Microsoft PowerPoint is undoubtedly the most feature-rich presentation tool and of course the most widely used too. But it comes with a hefty price tag. If you are looking for a free/affordable alternative to PowerPoint that’s completely online and gets the job done then there are some nice options available. While you can’t expect them to have all the features of PowerPoint, unless you are a very advanced user, most of these tools should suffice.
Note: All the following alternatives to PowerPoint are web based. So, no software to download!
If you want to ditch the conventional one-slide-after-other presentation format and bring in a bit more creativity into your keynote then you should check out Prezi. While you can use it as an alternative to PowerPoint, the way you create presentations with this tool is quite different.. and so is the output.
Check out the following presentation that was created using Prezi by Chris Anderson for his speech in a TED conference.
Here’s the official video that shows how it works.
2. Google Docs
Google Docs needs no introduction. There was a time when people used to hate its web based presentation tool but not any more. It has gone through a number of updates and incorporated may user-friendly features over the years.
Of course, being a Google product, it works without hassles and keeps your presentation safely in the cloud. And if you thought that there’s no way Google Docs can be a credible alternative to PowerPoint, take a look at the presentation below created completely using Google Docs. You will change your mind.
3. 280 Slides
280 Slides (UPDATE: This tool has been shut down) is a beautiful online presentation maker that almost gives you the feel of running a desktop application, especially for Mac OS X users. It has features like autosave and recovery of documents, built-in media search from online services like YouTube and Flickr, and much more.
It integrates with SlideShare which means that if you are a SlideShare user then you could directly publish your presentation there from this tool.
4. Zoho Show
You probably know about Zoho, a suite of online collaboration and productivity tools. Many have said that it’s the best such suite available online, even better than Google Docs. I don’t know about that but its PowerPoint alternative, called Zoho Show, is good. It has all the basic features including the ability to remotely present to a client across the globe.
SlideRocket is interesting, both in terms of the user interface and features it offers. It has more features than almost all the afore-mentioned tools. There’s a neat user analytics feature too that gives you an idea about the stickiness of your slides.
All the tools in the list are either completely free or have a decent free option. Almost all of them provide a way to import/export presentations from/to PowerPoint. Try them out and tell us which of these you liked the most. You know where to tell us…comments!