-catcher.
We remember a seminar in college where all the speakers used PowerPoint – only one used Prezi. What she talked about was forgotten pretty quickly: However, the fact that she created an insanely cool animated presentation with Prezi – that still has an effect today.
In its basic version, the program is free, but you’ll find that you need the paid part pretty quickly. We also like Prezi’s PowerPoint converter and the ability to create social media posts and animated diagrams.
Haiku Deck is a very stripped down free option for a presentation. The application lets you create your presentation on the web, iPad or iPhone. A basic version is free. If you want to use all the features, Haiku Deck comes with a fee. Students, clubs and teachers get a cheaper price.
What we find interesting about Haiku Deck is that it claims to have over 40 million royalty-free images and thousands of professionally designed templates. Anyone who produces a lot of content for the web can benefit from this.
Apple Keynote is available as an app for your iPhone or iPad, or as an app for the Mac. If you don’t have an iOS device, you can use the software online at iCloud.com, so you can also use it with Windows computers.
This presentation software stands out for its simplicity, design and features. Live videos are also possible here, which you can embed. A presentation often just looks very fancy very quickly with this application. This is achieved with the various well thought out design templates.
You can import PowerPoint presentations here and also save Keynote as PowerPoint. Since it is an Apple product, you will have to get used to this alternative if you have worked with PowerPoint before.
WPS Office Presentation
WPS Office is a free and fast office alternative with a writing program, spreadsheet and presentation software. The WPS Office Presentation software runs on Apple iOS, Windows, macOS, Android and Linux. WPS Office is very compatible with Microsoft programs.
If you want more animations, moving images and features, or even cartoons in your presentation, you can take a look at an application that is a mix between PowerPoint and Cartoon: Powtoon. This cloud-based solution lets you create an animated presentation and animated explainer videos.
With Powtoon, you move away from slides and towards movies. You can use video templates and add your text and additional elements to them. The training is correspondingly time-consuming – but the results can be a real blast: For example, it looks pretty cool when you put a semi-transparent and animated diagram over one of the professional video templates.
Powtoon is available in a free version, which is more for getting to know and trying out – the full features will then cost.
Canva is an ideal tool for designing logos, banners, flyers or social media posts. There is an almost endless selection of templates. You can also use the program for presentations – especially if they have little content and are designed for a strong visual impact.
Since you can use Canva both in the app and on your computer in the browser, it’s pretty ideal for working on the go. You can also form teams to work with in Canva.
Genially is a web app that lets you implement animated presentations, infographics, guides, and gamification. It offers a free plan to get to know it. If you want to work with it professionally, you often need the paid plans, for example, to import audio files, PowerPoint files or remove the watermark from Genial.ly.
Finally, Visme is another web app that gives you a whole range of options to create, including presentations, documents, videos, infographics, printables, content for social media or mockups. Again, there’s a basic free plan and paid offerings if you want to go professional with it. What’s helpful with Visme, as with its competitors, is the really great selection of templates.
No matter which application you choose: What matters most is what you present and how you personally convince. Even with a free and minimalistic presentation software, you can inspire and engage your audience – if you are appropriately good. In our guide “Professional Presentations” we have summarized some tips for you.
Conclusion on PowerPoint alternatives
PowerPoint is the central standard in German business life when it comes to presentations. For classic presentations in the business environment, PowerPoint remains in our view the software that you should master above all.
There are interesting alternatives that can often create visually more attractive presentations. However, most of your colleagues and business partners will rather rely on the traditional PowerPoint. So if you rely on sharing information / data, PowerPoint may remain the better choice.
Questions and answers
Can I use animations and transitions in PowerPoint alternatives?
Yes, most PowerPoint alternatives offer a range of animations and transitions similar to PowerPoint, enabling you to create dynamic and engaging presentations.
Are PowerPoint alternatives compatible with PowerPoint file formats?
Many PowerPoint alternatives support importing and exporting PowerPoint file formats, such as PPT and PPTX, making it easier for you to share and collaborate with others using PowerPoint.
How do I collaborate with my team using a PowerPoint alternative?
Many PowerPoint alternatives offer cloud-based collaboration features, allowing multiple users to simultaneously work on a presentation and share comments and suggestions in real-time.
Are there any free PowerPoint alternatives available?
Yes, there are several free PowerPoint alternatives, such as Google Slides, LibreOffice Impress, and Zoho Show, that offer robust functionality for creating and editing presentations.
Can I use custom templates in PowerPoint alternatives?
Most PowerPoint alternatives allow you to create and use custom templates, enabling you to maintain a consistent look and feel across all your presentations.
Are PowerPoint alternatives suitable for creating interactive presentations?
Several PowerPoint alternatives, like Prezi and Visme, are specifically designed to create interactive presentations, allowing you to incorporate multimedia elements and create non-linear navigation.
How do I share my presentation with others using a PowerPoint alternative?
PowerPoint alternatives typically offer various sharing options, such as creating a shareable link, embedding the presentation on a website, or exporting the presentation to a common file format like PDF.
Can I use PowerPoint alternatives on mobile devices?
Many PowerPoint alternatives have mobile apps or are web-based, enabling you to create, edit, and present from your smartphone or tablet.
How do I import multimedia elements into PowerPoint alternatives?
Most PowerPoint alternatives support importing multimedia elements like images, audio, and video files, allowing you to create engaging and visually appealing presentations.
Are there any presentation tools specifically designed for sales and marketing teams?
Yes, some PowerPoint alternatives, such as Visme and Slidebean, are tailored to the needs of sales and marketing teams, offering features like analytics, lead capture, and integration with CRM tools.
Are there any presentation tools with built-in audience engagement features?
Yes, some PowerPoint alternatives, like Mentimeter and Hypersay, offer audience engagement features, such as live polls, quizzes, and Q&A sessions, to foster interaction during presentations.
Can I use custom fonts and colors in PowerPoint alternatives?
Most PowerPoint alternatives support using custom fonts and colors, enabling you to create a presentation that aligns with your brand identity and visual style.
How do I add charts and graphs to my presentation using PowerPoint alternatives?
PowerPoint alternatives typically offer built-in tools for creating and editing various types of charts and graphs, making it easy to visualize data and statistics in your presentation.