6 Free alternatives for PowerPoint to give your presentation a boost
The words “presentation” and “PowerPoint” have become almost interchangeable. Microsoft PowerPoint is almost omnipresent. In education and board room alike, PowerPoint presentations are by far the most popular way to get a message across.
PowerPoint is a tool we like because we know how to use it. It has a wide range of features (most of which we never use) that help us captivate our public. And most companies have Microsoft PowerPoint installed.
The tool does have some downsides, though, most notably the cost of licensing PowerPoint. Luckily, there are a number of alternatives, many of which are free to use. Let’s explore a few interesting tools you can use to make presentations that are at least as mesmerizing as a (well crafted) PowerPoint presentation.
Canva, which was founded in Sydney (Australia) in 2012 provides a graphical design solution that goes way beyond what Microsoft PowerPoint has to offer. The drag-and-drop design tool allows you to design social media graphics, blog posts visuals, YouTube miniatures, and, indeed, presentations.
The free version of Canva comes with a large collection of templates that are ready to use. Combines with an enormous gallery of icons, elements, and other objects, this ensures that you have maximum flexibility while creating a presentation. On the downside, due to a large number of objects, finding the right one can be a bit of a hassle.
Canva is probably the most suitable option if you don’t want to spend a lot of time or money and just want to build amazing presentations.
Quite frankly, it is shocking how much you can do with Canva, especially considering the fact that it’s completely free to use! Of course, the company has to make some money, so there’s a paid plan (starting at $12,95/ month), that unlocks a wide range of premium features.
#2 Google Slides
You probably aren’t surprised to find out that Google has a slideshow-design tool: Google Slides, which is part of G Suite. After all, Google has made it their mission to provide a software tool for anything you could possibly want to do.
As with most Google products Google Slides offers real-time collaboration, where multiple users can edit and view presentations simultaneously. Now, we all know the risks involved when more than one person is editing a file, but luckily, Google Slides has a built-in version control feature, making it really easy to roll back to an earlier version.
Presentations made on Google Slides are accessible whenever and wherever you want, using any device you could think of. You can even edit your presentation while offline. For a SaaS-product, that’s quite a thing.
PowerPoint is a very powerful tool. Put it in the right hands, and the result is an amazing presentation. Sadly, not everybody using PowerPoint has mastered the Art of Presentationbuilding. The MentiMeter-promise is simple: “To make presentations, events, and classrooms interactive and fun”.
Mentimeter helps you build presentations with integrated polls that your audience can respond to (anonymously) using their mobile device. The tool has 13 types of questions, ranging from a simple multiple-choice format to word clouds and more.
MentiMeter ads interaction and keeps everyone awake, while also enabling you to get insights on participants. The data collected can be exported for analysis, allowing you to recognize interesting trends.
The free plan enables you to create an unlimited number of presentations, which can be viewed by an unlimited audience. However, with a maximum of 2 question slides and 5 quiz slides, the free version of Mentimeter might feel a bit limited.
Paid plans, starting at $ 9,99/month, offer more features and fewer (no) limitations.
Prezi was founded as a SaaS-alternative to PowerPoint in San Francisco in 2008. It’s probably one of the first free alternatives to PowerPoint which gained some popularity amongst users. Even in companies where PowerPoint is available, pioneers use Prezi because it offers more flexibility and animations.
Admittedly, when you are accustomed to PowerPoint, your first encounter with Prezi can be a bit dazzling, as Prezi lets go of the idea that a presentation consists of several slides being shown one after another. Instead, you create a huge graphic and zoom in whenever you wish to draw attention to a certain bit of information. Not everyone gets used to this easily, some users have been asking for a more intuitive interface.
On the other hand, Prezi is the go-to tool if you want to dazzle your audience with a creative presentation that keeps them on their toes.
A clear advantage of Prezi is the fact the tool records a lot of data, helping you by analyzing which slides are viewed most, and which slides were skipped.
Prezi has a free plan that allows you to create and share 5 different presentations. Additionally, it has several paid plans that are catered to different types of users. For individuals, the cheapest plan costs € 7/month, while the premium plan costs €59/month.
Renderforest. Students and educators get a cheaper plan, which begins at €3/month. And of course, Prezi has commercial plans for businesses, starting at €19/month.
Renderforest doesn’t really try to conquer market share from PowerPoint. It isn’t even a presentation tool. This Armenian SaaS-platform offers an online video production platform to help users create videos. If you visit the Renderforest-website you will quickly notice that it doesn’t even mention the word “presentations”.
Instead, Renderforest aims to be an all-in-one-branding platform. But if you can use the tool to make a high-quality video explainer, a website, or a mockup, you can also use it to build presentations.
Normally, using a tool to do something it wasn’t designed for can be tricky, but users report that the platform is remarkably easy to use. With 400 video templates and more than 115,000 royalty-free stock footage, Renderforest offers you quite some content. Add to this a wide range of music tracks and you’ve got a tool that will keep you awake at night – simply because you can’t stop experimenting.
This alternative to PowerPoint has a free-to-use option that never expires. This free plan allows the creation of videos of up to 3 minutes and includes 300MB of free storage. If you need more than that, paid plans are available for € 6,99-€ 49,99/month.
Armenian Renderforest might not have put their sights on PowerPoint, the same cannot be said about Visme. This American SaaS-platform explicitly identifies itself as a (free) alternative to PowerPoint.
Founded in 2013, this company says it helps organizations to “speak loudly by speaking visually”.
While that is a nice oneliner, at first sight, it is unclear what exactly it means. So let’s look a bit deeper into Visme.
Users are happy about the user-friendly interface, which ensures newcomers quickly figure out what they are supposed to do. The drag-and-drop dashboard makes creating a presentation less time-consuming and thanks to well over 6,000 icons and charts, this PowerPoint alternative gives you plenty of options.
If you just want a tool you can use within minutes, Visme might be the best option. Sure, it’s a bit limited compared to the others in this list, but without a doubt, this one is the easiest to use.
Just like the other free alternatives to Microsoft PowerPoint, Visme has a selection of ready-to-use templates, plenty of clip art, and a gallery of stock photos.
With the free plan, you can create up to 5 projects that you can download as jpg or, alternatively, you can use the 100MB free storage. Of course, the free plan offers fewer templates, charts, and widgets than the paid plans, which start at $15/month.
Plenty of PowerPoint rivals
As you can see, PowerPoint has lost its position as the one-and-only presentation tool. The six SaaS Companies we’ve discussed above provide a free alternative to PowerPoint. Of course, some of these free tools have limitations. But with the premium features most alternatives offer, there really is no limit to what you can do.