Why PowerPoint is Still your MVP When it Comes to Reliability Software

Why PowerPoint-

The answer to your inner monologue is simply, no, you shouldn’t try that new PowerPoint alternative. 

Now you’re probably wondering why, and don’t worry, we wouldn’t just throw a statement out there without backing it up. By all means, do as you wish. But when it comes to abandoning PowerPoint for the unfamiliar, consider yourself forewarned that there might be some unpleasant side-effects.  

Every year at the beginning of Presentation Season (Presentation Season runs from late August to Late June) there is a NEW and improved presentation software, or, as we like to call it – the PowerPoint killer.

At some point during the season a presenter or keynote speaker will ask during a production call “is it OK if I bring my presentation in a different format?” Not wanting to appear unhelpful a person on the production team will usually say “Sure! We can handle any format”. Never mind the issues raised by different content dimensions, WiFi signals in the presentation venue, fonts, OS platform or speaker flow in back-to-back presentations. That’s a different post. What we want to cover in this post are what formats we’re likely to see this year and what to expect when they appear in your showflow or event rundown.


THE PowerPoint alternative. Prezi has been around for many years and it won’t go away. It is a one-trick pony, “look zooming!” Prezi is based on the concept of assembling various snippets of information—text, graphics, videos, and the like—onto a single, large virtual poster board.   It uses Pathway Points instead of slides to connect themes and thoughts.  Instead of flipping from one page to the next, PowerPoint-style, Prezi flies around that poster board, zooming in to one area for viewing, then up, out, and onto the next.

What to look out for

The “zoom” effect can actually make an audience sick if the screen is too large or the effect is used inappropriately. Many Prezi developers use the on-line version and are not aware that they should provide the off-line version of the file for presentation. I ALWAYS run it on a separate machine from the main PowerPoint show, transitions into and out of the format are clunky, better to be handled by a switcher.

Who’s going to show up with it?

The older sales guy who “just heard about a new and funky presentation tool!” and thinks nausea is funny.


Microsoft seems to have seen the articles about how bad PowerPoint is for Earth and decided to fix it by creating an entirely new application. Sway’s concept is to bring together many different mediums- YouTube, social media, image databases, wikis, etc.- and offer drag and drop capabilities that allow you to integrate them into your presentation. It is a prime example of the new crop of applications meant to dethrone PowerPoint by allowing presenters to assemble as much online content as they can into a single cloud-based file.

What to look out for

Sway is cloud-based so the file is meant to be viewed on-line, which means you’re going to need a clean internet-line run to the presenting computer, no attendee traffic please, the hotel connection is weak enough as it is! The newest version for Windows10 is supposed to have an “offline mode” but this is not fully fleshed out.

Who’s going to show up with it?

The youngest presenter on the speaker list will probably want to “Sway” the audience using this tool and all of the hilarious memes they’ve seen in their social feed this month


Google Slides

Another older application that is gaining new traction in the “PowerPoint is Satan” era. At the top right hand corner of your Gmail page, you will see an icon that looks like 9 small squares. Click it and visit Drive. Google Slides is part of Drive. Slides is the oldest of the currently popular, cloud-based presentation tools. It has decent capabilities, most of them copied from PowerPoint, and enough export options to make it one of the least troubling file formats to be faced with.

What to look out for

The strength and major selling point of this and some of the others on this list is the cloud-based nature of the file and the ability to share it with a few clicks. This is exactly what makes it troubling for the person sitting in the “hot seat” backstage advancing the show. Cloud-based means “on-line” and that means “at the mercy of the connection”. Slides is one of the few cloud based options that actually allows you to export your file as a PDF or PPT file. Get an advanced copy link, export and test.

Who’s going to show up with it?

The Silicon Valley tech speaker that is having their assistant make edits to the file DURING the presentation live. You can only warn them of the danger of a “live” on-line presentation so many times before you have to say “ok, you supply the internet line and run it from the lectern”.


Slidebean is a highly content-oriented platform that can be displayed on any browser and on any device. According to their website with Slidebean… “Make a presentation in minutes instead of hours. Slidebean takes your content and automatically designs beautiful slides for you. Change your design with a click. From marketing strategies to weekly growth reports, change the look of your presentation as many times as you want with a single click.” Apparently you type in words and a fully formed engaging presentation comes out. Brilliant!

What to look out for

This is another Cloud-based option, you need to tell the presenter that they need to upgrade to the $19 a month Advanced version or the $29 a month PRO version in order to export the file as a PDF or PPT file. Otherwise we’re back at the mercy of the internet connection in the venue.

Who’s going to show up with it?

This application and the presenter are outliers. Most likely a thought leader or motivational speaker that wants to use the NEWEST possible content development tool to justify the speaking fees. They get to say “The content looks like a PowerPoint presentation but it’s NOT! Wow!” with a straight face.



Bunkr is a French presentation service that takes advantage of everything we love about “cloud” and brings it into the presentation workspace. Bunkr pulls data and content from the web and puts it into a presentation format. When you begin, Bunkr will ask you to add content. You do so with buttons in the interface to pick the kind of content. Content can be an image, text, a video, a chart and more. For example, when you click on video, you can either directly browse videos on compatible services or paste a URL from YouTube, Vimeo, Vine or one of many other services. It works exactly the same way for charts with Infogram and Chartblocks support, tweets, Facebook posts, SoundCloud songs, GitHub Gists, Sketchfab 3D models and more. The power here being that if you are pulling dynamic content, it will remain up-to-date as links and imported charts are live updated in your online presentation.

What to look out for

Bunkr’s greatest strength is its greatest weakness in a live presentation environment. To take advantage of live data on the web, the content must be live. SO… back to the venue connection issue. You can export a PDF but that’s really just a Print to PDF function in your browser. Bunkr needs its own display machine to run on or the time to export and format the PDF for PowerPoint before show time.

Who’s going to show up with it?

This one is bleeding edge, the presenter and their data is up-to-the-second kind of stuff. Make sure you understand if the live data or the presentation format/design is the main focus to adjust your planning. If the data is king, you need to have it run from the cloud, if the look makes the presentation what it is, exporting a PDF could allow Bunkr to fall in line with the rest of your day’s presenters.

Hopefully you won’t have heart palpitations or night sweats now when you see these file formats from your executive producer or job manager. You now know which formats might need an extra machine to run from, which need an internet connection and which might make your audience queasy. Of course none of them address the issues presented in all of the PowerPoint is a Horror articles, like too much content on a slide, a weak message or lack of call to action, but by helping them play along nicely with PowerPoint we can help that person who said “Sure! We can handle any format” keep their job a few more days.

Check out our website to find out what pptXTREME has to offer you. All of our products work with your familiar friend – PowerPoint – so you don’t have to branch out of your comfort zone to find a way to jazz up your presentations. 


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