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Less Words, More Visuals: New Tools For Presentation

July 24, 2015 - Posted to How to: Writing Dissertation

Content 11

Let’s face it, text-heavy presentations often have a lot of great information. Unfortunately, that information is wasted if the audience becomes bored and distracted. After all, nobody is learning about your new marketing strategy if they’re playing on their smartphones just to stay awake. Well-designed visuals can be just as informative as text, and they allow you to draw and keep the attention of your audience much more easily. Unfortunately, if you are using a bare-bones version of Power Point to create your presentations, or another similar software package, your options are limited. This doesn’t mean that hope is lost, or that you will necessarily have to dump your current presentation software for something new. There are several tools, some that work with your current software and some that stand alone that you can use to make your presentations rich with graphical content.

Create Technical Drawings, Floor Plans, Diagrams and Flowcharts with Gliffy

Gliffy is a cloud based software package that allows users to create and share technical drawings and other visuals online. It is easy to use, great for collaboration, the visuals are shareable via social media, and the files can be used inside of your PowerPoint presentations.

Don’t Forget about Visio

Occasionally a tool has been around for so long that people tend to forget about it. This is usually because they assume that there must be something newer, aka better. Well, there isn’t much ‘better’ than Visio’s real-time capabilities. With other software packages, you have to create your visuals ahead of time. The information in these visuals may be very useful, but the information is static. If you use Visio, you can create your visuals as your presentation happens, even taking information and suggestions from your audience. This is especially valuable in brainstorming or collaboration sessions.

Revolutionize Your Presentations with Prezi

If you are ready to step away from PowerPoint and try something new altogether, Prezi may be your best bet. Prezi is not necessarily easy to use, but if you can get past the learning curve the features are well worth the effort. Since Prezi is cloud based, you can work on your presentations from any device no matter where you are. You can also synchronize your presentations between your devices. Prezi is very ‘tap and swipe’ friendly allowing you to add Youtube videos, PDF documents, images and other visuals to your presentation. Prezi is also very useful to presenters who prefer to have their presentations unfold in a storytelling format by zooming in and out of important points and concepts as they present. Prezi has a library of content and pre-designed templates that take a lot of the guess work out of building a great presentation.

Build your Presentation Around your Concept with SmartDraw

With SmartDraw, you begin with the idea that you want to communicate. Then, through mind mapping and other tools you build up from that concept by creating a presentation, building visuals, modifying the flow of the presentation, and if needed, converting the final product into PowerPoint files.

Let Haiku Deck Help you tell a Story

Haiku Deck is presentation software built around the concept that beauty, simplicity, and fun are the keys to a great presentation. Users of Haiku Deck can use the images and backdrops provided (from Getty Images! Not too shabby!), or they can use their own images to create presentations that functional, attractive, and informative. If your audience has a tendency to think visually and would balk at stock images, this is a great product. Haiku Deck is a perfect visual presentation tool for design companies, the entertainment industry, not for profits, retail, etc.

Why use Static Images when you can Animate with PowToon?

Animation is a great asset when you are creating a presentation to demo a product, create a how-to video, or building a web-based presentation. Many companies balk at the idea of including animation in presentation because of perceived cost. Fortunately, PowToon is an inexpensive and intuitive ways for users to create animation and add it to their presentations without being sophisticated experts.

Presenting Off-Site? Let Zentation Help

It happens. You have a presentation prepared, but something comes up and you cannot be there in person. The old way of dealing with this was to find another person, review the presentation with them, and then hope that things went well as they stood in for you. The result is that you can package up your presentation along with your slide show for your audience. This means no panicking if you cannot be there, and no stressing over whether or not your colleague can get your message across. This can be a great tool for creating training videos and presentations that must be distributed and presented at multiple geographic locations. 

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