Question

What’s your favorite app to make presentations and slide decks?

After decades of PowerPoint being so popular that “PowerPoint presentation” is almost a generic term, presentations are suddenly a hot space. Apple’s Keynote has long been a more design-focused alternative, Google Slides has been around for years and is increasingly popular for collaborative presentations, and niche tools like Prezi, Deckset, and more give extra ways to make presentations.

Then this year, Pitch came along with as a new way to collaboratively make slides (with live video as you’re editing decks), and Projector brought a new spin to digital storytelling. And there’s more.

What do you think is the best way to make slides and presentations in 2020?

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APV's avatar
a year ago

Pitch. Such a neat interface and brilliantly elegant designs - simply love it! It'd be so great as they start adding more templates.

5 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @APV )
a year ago

@APV have you tried using Pitch's collaboration tools with the video bubbles beside your cursor? If so, how did you find them versus Google Sheets and other presentation apps' collaborative features?

1 point
bigal123's avatar
a year ago

If it's a simple 5-page slide deck, I've found Canva's template easy to use. I just download the PNG and paste them into Google Slides or a Coda doc.

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @bigal123 )
a year ago

Oh interesting @bigal123, that's a unique way to make presentations! So you're basically using Canva to have nicer slide design tools, and then using Google Slides to actually present the finished presentation? Have you used Canva's presentation mode to present your presentation?

And curious: Do you typically collaborate with others on your presentations, and if so, how well does Canva work for collaboration?

1 point
bigal123's avatar
@bigal123 (replying to @maguay )
12 months ago

I haven't used Canva to present yet but down to experiment! Typically not collaborating with others on my prezos.

2 points
tejas's avatar
6 months ago

My personal favourite to showcase work is still presenting Notion docs. I wish there were a PowerPoint x Notion alternative. Pitch comes close.

Long answer:
There is a clear shift happening away from PowerPoint and Keynote. Users often resort to hacks like using Notion, a documentation tool, to facilitate presentations. Similarly, companies resort to softwares like Quip or Word as alternatives to PowerPoint to fulfil their storytelling needs despite of these tools being designed for documentation. This shifting behavior away from PowerPoint is a clear indicator of an unmet need.

We need something that is fast, takes away the design burden and is also interactive (think Slido integrations).

Do you know any tools that solves for this?

2 points
Jens's avatar
a year ago

For some reason, I keep coming back to Keynote. It's "free" and has a ton of advanced features that don't get in the way when you don't need them.

Pitch does look pretty neat for better collaboration though. Certainly seems like a huge improvement over Google Slides.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @Jens )
a year ago

You know, Keynote is pretty great. Their default templates are nicer than the average ones in PowerPoint and Google Slides (which may be a personal thing, but hey), and it's free with Apple devices. Its animations are smooth if a bit over the top (something I liked more years ago, today prefer to just not have animations for the most part). And it can export as video or GIF for more flexible ways to use presentations.

Have you used the web version of Keynote for collaboration?

1 point
mister-chad's avatar
12 months ago

I'm a bit techy and like markdown, so I've had fun tinkering with marp. It is an extension for VSCode that turns your markdown into slides fairly easily. There are built in themes, but you can easily tweak the CSS yourself. Export out as HTML, PDF, or Powerpoint. It is free too!

If you are really into coding, there classic reveal js is the foundation of many online slides apps. Definitely takes some time to learn, but pretty powerful.

Of course, since I seem to bee singing the praises of Obsidian lately, I feel compelled to note that it has a built in markdown slides feature too.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @mister-chad )
12 months ago

@mister-chad Oh that's very cool. marp has a CLI version too; could imagine using that to export PDFs in bulk.

I didn't know Obsidian had a slides mode too! That app has everything!

1 point
NBNite's avatar
12 months ago

Before they moved over to a paid plan structure, our team would use Beautiful.ai - it was always a simple, clean, and modern experience. We don't make too many presentations and couldn't justify the spend when the team restructured and began charging for most features.

Now, we've been using a combination of Canva and most recently, Pitch - although we've yet to really test the waters with all of their collaboration tools. There are a lot of exciting features though and while it's a crowded space, I think they've tapped in some tools which will help them stand out.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @NBNite )
12 months ago

Ah nice, thanks for sharing @NBNite! Did you have anything specific you liked in Beautiful.ai that you haven't been able to find in other presentations apps since?

With Canva, how are you presenting the presentation once you've designed it? Inside Canva, or exporting the individual designs then putting them in PowerPoint or something later?

1 point
NBNite's avatar
@NBNite (replying to @maguay )
12 months ago

At the time that we were using Beatiful.ai, they seemed to be one of the only platforms around that offered a free word cloud designer with a variety of different design tools. This was about 1.5-2 years ago and since then, it seems as though it's become a fairly common/popular tool that isn't hard to come by.

Regarding Canva, the majority of our presentations thus far (which have not been many) have been in person with 1-2 folks, so we've printed directly from Canva. Every month, it seems like they roll out new features to keep folks inside their platform and their presentation tools are no exception. Next time around, I think we'd try to stay native within their tool for any presentations given digitally.

2 points
ViktorTabori's avatar
@ViktorTabori (via Twitter)
12 months ago

1 point
maguay's avatar
a year ago

One presentation app I've liked for a while is Deckset, a Markdown presentation app. You basically outline your thoughts in a Markdown document, with headings separating each slide, then open it in Deckset and boom, you've got a presentation. You can add photos and GIF animations, use a few text-based options to set how the slides should look, but in general it's an app to keep you from tweaking. You just outline what you'll talk about and let Deckset turn it into a presentation.

If you needed to collaborate around a presentation, you'd just first collaborate around the content in Notion, Google Docs, or any other text collaboration app, and then have one person responsible to export the final Deckset deck.

You can present from the app itself, or you can export your deck as a PDF. If you then need to present it via Chromecast (as my team used to do in meetings, where we'd just use a TV with a Chromecast for presentations), you can open the PDF in Chrome and stream it just like you would any other Chrome tab.

1 point
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