Biz Tips: No .ppt, please! Five services for compiling a wow presentation

Biz Tips: No .ppt, please! Five services for compiling a wow presentation


No .ppt, please! Five services for compiling a wow presentation

Imagine a situation: you’ve been invited to a personal meeting with top market players abroad. It’s morning now, the meeting is scheduled for this afternoon, and you are already on the way. You won’t have another chance. Stakes are high, these people are really important, prospects are just cosmic.

But — you have no slide presentation, and without it you‘ll hardly tell about the product properly. To make things worse, there’s no access to your working Keynote and PowerPoint. Internet goes down all the time. In the airplane, where you’re going to spend two or three hours, there’ll be no Internet at all.

You could give up on the presentation, but all is not lost. Simple and easy presentation builders will save you. You have three minutes to panic, and the rest of two hours — to take a breather and to compile a descent presentation using available resources.

Three tips on preparation:

1. Stock up with materials. Upload anything you can use in presentation to your laptop and phone — save all the links, photos, screenshots, and figures. Take all your old presentations with you.

2. Think over the concept. While sitting in taxi, condense the main idea and structure of the presentation. Make a draft text in your phone.

3. Share with colleagues. When you have more or less stable connection to the Internet, share a link to your concept and draft presentation with your team — a fresh eye and comments wouldn’t go amiss.

If all this is done, you can start.

Here is a list of five basic services for creating presentations online, which come to help me, when I’m in rush.

Google Slides

Google Slides builder has only three themes — personal, education, and business — with 20+ templates and different topics. If you don’t like any of the templates, you can create a presentation from scratch. Slides have simple animation and possibility to add graphs, diagrams, and video. The project can be downloaded in several main formats — .pdf, .ppt, .jpg and others — for free.

Photo: A screenshot of Your big idea’ presentation template page in Google Slides

Advantages: Google Slides is a part of Google cloud products for office; millions of people use it, and there are no bugs. Here you can create and edit presentation offline in full — when internet comes back up, your content will synchronize.

Drawbacks: global popularity (for which read: commonplaceness) of Slides. Templates and topics are trite; you can’t change colors there; and you won’t be able to quickly make something original and creative from scratch. If you want some unusual presentation, it’s not for you.

Important to remember: it’s better to add video for presentation to Google Drive or YouTube beforehand. Google Slides don’t work with other services.


Zoho Show is a presentation building tool within Zoho Office Suite and it has much in common with Google Slides. You can also use it on an initial level for free, and usually it’s quite enough.

There are about 20 templates; you can change a color palette, though. Zoho Show has a lot of animation and possibilities to adjust graphic elements. But even after adjustments, Zoho presentations are quite minimalistic.

Photo: Screenshot from Zoho Show page with templates selection

Advantages: In Zoho, you can search for images in Picasa and Flickr directly in your interface. It won’t do much to help, if internet is down, but as soon as it comes back up again, you’ll quickly fix this problem. In addition, here you can create presentations both with wide and standard slides.

Drawbacks: visual part of Zoho Show templates needs significant improvement; otherwise your presentation will be too flat.

Important to remember: without internet, features of the tool are strongly limited. For example, you cannot add new slide being offline, so create the presentation framework before boarding a plane.


Emaze makes dynamic presentations — slides beautifully follow each other, fragments jump and spin, the project breathes. There are too few templates, only 12 for each area — business, art, and education — but for basic tasks it’s enough.

Emaze has a lot of motion, if not to say a whole lot of motion. You can change motion type for each of animated elements. All work on template adapting comes down to adding text and adjusting graphics. You can take photos from your Facebook, Instagram, or Picasa account.

You can edit the template and add new pages offline. The only thing, each time you’ll try to save, the application will give a message that there’s no connection.

Photo: Screeshot from Emaze page with one of the templates

Advantages: Emaze turns graphic projects into micro movies, and such presentations are really hard to forget.

Drawbacks: Emaze allows creating only three presentations free of charge, and even then you can’t download them — you can just view them online. However, even in this format they look really great. Subscription costs $12.5/month — and you’ll forget those limitations.

Important to remember: Emaze has so many animation choices for slides that you have a chance to get carried away by frills and to forget your key point.


Crello launched a new section with multi-page templates, which can be used as presentations. Each template has five pages, but you can duplicate them.

Slides are adjusted in the same way as any other visuals in Crello — you can change backgrounds, frames, shapes, icons, stickers, and headings.

There are many Cyrillic fonts in the service, but you also can add your own font from the brand book.

Slide from one of the multipage Crello projects
Slide from one of the multipage Crello projects

Advantages: there are many designer multi-page templates with interesting architecture on the platform. The section is new, visual solutions are not cheesy. New designs keep coming in all the time, so you always have something to choose from. You can download the project in .jpg, .png или .pdf on any stage of the process. Everything is for free.

Drawbacks: In Crello, you can edit projects even without Internet, but only basic features are available, mainly for text manipulation. You won’t have access to shapes and photos.

Important to remember: In Crello you can create a multi-page project yourself — actually a presentation — from a template of any format: posts, business cards, posters, covers, etc. Just duplicate an image on the editing page.

creating a milti-page project out of an one-page-format template in Crello


In Swipe, slides are formatted using markdown formatting — it serves as a text editor. Swipe has no presentation templates; instead it has page templates — with only color and fonts, no graphic elements.

To adjust a slide’s appearance you have to enter the code of a color and the name of a font. Images are inserted using a link. You cannot add videos, gifs, and surveys to a page with text, but instead you can place them on a separate page.

Screenshot from Swipe page with page templates

Advantages: The Swipe’s main feature is its clear simplicity; it couldn’t be any simpler. It is very convenient tool for creating minimalistic slides highlighting the point.

Drawbacks: only five presentations are for free, and then you have to pay $20/month or $15/month if you choose a yearly subscription. You won’t be able to work in Swipe offline — to go to the next slide you have to save the current one.

Important to remember: Before using Swipe, go through everything you know about markdown formatting. This will save your time.

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