9 Favorite Presentation Tools and Apps

Reframe your brain.

Do you use the same presentation tool every time?

Are you stuck in a powerpoint rut?

Try something new.

Trying a new tool may just spark some creativity inside of you.

Trying a new tool may reinvigorate your audience, especially if you present to the same group over and over (like those monthly status meetings!)

Trying a new tool may help you to reframe your content and give in new life to a new audience!

My Current Favorites

I love to experiment with new applications, techniques, and tools when presenting. I don’t always have an opportunity to become proficient in them all, but there are a few that I believe have promise and would like to see used more frequently in presentations.

Here is a list of my current* favorite presentation tools and apps  (in no particular order.)

  1. Whiteboarding. One of my favorite tools to use in person is the whiteboard. It may seem counter to what you expect from a presentation coach, but it is the most adaptable and available tool. At a moment’s notice you could share your brilliance with anyone in the room.
  2. Keynote for desktop and ipad is my preferred slide-ware tool. It’s crisp, clean, and creative styles allow me to quickly develop a simple – clear – brief presentation. Of course it is only as good as the content provided!
  3. Prezi.com allows a different perspective – literally. Zooming and rotating allows the designer to take their audience on a journey. It takes a lot more planning and understanding of the audience’s perspective, but it can be powerful. Caution: sea sickness may result in too much zooming and moving about.
  4. Upad with the iPad. This is my mobile whiteboarding tool. Whether in a coffee shop or in the boardroom (with the appropriate adaptors) I can draw or write out a presentation as I have that all important conversation.
  5. Join.me. Self proclaimed ‘Official Sponsor of Show-n-tell’ this is more of a web event or web based desktop sharing tool. However, it is one of my favorite ones for it’s simplicity. I still have my training wheels on for this app.
  6. Go Naked. Not a tool, but rather a lack of tools. Think about using your passion and your words – either virtual or in person. In person you can use your body language and gestures to emphasize your point. Virtually I like two tools to connect me to others:
    1. Skype is my choice for one to one conversations. It allows for chat, screen sharing, and file sharing.
    2. InstantConference is pure teleconference capabilities. This or any phone conferencing tool will allow you to focus on the words and the message. My motto: use the least amount of technology appropriate for the event.
  7. Google drive Presentations. It’s free, easy to share, and has the essentials that keeps your presentation simple – brief – and clear. You don’t need to be fancy to be brilliant! UPDATE: It’s now called Google Slides. Even better!
  8. Libre office: impress. Free, open source, powerful. Multi-platform: Mac, Windows, Linux. This is great for those complex presentations that are data heavy or multi-media. It is what I recommend in place of powerpoint.
  9. Present.me. The newest tool on my list. I am just starting to explore it’s capabilities, but I love the presentation and video capabilities – especially for recording presentation lessons!

*note: Current as of summer 2012. There are things I have yet to discover and others that are yet to be launched. The idea is to continually be open to new ways of presenting, and these tools can help us do just that.

The challenge I have for you is to try new ways of presenting. Especially if you present to the same group over and over, often a new format or tool will help to reinvigorate their interest and your energy. It reminds me of what my mom used to say at the dinner table when she made something new: “how do you know you don’t like it if you don’t try it?” So try it!