Fun with Slides

It's a known fact that when you're having more fun making your presentations, they are more fun to view (right?). Powerpoint and Keynote are powerful tools, but may not be ideal for all situations (and they're costly). Fortunately, there are numerous alternatives available to inspire your next presentation. Here are a few that I've been using lately:

Google Slides
Available via Google Drive or from the Chrome Web Store. For simplicity and speed, nothing beats this basic slideshow app. This is definitely not a new tool, but it has become an essential application that I use for a variety of purposes (storyboarding, presenting, and outlining, among other things). It's free, easy to learn, and allows for individuals and teams to collaborate and comment on content. Two recent additions to Slides- editable master slides and a widescreen format- serve as nice updates to the basic program.

Haiku Deck
Currently an iPad-only app, Haiku Deck is a shortcut to effortlessly creating beautiful and professional looking presentations. If you're on the go, or just looking to get away from your computer for a while, consider composing your next presentation on your Apple tablet of choice. Using Haiku Deck's built-in Creative Commons image search, you can enter a keyword or two to find the perfect background image, and enter some text using one of the program's text layout options to complete each slide.  Presentations come together quickly and easily, and the layout restrictions force you to only include the most important information. For further customization, you can export your show to PowerPoint or Keynote, and you can present from your tablet or laptop. Best of all, this app is free (though upgraded themes and images will cost you). 

For those looking to break out of the WYSIWYG format and experiment with an HTML/CSS based option, Remark is an alternative to investigate. Utilizing Markdown text formatting and powered by JavaScript, Remark allows you to compose browser-native presentations with infinite opportunities for customization. Since they are built to be scalable, Remark presentations can generally adapt to display on any size device.  Building a web-based slideshow in this way allows you to quickly compose and share your content, especially if you already have a CSS template you like to work from. As long as you download the necessary files, you can even  host and present your slideshow from your local machine.