It’s estimated that 30 million PowerPoint presentations are created on any given day— and those numbers have likely spiked even higher given our new norm of virtual communication and remote work. Between startup pitches, business plans, all-hands meetings, and school presentations, everyone has a different story to tell. Regardless of who you are and what you do, we’d be willing to bet that you’ve created a deck or two in your day. But having a handful of presentations under your belt doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an expert.
In fact, it’s very likely that the majority of those presentations created on a daily basis are cobbled together the night before the deadline. The result? A poorly executed deck (or frankendeck, as we like to call them) that doesn’t support your overarching purpose. In fact, 79% of people think that most presentations today suck. Your content means nothing if it gets lost in transition, and a bad deck can derail your entire presentation in the blink of an eye. Luckily, presentation software can help you create something brilliant in a fraction of the time— with no design experience required.
Sounds great, right? But what is presentation software, anyway? Let us tell you.
What is presentation software?
Presentation software is the deck designer you’ve been looking for, without actually having to hire a designer. At its core it’s a platform or software that enables you to create visual presentations. Everyone knows the household names like PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides, but there are plenty of PowerPoint alternatives out there making presentation design simpler and more innovative. Alternative software, like Beautiful.ai, offers unique features that are not available in the dated software like PowerPoint.
What features should you look for?
Depending on whether you work for a small business, startup or larger enterprise, finding a good presentation software program is a must. There are many different softwares to choose from, but these are the key features that you should consider when choosing your app or platform.
A lot of inexperienced designers might dread starting a presentation from scratch (can you blame them?). A big selling point for a lot of PowerPoint alternatives is that they offer pre-built templates to help get you started. But even still, presentation design can be a big undertaking if you don’t know how to structure your story. Beautiful.ai offers a free gallery of pre-built presentation templates by our resident designer to help you start inspired. Each template is fully customizable so you can make it your own, while using our layouts to spark your own creativity.
If you’re not a designer by trade, a presentation software with artificial intelligence is smart (literally, and figuratively). Beautiful.ai’s smart slides take on the burden of design for you so that you can focus on what’s really important: your message. With smart slide templates, we apply principles of good design to each slide restraint so that it’s nearly impossible to create something that doesn’t look good. Simply add your content and watch the slides adjust without having to worry about aligning text boxes, configuring charts, or resizing text.
Some presentation softwares do animations better than others (no, we aren’t going to name any names). Your animations should be subtle, but effective. The last thing you want is your animations to give the audience motion sickness. But when done correctly, dynamic animations build in a way that directs the audience’s attention back to your slides.
We may be biased, but Beautiful.ai’s animations bring your slides to life without overwhelming viewers. We give you the power to decide how your animations will build on each slide. You control the speed, the order, and whether they build automatically or advance with a click. You can create a custom timeline, which is a manual control of your animation build. And you can also customize the animation timing and style to choose overlapping, simultaneous, sequential, or no animation at all. Depending on your content, and talking points, you may select a slow, normal, or fast animation speed— it’s all up to you.
We can all agree that working in the cloud is better than working without it. Eliminating lengthy email chains and attachments from your workflow can save a lot of time. Especially when you’re working in tandem with colleagues or clients, the cloud ensures that you are always working in the most updated version. Collaborating in presentations means that you can work on building a deck in unison with your team, which is something that’s critical in a work-from-home environment.
With Beautiful.ai, not only can you collaborate with teammates— internal and external— in real-time, but you can also comment on slides to provide feedback or questions. Each collaborator on the presentation will receive a notification via email and within the product when a comment or edit is made on the slide so nothing falls through the cracks.
Shareability is something that older presentation software— like PowerPoint— lacks. Instead of having to send a file attachment with every update, newer presentation software will allow links for simplified sharing. This also helps teams with version history and content management.
In Beautiful.ai, it’s easy to share your link out via email, social media, or embed it on a webpage. Because everything is saved on the cloud, you can edit your presentations on the fly and it will be updated immediately without having to resend a new link to your colleagues or clients. This is a game changer for board meetings, pitches, or sales proposals when a piece of information might come in at the last minute but you have already sent a link out to the deck.
Analytics is an essential tool for any business. With analytics you can see which slides performed well, and which slides your audience skipped altogether. This allows you to evaluate which information is resonating well with your audience and what might be getting lost in transition. As a business, this can help you understand your final call-to-action, and how you need to pivot to encourage a more favorable outcome.
Beautiful.ai’s analytics shows you time spent on the presentation, total views, when the presentation was last viewed, and completion rate all within the product.