PowerPoint presentations get the job done, but they all seem to blend together after awhile. Take your presentations beyond PowerPoint and into 2010 with this new generation of presentation tools that are sure to make your next business meeting memorable.
Presentation tools all work the same: You share a series of slides, one page after another, from left to right. Prezi puts a twist on this boring linear model by allowing you to zoom in, pan across, and (literally) twist your way through your presentation. Here’s how it works: Images, text, and multimedia are placed on a blank canvas. Instead of presenting these images from left to right, you map out a storyline or path that allows you to jump around the canvas from point to point and zoom in on details and important information. Prezi is a service, not a software download, that allows you to create, store, and share presentations online for free. Upgrade to Prezi Pro for $13.25 per month and you’ll have the ability create and share your presentations offline and in the boardroom.
Overhead projectors and white boards used to be commonplace in classrooms and business meetings, but people are trading in their dry-erase markers for more advanced technology. One of the coolest new ways to project your handwritten notes for the entire room to see is Papershow by Canson. Simply print out your presentation on the special Papershow interactive paper and use the magic ball point pen to create notes that instantly appear on your computer or projection screen.
So what makes Papershow stand out from other pen or graphic tablets? The highly interactive and intuitive software. The interactive sheets have a central writing area and a toolbar on the right that allows you to change the color or thickness of a stroke and draw perfect shapes simply by pressing your pen to the corresponding toolbar function. Papershow also allows you to skip through document pages, insert or delete pages, and import PowerPoint and Keynote presentations. Once the meeting is over, you can e-mail your annotated documents to all the participants so that your colleagues can listen to and view your presentation without taking notes. Suggested retail price for the Papershow starter kit is $200, but Papershow can be found cheaper through various online outlets.
The world’s first laser-based pico projector came on the market last month and boasts some stunning features. Unlike regular pico projectors, the SHOWWX laser projector projects images that are always in focus no matter how close or far away you get — a critical feature of any mobile projector. It also produces extremely sharp and clear images that are rich in color and can be projected up to 200 inches wide. SHOWWX connects to any device with a TV-out or VGA and has a battery life of 90 to 120 minutes. The standard edition SHOWWX starts at $549.
SlideRocket has been around for several years, but its popularity continues to soar. SlideRocket is an online presentation application that lets you create, store, organize, and tag presentations. Other cool features include the ability to manipulate images and video, import fonts, add your voice, create analytics, and collaborate online. Want to spice up your current PowerPoint or Google presentations? Simply import PowerPoint decks and data from Google Docs and create away. SlideRocket offers a 30-day free trial and pricing plans from $12 to $24 a month.
If you really want to grab your audience’s attention, try PulpMotion for Mac. PulpMotion creates visually stunning presentations that are fun, engaging, and fully customizable. This presentation software comes with tons of cool transitions, animation features, text effects, and photo and video filters. Its easy-to-use interface lets you drag and drop photos, videos, and audio, and easily export your presentations with proper formatting for YouTube, iPhone, and more. PulpMotion Advanced comes with more than 150 themes to choose from and starts at $129.