by Adam Noar
Pepsi or Coke, Kim or Kylie, PowerPoint or Prezi – these are some of the fiercest debates of our time. We can’t really help you decide who is the best Kardashian (is there a best Kardashian?), but we can give you some insight into the PowerPoint vs. Prezi dispute.
PowerPoint has long been the go-to presentation tool. It has a lot of perks, including being user-friendly, reliable, and great for presentations that range from basic to more complex.
Prezi is the new kid on the block. It prides itself on being visually stimulating, exciting, and eye-catching. Its focus is definitely on stepping up your animation game. But what makes people still choose PowerPoint over Prezi?
Here at Presentation Panda, we’re going to give you an insight into one side of the debate, which is why, despite some great advantages of Prezi, a lot of people still prefer PowerPoint. These are 10 reasons why many people think that PowerPoint is a better option than Prezi:
1. It’s Easy to Get Going
A lot of people (understandably) really value products that don’t take a lot of work just to get started. PowerPoint is a great example of that – all you have to do is open the program, add some slides, type in some content, and boom, you have a presentation. It may not be slick and impressive, but it will be quick and efficient. There isn’t a huge learning curve, at least with the basics of PowerPoint, and this is a huge advantage if you’re on a time crunch, not tech-savvy, or just looking to make a straightforward presentation.
That’s if we’re talking about the basics; making your presentation look AWESOME is another story altogether.
Putting in a little time and practice goes a long way, and will help you gain the knowledge to be a presentation-making master. Subscribing to our free weekly newsletter is a great step in that direction. You’ll get a weekly email with all the best advice and resources (and we promise no spam). Of course, if you’re looking for the quickest way to take your skills to the next level, you can grab a copy of Slides Made Simple.
But still, if you’re not trying to blow away your audience with an incredible presentation, or you don’t have the time to gather all the best tips and tricks from our blog and book, PowerPoint will still be great for your needs. Most kids are taught how to use it from a very young age, just by virtue of it coming standard on most computers – but even if you weren’t learning how to fade-in to the next slide while sitting in your high chair eating mashed green beans, odds are, it won’t take you long to get acquainted with the basic functions of PowerPoint. It doesn’t really get much easier than “New Slide” and “Click to add subtitle”.
2. It’s a Simple Video Maker
Say you finish making a stunning PowerPoint and you want to share your brilliance with the world of YouTube – all you have to do is export it in .wmv format and upload it directly to the site. For other uses, you may need to convert the file type, but it’s a very simple process, and a really useful feature if you’re in a hurry.
Unfortunately, with Prezi, it’s not so simple. There isn’t a way to save a Prezi to video within the Prezi platform, even though it’s been highly requested by Prezi users for a long time. This may be a feature that’s easy for you to go without or to work around, but this definitely sways user favor towards PowerPoint.
Now, say you want to share your brilliance with the world of YouTube, but you want to take it to the NEXT LEVEL first – you have the option of using video recording and editing software. This, of course, will work for PowerPoint or Prezi, so this is just a free insider tip.
You can record anything. Yes, anything. The power is in your hands – use it wisely. You can record your computer screen, a PowerPoint, through your camera, really anything your little heart desires. It’s also really easy to add voice narration or other types of audio to the videos.
You can edit the videos after recording them! Here are just some of the great tools you can use to edit your video and really elevate the quality:
* Manipulate visual properties
* Add cursor effects and callouts
* Configure transitions and add captions
* Add quizzes
* Add images
There are a ton of other great features in Camtasia, like the ability to add menus, remove noise, and use multiple tracks, but we’ll let you explore that for yourselves if you’re interested.
And finally, a point to the PowerPoint team: it integrates with PowerPoint! During installation, you’ll be given the option to install an add-on toolbar into PowerPoint. With the toolbar, you’ll be able to record, edit, and produce a presentation, all without leaving the application. Pretty sweet, bruh.
3. It’s Flexible
Pretty much everyone has PowerPoint, or has the ability to view a file. This makes it easy to share ideas and generally move meaning around. Slides can be borrowed, stolen, recycled and re-used. The same document that is used to present information in a meeting or conference, can, with little or no modification, be emailed as a document or shared online, retaining much of its meaning.
4. You Can Make Images With PowerPoint
A lot of people use PowerPoint for its presentation abilities, but you can easily use it to make images to add to your presentation (or just for the fun of it, if there’s nothing else happening on a Tuesday night). You do have to be pretty flexible with how you use the tools they give you, but the images can be used for icons, illustrations, backgrounds, pretty much anything you need (for more ideas, check out our post on how to make your own images within PowerPoint.)
5. You Can Use PowerPoint to Enhance Your Social Media Presence
This is related to the point above, but it really deserves a separate shout out. With the images you create on PowerPoint, you can enhance your social media profile. Need a new logo? Want an image for a flyer? Need a unique image to upgrade the feel of your Instagram or Twitter posts? Use PowerPoint to create something shiny and stun your followers with your brilliance and creativity.
Of course you can always use an image creation tool like Canva but there are editing features that PowerPoint has that Canva does not have (and vice versa). Perhaps we will break down the difference between PowerPoint and Canva in another article.
6. You Can Create eBooks with PowerPoint
It won’t exactly have that new-book smell, but you can make an eBook with PowerPoint with little to no effort. All you have to do is treat each slide as if it’s the page of the book, instead of separate slides. Consider how the pages will look next to each other, add images, designs (see #4 above), other layout effects, and of course, text. When you’re all done, you can export the presentation as a PDF, or just print it out directly from PowerPoint, and voila! You’ve got your very own book from little old PowerPoint.
If you’re thinking about doing this and looking for a great PowerPoint book template to get you started, check out this awesome one made by Nancy Duarte.
7. PowerPoint is Still Great for Presentations
At the end of the day, PowerPoint is a program that is designed primarily for making presentations
(shocker, we know).
It’s got great additional tools to do other things, but it really is the gold standard for making presentations, and has been for a long time. Many people prefer it for this reason, and also because it only takes a little creativity from its users to take advantage of the other great benefits it offers.
Even with Prezi entering the scene and shaking things up, PowerPoint has thus far held onto its reputation as the best program out there for a lot of people. It’s even stepped up its template game – you can effortlessly download a beautifully crafted PowerPoint template that will get your presentation on the right track to success. More on that in #8 below.
8. You Can Download Professional PowerPoint Templates That Are Absolutely Beautiful
Gone are the days of PowerPoint templates that look like they were created during the dreaded clipart era (remember Clippy?). Some people don’t know just how much PowerPoint has stepped up their game, but a lot of loyal fans love the new template designs. Over the past couple of years, template designers have been creating the type of gorgeous, professional presentation templates that anyone would be proud to show off at a business meeting.
In fact, last month we launched our own professional PowerPoint template called the Influencer (ahem). It features over 200+ unique designs and it’s 100% customizable. It also features beautiful graphics and images, clever animations, seamless transitions, and over 500 minimalist icons. To learn more about why this PowerPoint template truly rocks click here.
Did we mention that we launched a really awesome template recently?
9. PowerPoint Won’t Make You Dizzy
Sorry Prezi fans, but a lot of users report feeling dizzy after watching a Prezi presentation.
Unfortunately, it’s a common complaint from audiences that the transitions from one point to the next can make them feel sick. We’re going to give the presenter the benefit of the doubt here and assume it has nothing to do with the content of the presentation, just Prezi itself. Considering the transitions and animation are one of the big selling points to Prezi, it can push users to go to PowerPoint instead – because who wants their audience to associate their presentation with wanting to throw up?
There have been some pretty vocal Prezi detractors, including public speaker Scott Berkun – in his super popular post “Why I hate Prezi”, he writes, “When I was first introduced to Prezi it seemed interesting. I liked the idea of a fully 2D space to work from. But as I used it I realized it had taken the things I hated most about PowerPoint, and emphasized them. Prezi bills itself on the ability to ZOOM, to MOVE, to TRANSITION. All the most distracting elements for would-be speakers, elements that distract them away from the quality thinking required to speak well.”
In addition to the potentially dizzying quality, complaints about the distracting effect of the ever-moving transitions is a common theme amongst critics.
Prezi markets itself as using animation to make the presentations more engaging and interesting, but as Guy Kawasaki states: “If you need animation to make your presentation interesting, you must suck.” The answer is not animating more, it is sucking less.
Now we are certainly not saying that you should avoid animations and transitions in your presentations. In fact, if they are done right they can make your slides look WAY more awesome. Here a few animated divider slides to get you started. We do however think that when it comes to animations and transitions there is a fine line between sleek and annoying.
10. PowerPoint is Safer for Businesses
The biggest thing on your mind when creating a great presentation for your meeting may be the look, but a lot of people forget that security is a big concern too. If you’re creating something for your company, they may require that it be kept confidential – a common way businesses tackle this is by making their own share drive network that employees have to “sign-in” to access. This is no big deal for PowerPoint, as the presentations can be saved on the network. No accidental leaking of the secret recipe for Coke is going to happen on a secure network.
Prezi, on the other hand, has cloud-based storage. This is a great feature if you’re trying to save space on your desktop, but not such a great feature if you’re worried about spilling top secret information if it accidentally gets in the wrong hands. A lot of companies actually ban their employees from housing company materials anywhere other than the shared company drive, which makes Prezi a no-go for those companies. Not only are the presentations stored on Prezi’s website, they cannot be downloaded and stored anywhere else.
So now you have the inside scoop on one side of the PowerPoint vs. Prezi debate. It’s easy to see why a lot of people still prefer PowerPoint, despite some pretty cool offerings from Prezi.
It’s hit a great spot in the market where it is considered the go-to application, while still taking the time to create awesome tools for its users that let them really run with their creative vision for their presentation.
But before you go, we want to know what you think.
Do you love the slick transitions and zoom-in abilities of Prezi (despite making your audience heave their morning coffee up)? Do you think their templates bring your presentation to the next level in a way PowerPoint never could? Or are you a die-hard PowerPoint fan, who lives for the user-friendly format and cool extras? Did we forget to mention any features that a user of either application can’t miss out on? Let us know!