One of the most critical skills that you can have these days is public speaking. Whether you want to land a new job or smash your next video sales letter, the ability to speak coherently and cogently has never been more valuable.
There’s nothing that complements your public speaking skills like a primped and pimped slide deck. But, what if you have no experience creating presentations? If so, then relax. I’ve launched dozens of online courses and have a boatload of experience creating fantastic slide presentations.
That’s why we’re about to brainstorm the 5 coolest ways that you can build a fantastic slide deck even if you loathe the tech side of things and even if you suck at design as I do.
So if you’re trying your best to smash your next presentation in front of your colleagues, or if you want to create a fantastic slide deck for your next online course, I’ve got you covered.
The 5 Coolest Apps For Creating Fantastic Slide Decks And Presentations In Nearly-Zero Time Flat:
- Microsoft PowerPoint 365
- Adobe Spark
- Google Slides
What I’ve Learned After Creating Tons Of Snazzy Presentations Over The Years
I’ve spent countless hundreds of hours tinkering with these apps and I’m happy (and excited) to share my experience and insights with you.
Let’s spend a few minutes going deep into the details that make these five slide deck and presentation apps so ridiculously powerful.
# 1 – Microsoft PowerPoint 365
If you’ve taken any of my online courses over the last few years, then you’ve seen Microsoft PowerPoint 365 in action.
There are a few reasons that PowerPoint 365 rocks. First of all, you can choose from a handful of nifty templates that all look sleek.
The more important reason is because of Microsoft’s new “design ideas” feature. The design ideas feature makes it ridiculously easy for you to spruce up and primp your slide presentation even if you suck at design.
The way the design ideas function works is simple. You choose a slide template, then add some text, pictures, smart graphics, or data. Upon inserting your content into the slide, the design feature tab should prompt automatically and recommend several layouts for your slide. The layouts are surprisingly sleek, and Microsoft boasts some nifty A.I. design features to make the slide layouts interesting and unique based upon the content that you provide.
I love the design ideas feature, and after experimenting with various slide deck features and apps, this is one of my favorite time-saving strategies to create lots of high-quality slide content seamlessly. My slides look halfway decent, and Microsoft makes it surprisingly quick to produce fantastic-looking slides without any tech stress.
Another Big Advantage Of Office 365 Is That You Also Get A Full Suite Of Office Apps Including:
- Microsoft Teams
- Microsoft 365 subscribers also get extra international (use anywhere) Skype minutes and abundant OneDrive cloud storage space as a bonus, which is nice!
It’s also important to note that Microsoft 365 comes in two flavors. You can access the cloud version which you may access anywhere. You can also install the full version locally on your device.
I’m not 100% certain if the cloud-based apps have the same features as the fully installed version. That said, I’ve experimented with the cloud-based versions and the results are respectable and I haven’t experienced hassle.
Overall, I’m a huge fan of Office 365 and I use it a lot. Excel, Word, and PowerPoint are my three favorites!
# 2 – Canva
I’m also a huge fan of Canva these days. I love how it’s easy to use and 100% cloud-based so it doesn’t require installation.
Canva makes it surprisingly easy to launch fantastic slide presentations and other graphics with ludicrous ease. The way Canva works for slide presentations is simple. You choose from among a wide list of slide presentation templates. Once you choose a template, you can customize the template in a variety of ways using the Canva drag and drop graphics editor.
So, what is Canva? Canva is a robust graphics app with tons of add-ons, features, stock graphics, filters, et cetera. They have a freemium version, plus a paid upgrade with added features, graphics, templates, et cetera.
Here Are My Favorite Canva Features:
- The slide decks on Canva are some of the fanciest presentations around.
- Canva has a ton of other design templates for a variety of uses and situations.
- Plenty of beautiful stock images that you can use for free.
- You can easily export your presentation as a PDF file if you wish, which is a nice touch.
One of the reasons that I always go back to Canva is that they’re easy to use and access. I love that your designs and the app itself are 100% cloud-based. You get straightforward access to all of your designs anywhere at any time without annoying installations. Since Canva is based online, you don’t have to worry about compatibility across Linux, Windows, Mac, or any operating system that you choose.
# 3 – Adobe Spark
If you haven’t tried Adobe Spark, then you’re in for a surprise! Adobe Spark is a free service that lets you create fantastic slide decks and more!
To say that Adobe Spark helps you create slide decks is a huge understatement. Adobe Spark boasts a comprehensive stack of features for creating videos, promotions, lectures, social media content, and more.
Another thing that I love about Adobe Spark, is that you can record audio and create video content on the platform. So, even if you loathe the technical aspects of video production, Adobe Spark is elementary to use, and I’m a huge fan of Adobe on a personal note!
Here Are My Favorite Adobe Spark Features:
- Very easy to use, access, plan, and launch without tech skills!
- Share your presentation anywhere without stress.
- Beautiful themes that are designed by genius designers!
- Tons of vector icons you can use that look beautiful.
Another thing about Adobe Spark is that the app is 100% cloud-based. I love cloud-based apps! You never have to worry about installing anything, and you can easily access the app and your designs on any internet-connected device without hassle.
# 4 – Google Slides
If you want a ridiculously quick and easy slide app for quickly producing, launching and sharing straightforward yet elegant slide decks and presentations, then Google Slides is a heavy-hitting contender worthy of note!
Google Sliders is another cloud-based slide deck app perfect for anyone who needs a beautiful slide presentation without requiring any fancy graphic design or editing skills. Like other cloud-based options, Google Slides is simple to access on nearly any device without any installations or hassle.
Here Are My Favorite Google Slides Features:
- 100% cloud-based and easy to access.
- Works on nearly any device.
- Super easy to build and deploy sleek and modern-looking slide decks and presentations.
- Keep prying eyes off of your projects, or share it with the world. Google makes it easy so you can choose!
Another standout feature of Google Slides is that it’s built for teams. Do you need to interact with your colleagues, partners, contacts or with clients when planning your slides? If so, then you’ll cherish and adore how quickly and easily you can interact with others in real-time and on the fly with Google Slides.
# 5 – LibreOffice
LibreOffice is a sleek, free, and 100% open-source suite of professional business applications. Because it’s open-source and free, it’s a hugely popular app that’s also easy to use on Windows, Linux, and Mac.
If you’re a fan of Linux, then you’re probably intimately familiar with LibreOffice already! That’s because LibreOffice comes pre-installed on Ubuntu and a few other Linux distros that I’ve tried. If you’re not, familiar, then there’s still lots to love about LibreOffice.
When it comes to creating presentations, LibreOffice sports a nifty app called Impress. Impress makes it painless to quickly produce nifty looking presentations in a style that’s similar to Microsoft Office. You can choose a template that you like, then add individual slides and customize things to your liking.
Here Are Some Of The Cool Apps Within LibreOffice:
- Writer (Word Processor)
- Calc (Spreadsheets)
- Impress (Presentations)
- Draw (Diagrams)
- Math (Formula Editor And Charts)
Another cool feature of LibreOffice is that it can read and save Microsoft Office files. In other words, you can easily transfer files between Microsoft Office and LibreOffice without stress.
So, if you’re working with teammates who utilize varying software apps, or if you have workstations sporting different operating systems and setups, then LibreOffice comes in handy and is similar to Microsoft Office in many ways.
Slide Presentation And Video Production FAQ:
I’ve put forth a ton of time creating presentations and teaching others to do the same. I’ve also answered a litany of questions and brainstormed with colleagues continuously regarding this engrossing topic.
Here are some of the most prevalent questions that I’ve encountered.
# 1 – What’s The Best Source Of Free Graphics For Slide Decks?
I’ve always been partial to PixaBay. PixaBay is a famous website that offers 100% free CC0 images that you can use for your professional, commercial, or personal use without attribution. The most beneficial part is that the graphics on PixaBay are remarkable.
If you’ve ever appreciated the presentations that I create, then you’ve witnessed the dynamism of PixaBay firsthand! That’s because I’m a huge fan of PixaBay and constantly check for cool new graphics that are added to the PixaBay’s massive inventory all the time.
# 2 – What’s The Best Screen Recorder App For Recording Slide Presentations?
I’m a huge fan of Camtasia. Camtasia makes short work of your video production efforts and it’s ridiculously easy to use. Seriously. The learning curve is preposterously manageable. There are lots of advanced features, yes. However, when recording a simple PowerPoint presentation, the process is smooth.
After launching the app for the first time, and after experimenting for a few minutes, it was straightforward to quickly produce my first lecture. Since that time, I’ve easily produced dozens of videos and lectures.
# 3 – What’s The Best Microphone For Recording Presentations?
I’m a huge fan of the Samson Go Mic and the Snowball – Blue. I’ve put both of these fantastic USB microphones to the test and have recorded many dozens of course lectures and presentations using either microphone.
The best feature of these microphones is that they’re both affordable. If you want an economical USB microphone in the neighborhood of $50 – $100, then either the Samson Go Mic or the Snowball – Blue are contenders.
If you’ve listened to any of my presentations or video courses, there’s a very good chance that I was speaking through one of those microphones! I hope you’ll agree, that I sound decent enough?
On a side note, I’ve had the Snowball – Blue microphone for quite some time. The device has withstood the test of time and I grade it perfectly! (The Samson Go Mic still works too. However, I haven’t had the Samson for quite as long!)
# 4 – What’s The Best Software App For Recording Audio Lectures And Presentations?
Audacity is my favorite app for recording audio lectures. Audacity has a ton of features to help record your presentations with great reliability. I think that the majority of my lectures have been recorded using Audacity. Audacity is extremely stable and I don’t recall experiencing any lag, audio glitches, or difficulties. Overall, audacity rocks.
Audacity is also 100% free, open-source, and easy to use. Another cool bonus is that you’ll find Audacity versions on Mac, Windows, and Linux. For these reasons, Audacity is my goto for reliable presentation production and I’ll chime in again to say the ease of use is stellar.
# 5 – How Can You Record Yourself Recording A PowerPoint Presentation?
When you record yourself while also recording your screen it’s referred to as “picture in picture” recording. You can accomplish this type of recording using screencasting apps such as Camtasia or Screen Flow.
PS: I didn’t mention Screen Flow that much (at all) in this tutorial because unfortunately, I don’t recall ever using the app. I’m kind of jealous because the app looks nifty and I’d love to test it sometime!
My Final Conclusion And Why PowerPoint Presentations Rock The House!
I know how frustrating it is when you’re trying your best to share your message with the world, but nobody wants to listen.
That’s why I’m so passionate about creating tons of slide deck presentations! It’s one of the most modern ways to share your message with the world in a professional, sleek, and fashionable way.
In this humble document, I revealed 5 of my favorite apps and a ton of nifty insights. I hope that you had fun reading and that you have an abundant wealth of confidence and hunger during your next presentation!
Thanks for reading.
Mike “PowerPoint” DeVincent