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Crafting the Perfect Presentations Using 5 Unique Platforms

I have always hated presentations. Not because making them was boring (which it was) but more so because, at some point, I would have to actually present the dull slides, usually to a class of my peers who would’ve found anything else more interesting.

During my sophomore and junior years of high school, I set out to try to find the perfect presentation platform. I scoured the web and absorbed all of my teachers’ recommendations, trying almost everything, including nausea-inducing Prezis.

I had hit the jackpot with my final junior year presentation about Gatsby’s (or is it Fitzgerald’s?) American Dream. Canva. From then on, things continually improved.

1. Canva

Credit: Presentation Panda

In the debate between PowerPoint and Canva, I am 110% Team Canva. I started using Canva for all my presentations, whether they were about food in my anthropology class, serial killers for my AP Psychology class, or an image analysis of a political cartoon that donned the New Yorker cover.

Here’s the link to my American Dream presentation: https://www.canva.com/design/DACXFkC62vI/lsbf0fYQ2ELrXOLf-avx4Q/view?utm_content=DACXFkC62vI&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=sharebutton

The program is incredibly easy to use and intuitive. There is way more freedom than in other more traditional platforms, like Slides or Keynote. Creative features like adding backgrounds, photos, icons, etc. are so easy and encouraged.

This is, by far, my favorite design website ever. In addition to presentations, I use Canva to make flyers, advertisements, resumes, invitations, and more. Canva also has templates for posts for Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr, if you want to spice up your social media with some good graphic design.

2. Animoto

Credit: YouTube

Whatever you can do, Animoto can do better.

Well, that’s not totally true, but when it comes to adding complex transitions and music and embedding multimedia (videos, specifically), Animoto has got your back. You can create videos with a wide variety of styles, ranging from holiday-themed to Pastel Motifs (my favorite theme!) to 20s style, Jazz Age backgrounds.

Here are just some of the themes available:

Credit: Animoto

Although the software doesn’t let you customize a bunch, if all you need is a fairly simple presentation, Animoto is the way to go.

3. Powtoon

Credit: Chelsey Sharpe

Even though I haven’t made many Powtoons in my academic career, I always loved watching them in class. The first one I ever saw was my friend’s presentation explaining the difference between equality and equity.

Powtoons are perfect for creative minds and visual thinkers. I was never able to remember what equity means until Rachel (my friend) made little cartoon people standing behind a fence, the shorter one on a cardboard box so he could actually see over it.

The application’s effectiveness can be proven by trends we see on YouTube, like AsapSCIENCE’s informative videos and the popularity of Draw My Life.

Click here to see a brief video (under a minute!) about Powtoon.

4. Glogster

Credit: Ms. Conneally 

Although Glogster can seem juvenile at first, don’t let its fun features (like stickers and frames) and outdated interface fool you. The concept is so cool: turn presentations into posters. Personally, I think it resembles more of a board, but Pinterest has the claim to that.

It’s ridiculously easy to use and navigate the site, and it has all the features you need (hyperlinking, embedding videos, etc.).

There’s also a 99% chance you’re the only person in your class who opted to go with Glogster. It’s a great option for more creative, visual presentations.

5. Focusky

Credit: Focusky

Focusky, like Canva, is good for everything. It’s advertised as a tool for crafting business presentations, but you could use it for anything, including artsy, visual-based presentations for more creative enterprises.

There are seemingly endless options with Focusky. Dozens of presentation templates, dozens of unique features (including recording narration, built-in word art, video backgrounds, 3D camera, and much more), and many ways to publish.

It’s designed with multimedia in mind, offering easy ways to integrate photos, videos, audio, animation, etc.

Use any of the websites above to create a non-PowerPoint, non-Google Slides, non-Prezi presentation for your next class. Keep in mind that some of them (Glogster) are definitely only viable options for certain topics and classes while others (Canva!) are good for almost everything.


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Carina is a senior studying Economics + Psychology at Boston University. She is passionate about marketing, Sally Rooney, and caramel lattes.
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