– Canva, Prezi, Keynote,
Google Slides and PowerPoint. With so many options it can be really hard to know which one is best
for academics, scientists, researchers, evaluators
and similar professionals. Which is why today I will
be talking about which one software I recommend for professionals who need to share data and technical and educational information. (upbeat casual music) All right, you are probably here because you are wondering which
is the one best software when you need to share data
or technical information or educational information. Well if you watch this video you will have your answer today. Now just in case you’re new to my channel. I am Dr. Echo Rivera and I help academics, scientists, researchers and evaluators communicate better when
they’re using slides. So make sure you hit that subscribe button and that bell so that you get notified because I make new
videos every single week. Okay here are the five slide apps I’m going to talk to you about today. We’re going to cover Canva,
Prezi, Google Slides, Keynote and PowerPoint. And don’t worry, this
wasn’t a click bait video. I’m not gonna end the video
with surprise, they all suck. (laughing) You know, but you will
know which one of these is the best by the end of the video. So let’s just go in order. We’re going to go ahead
and start with Canva. Now Canva is a browser based design app and you can use it to
create all kinds of things. Social media graphics, brochures, flyers. So lots of great stuff in here and they do have a
presentation design section. So let’s take a look. So the first thing that
I am noticing is that it’s all templates. Like when you get here you
basically have to select from one of their templates
and you have to use that. There isn’t really a blank slide deck here where you can customize and
create your own template. Now, maybe you heard that just now and you were like yes. Look at tall these new beautiful
templates for me to try. Let me stop you right there and
say I’m so glad you are here watching this video because
I have bad news for you. That’s actually the kiss of death for me. The fact that it’s all templates and you can’t customize your own template. So this is why I will never ever use Canva for presentations. Basically I don’t really
have time to get into it into this video. But I’ll just let you
know that slide templates. Like off the shelf built
in templates like that. Yeah, maybe they look
pretty on the surface but they actually set you up to fail. You can’t really create an effective and engaging presentation with the data using those kinds of templates. But we have to move on. I have other resources about
that if you’re interested and I’ll link to those below. Okay so I also, even
though I knew I wasn’t going to use Canva. I still just checked and poked around and I tried out their dataviz because that’s something that
is very important to us. And I was really disappointed, I’m sorry. But you can’t customize the design and the defaults are really not good. I wanted to basically
change everything here. But you really just can’t do a lot. So if you use Canva for presentations your dataviz will be
ineffective basically. So again, another kiss of
death with Canva for me. And then just out of curiosity because I was already there checking it out. I went to click present and
check out presenter view because that’s also something that I think is really important to
have worked really well. And I could not believe my eyes. That I had to pay, I
had to pay to present. That alone, I was just like nope. Not happening, I am absolutely done. So here’s my sort of
summary slide of Canva and what I didn’t like about it was. Well, it’s all templates. There’s no blank slide
deck where you could really customize it. It has a complete lack of necessary data visualization elements. And you need to pay to present. Uh uh, nope. (laughing) So what did I like about Canva? Nothing, and what did I love about Canva? Nothing, so sorry Canva but don’t use Canva for presentations. Now, go ahead and use
Canva for everything else. Use it for social media
graphics, brochure, flyers, creative stuff. Canva is great for that. I have no complaints in terms of. Well I probably have a few complaints but. (laughing) You know, it works really well for that and I have used Canva for that. So go ahead, use it for that. But if you are an academic,
scientist, researcher, evaluator or similar professional. Don’t use Canva to present. Okay let’s talk about Prezi. Oh Prezi. (laughing) Yeah, so you’re probably
familiar with Prezi because it’s been around forever now. And I see a lot of people on social media asking if they should stop
using their current software which is usually PowerPoint. And switch to Prezi so they
could make better presentations. So maybe you thought that too. Again, I do want to say. I want to give sort of a disclaimer here that I have used Prezi in the past. I was an early adopter, I loved Prezi. I told everybody about Prezi. I tried to get everybody else to use it. So, sorry about that. (laughing) And again, another disclaimer. I did actually do it right. So it was a highly visual presentation. There was no spinning. I didn’t make anyone sick. And I did actually get
a lot of compliments on my Prezi presentations. And people saying that it
was unlike you’d ever seen. They found it really engaging. They really enjoyed learning
when I was using a Prezi. So, I’m saying this
because I just feel like. You know, I can foresee
Prezi experts coming in here in the comments and
telling me that I just didn’t do it right. I did, I did do it well but
I still no longer use Prezi. Okay but before I get back into that. Let’s just kind of take
a look at what Prezi is offering right now. So I haven’t opened
Prezi in, I don’t know. Four or five years now. So I just kind of poked around the website to see what was going on. And it does look a little different. So it looks a little more
like Google Slides now. And the thing with Prezi
is it’s kind of sort of a browser based app. And you can kind of sort
of work on it offline but again, we’ll talk
about that in a second. What I actually want to start with is just sort of their big features. So let’s take a look at what
they’re really promoting on their website. And the first thing is smart structures. So let’s go ahead and take
a look at that together. Okay, so the first thing they’re showing is you can drag and drop and
rearrange which is super basic. Everybody allows you to do that. But now it looks like what
they’re showing you is you can easily create sort of a clickable table of contents to choose what order your slides are gonna go. And that kind of thing and
rearrange your sections. That’s really cool, I mean. That seems easier than when I used it. So that looks like a big improvement. So so far so good. All right, let’s take a
look at their next feature that they promote. So this one is called zoom reveal. And it’s something that Prezi is known for and probably not in a good way. (laughing) So let’s see if they have improved that. Okay, so zoom reveal. Okay yeah, so it’s the zooming effect. I don’t know if this is parallax. I don’t know if that’s the same thing but it kind of has like this
stuff just moving around a lot. And yeah, honestly this
still looks just as bad as it did before. This may not be so bad if
you’re just watching this on a laptop screen or
something really small. But again, think about us and
the type of things that we do. We usually have things on a big projector and imagine those zooming
effects constantly. Like back and forth on a big projector. That makes stuff nauseous,
they will hate you. Your audience really does not enjoy that. Maybe some people like
it but for most people it just creates sort of like
a nauseous kind of feeling. So you want to avoid that. So this big feature that Prezi promotes. Their zoom feature is
something I would say disable it if you can. And if you can’t disable
this then don’t even use it. All right, let’s take a look at the last feature that they promote. This is called free movement. And this is a big thing
that Prezi is known for in a good way. This is why a lot of
people, a lot of academics and scientists say that
they even want to use Prezi because it basically creates
a nonlinear presentation. So you can just kind of
go in different orders. You can have this be really
interactive with the audience. You kind of let them guide what you’re going to talk about next. And you know, that feature
alone is actually fantastic. I think that has a lot of potential to help you create better presentations. But that zoom effect that
happened every single time you’re changing from
one section to the next, that has to go. So honestly that’s one of the reasons I started using PowerPoint. Okay but moving on, let’s
take a look at their dataviz. So, based on this preview
there are more options to edit the default design
for graphs compared to Canva. So that’s promising because there is a lot I would want to fix here. (laughing) And it’s kind of funny ’cause they’re like showing this on their sales page. Like oh, look how great
this is and I’m like no. We need to change a lot which is why it’s so helpful to have
training on data visualization. But still, just kind of
looking at the side there. It looks like there are
good options to, you know. Change what they’ve done in the defaults. Okay, so yes. I am technically cheating with Prezi because I’m just looking at their webpage. But I’ve got years of experience using it and I knew I wasn’t
going to go back to it. And I didn’t even want to
set up an account with them. And one of the reasons why. You have to pay, you
have to pay to use Prezi and it’s kind of a lot
of money in my opinion. And if you want to do something basic. Like work offline and present offline without an internet connection. You have to be in the plus. You have to be in the $19 a month package. And even for something like presenter view which is really important. You want that to actually work well so that you can have that
while you’re presenting. And you have to again, be
in this $19 a month package for something I find extremely basic. So, that’s kind of just
the kiss of death for me. Like I just, that’s a lot of money. (laughing) Okay, so here’s what I
don’t like about Prezi. It’s just so expensive for the basics. Being able to edit and present without an internet connection
feels really basic to me. I don’t really want to
have to pay for that. And the core features, the zoom effect shouldn’t even be used. What I like about Prezi is
that is a nonlinear format. It really encourages that. And it does seem to have some pretty good dataviz design options. Now in terms of what I love. I don’t really love anything
about Prezi to be honest. And this is all kind of related to again, why I stopped using
Prezi in the first place. And here’s why. Ah, there is so much
lag when I used Prezi. It was one of the most
frustrating experiences towards the end when I was having really highly visual presentations. I mean I would drag and drop
an image and wait 30 seconds, a minute longer just for it to load. And then oh, if I wanted
to move that image around. I mean I’d have to wait
again, another 30 seconds. Sometimes over a minute just
for Prezi to keep up with me. And I had a good internet connection. And I was even using their offline app and it still had huge amounts of lag. I just don’t think these kind of programs can really handle highly
visual presentations which is what you want to do. So, it was not working well. And I used Prezi when I was a grad student and they had a free educational license. So that was fine, I was able to experiment and use it for free. Then when I graduated and I got my PhD it was no longer free. And I really I was not gonna pay for it. Another reason I stopped using Prezi was because I found
that I just wasn’t using the nonlinear feature. I do actually think this
has a lot of potential to make engaging presentations. Which is why I am making
another video about that. But I didn’t at the
time and so it was just another reason I stopped using Prezi. And I just realized that ultimately I was making regular presentations that I can make in other software. But it took about three times the effort and it’s not even free. So, that’s why I stopped using Prezi. Now again, I know a lot of people love Prezi and there are Prezi experts out there. So I foresee them coming
in and leaving comments about how wrong I am. So I just want to make
it clear that I am saying you can make awesome
presentations using Prezi. I am not questioning that. My problem is you’re gonna
pay a ton of money to do it. And you’re probably rarely going to use that nonlinear feature. And you’re just gonna
spend a lot more time creating the presentation. Especially compared to the application I’m going to recommend
at the end of the video. So, just like weighing
all of that together. The recommended app I’m
going to share at the end in my opinion is just better than Prezi. Okay so we’ve covered
two applications so far and I want to hear from you. I want to check in. Comment about your reaction to this. Are you shocked? Are you relieved that I’m
saying don’t use Canva, don’t use Prezi? And if you’ve tried to use Canva or Prezi to make a professional
presentation with data. Comment below about your experience. Is it the same as mine? Is it different than mine? Either way, I would just
like to hear from you so far. Okay so yeah, I’m gonna recommend
that you don’t use Prezi for your presentations. Just like with Canva, I do
think you could use Prezi for something else. Something more creative. Like you have an interactive CV that you embed on your website. I do think it could be cool
for those kinds of things. But for presentations, especially
presentations with data. I would say don’t use it. Okay, let’s go ahead and
move onto Google Slides. So I’ve played around a
lot with Google Slides but I’ve never actually given
a presentation using it. But I made training videos and
I am pretty familiar with it. And I do think it’s an impressive tool. So what I like is you can
edit the master slides and you can make your own template. Which in my opinion is absolutely basic and necessary for any slide
software I’m going to use. And I also checked out their dataviz stuff and the defaults look pretty standard. So at first this wasn’t
a deal breaker for me. But the real question is always
how much can I customize it? Because no application, not even the one I’m going recommend, has
excellent default settings. If you want to present
your data effectively. You will need to change those. So I tested it out and one thing was I couldn’t figure out
how to change the color of just one bar at a time. I could only do the entire series. So that’s not really great. And the font sizes, those
are always too small. So I was trying to make them
bigger and just format them. And it was just, honestly
it was just really annoying. It was just a very frustrating experience to customize the graphs in Google Slides. So, the thing with me is I just don’t have a lot of patience. I want my software to work for
me and I want it to be easy. And it’s possible that
this would have worked if I kept trying to figure it out. But I lost patience,
especially when the app I’m going to recommend. I would have been done with
this in just a couple minutes without this kind of annoying effort. So yeah, that’s why I don’t
really love Google Slides but you know. Google Slides has a lot of
basic features that I do use. You can custom the template,
customize the template. You can add animations. You have a slide sorter view. The presenter view is great. They do have design
tools and arrange tools which I look for and again,
a good presenter view. So, it does have a lot of great stuff. And then the best things
about Google Slides is that it’s free, yay. It works on any device
and that’s always nice. It has live subtitles and
audience interaction components. Now I mean, these live subtitles. I mean they’re just a great
accessibility feature. And I really love that
Google Slides has this. I find that really impressive. And the audience interaction
tools really blew me away. I didn’t know about those until I was preparing for this video. But you can do things
like poll your audience and let them ask you questions. Just sort of natively in Google Slides. That impressed me a lot. But sadly there are some deal breakers or things that I don’t really like. Google Slides doesn’t have icons. I don’t find Google Slides easy to use compared to the app
I’m going to recommend. I actually found it kind of annoying. The menu choices just don’t
make sense for my brain. They don’t have advanced features. So yeah, they have basic features but they don’t have advanced ones that I’ve definitely gotten used to and I need in my presentations. The dataviz design is particularly
frustrating and limited. And you need an internet
connection to really work on it and present. So, yeah. Just to recap what I don’t like is that you need an internet. Maybe you can download
them and present them as a PDF or something and you
don’t need internet for that. But that’s just annoying and an extra step that I don’t really love. And yeah just in general,
I found it annoying and harder to use. Then it lacked the necessary
advanced features that I need. But I do like some things about it. It has a lot of the features that I need when I make slides and it’s free. That’s always good. And I do actually love some
things about Google Slides. It’s got live subtitles
and interactive tools. So, way to go Google Slides. So taking all of that together I would say if you want to use
Google Slides, go ahead. It is not the app I recommend but it’s not gonna set you
up to fail like Canva will. And it has a lot more benefits than Prezi. So, out of these three
that we’ve covered so far. I would recommend Google Slides. Okay, so now you kind of already know that I’m going to recommend
Keynote or PowerPoint. I mean those are the
only two that are left. (laughing) So I’m just kind of curious. Which one do you think
I’m gonna recommend? Or which one do you hope I recommend? Okay, pause the video and leave a comment before you hit play. Okay Keynote, you are up next. Now I just want to give you some context about my slide software timeline. So I started using slides
around fifth grade I think. And then of course there’s 2020 and then I do have a few
milestones in between. So I already told you that I used Prezi from about 2011 to 2014. And then in 2005 something happened. I got a Mac and I started using Keynote. And I fell in love with Keynote instantly and it became my preferred
software for about 14 years. Oh my gosh, I cannot believe
so much time has passed. But you know yeah, I did
use Prezi for a while for a few years. But even then I used Keynote
at least half the time for those presentations. It really was my preferred slide software because I started using
PowerPoint in like fifth grade. I think my first presentation
was about koalas, like I have this memory. So when Keynote came
along it really was just. It was so awesome to use. I mean really, it was awesome. I made an engaging presentation. The defaults work better. It was so much easier and faster to make really good presentations with Keynote. That I pretty much
avoided using PowerPoint as much as possible over those 14 years. I still had to sometimes use PowerPoint but I really tried to avoid it. Until last year, something changed. So spoiler, you can see which
app I am going to recommend. It’s going to be PowerPoint. And I wanted to give you this timeline, not just to talk about myself. But to let you know I
have a lot of experience with these three big ones. So I am using my experience
to inform this video. And I have used these applications for our types of presentations,
presentations with data. You know I started my
research career around 2006. So I know what these apps can and can’t do for professional presentations. And for Keynote and
PowerPoint the reason why I left them at the end
is ’cause they actually are pretty identical. You can edit the master slides. You can create a custom template. They have icons and they
have advanced animations. They have advanced dataviz design. They’re both easy to use. They have design tools. I mean they are almost the same. In some cases PowerPoint
is easier to do something than Keynote but then
sometimes it’s the reverse. So it kind of all balances it out. So the kiss of the death with Keynote and the reason why I stopped using it is because they just stopped improving it. I mean they really
stopped putting any effort into Keynote and they did a long time ago. The last time they did
an update that actually added in a new and
modern feature was 2009. I mean that’s over 10 years ago. So in that time PowerPoint
not only caught up to Keynote but got better than Keynote. So I’m just gonna skip ahead
because they are so similar. Here’s what I don’t like about Keynote. It’s outdated and lacking in updates and I really don’t foresee
Apple investing in it. Because they’ve been
sort of not supporting it more and more over the years. And it does kind of suck
that it only works on a Mac. Even though a lot more people
are using Macs back than compared to 2005. It just traps you in that Apple ecosystem which is not great. What I like about Keynote
is it is free for Mac users, at least it used to be. And it does have both basic
and advanced features. Keynote pretty much does have
almost everything that I need but what do I love about it? Well, nothing anymore. So just like with Google Slides. If you want to use Keynote,
you’re using Keynote. You like it, great. Go ahead and do that. You can absolutely make effective and engaging slides with Keynote. But honestly PowerPoint blows all of these other applications out of the water. In a nutshell, everything
those apps can do PowerPoint can do them too. And usually PowerPoint can
do it better or easier. So, for example you can
make nonlinear presentations in PowerPoint. Prezi is not the only one
that lets you do this. And my next video is going to be about showing you how to do this in
PowerPoint and it is so easy. It only takes a couple minutes. And it’s not just that. PowerPoint has unique features
that others don’t have or are much easier to use. Things like really great icons and I even made a whole video about three features in
PowerPoints that are awesome and easy to use. Including icons and the link to that is in the description below. You know and this entire presentation was made in PowerPoint. All of these drawings,
this is my handwriting. This isn’t Adobe After
Effects or anything special. So, if this shocked you and
if you are pleasantly surprised that PowerPoint can make
such great presentations. Give this video a like. And yeah and even this, by the way, was also made in PowerPoint. So PowerPoint is fantastic
and you can use it for things other than slides too. Canva isn’t the only
thing where you can do it for more creative things. This free toolkit that I’m
about to release in a week or so with one of my upcoming videos. I made this toolkit in
PowerPoint and it looks great. So, chances are you
started watching this video because you wanted to
make better presentations. And you were hoping I
was going to tell you some magical app that wasn’t PowerPoint that would help you do this. I see this question almost
everyday on social media where someone is like. I want to make better presentations. What should I use besides PowerPoint? Just about every academic
scientist, researcher, evaluator and similar
professional has asked this question at some point. So you’re among friends here. The thing is is that PowerPoint
was never the problem. And another app is not the solution. And neither are templates. That is a step in the wrong direction which is why I was so harsh on Canva for all of those templates. So maybe you’re a little frustrated because you really thought
I was going to sort of unlock the secret and tell
you about a magical slide app. But really PowerPoint is great. So what’s the problem then? If PowerPoint is so great, why is death by PowerPoint a thing? What is the real solution? Well, the problem is that
no one really trained us on how to communicate effectively
when we are using slides. This isn’t part of our
grad school training, at least not for most of us. And that’s the real problem. So the solution is actually
professional development so you know how to use
whatever slide app you’re using to make an effective presentation. So if you are serious and you are ready to get going on your
professional development. Then check out my free
online course called Stellar Slides in 5. It is a great way to get started on your professional
development and it’s free. Okay if you are already a
member of my paid online course, Blast Off to Stellar Slides. Then check out our private community for a bonus tutorial on how I made this animation in PowerPoint. Okay, so now I really
want to hear from you. Take a moment to leave a comment. Are you relieved or
shocked or disappointed that PowerPoint is the winner? Let me know below. And thank you so much
for watching this video. I know it was extra
long but we had to cover a lot of information. So if you made it this
far you are fabulous. And be sure to give this video a like and share it with others
who maybe are convinced that PowerPoint dooms you to fail. And other people who might
need to hear this message. And don’t forget to
subscribe and hit the bell so you can get notified of my next video which will be next week. And otherwise, thank you
so much for helping me end death by PowerPoint. And I will see you in the next video, bye.


6 Comments

Echo Rivera · January 7, 2020 at 3:57 pm

What is your experience with using the apps mentioned in this video for presentations? What do you think of my final recommendation — shocked? surprised? thrilled? Comment below! 👇

Lachelle Hannickel · January 8, 2020 at 5:40 am

I think you're going to recommend…ppt

Lachelle Hannickel · January 8, 2020 at 6:01 am

Yay! I've used them all. I definitely use PPT most for my business (making downloadable teaching resources), but not so much for presentations anymore. For teaching, I use Google Slides, because I teach elementary school now, and we are a GAFE district. It's so easily accessible–I just open my computer, click the waffle, and voila! I do love the master slide feature, but I didn't realize it had some of the other features you mentioned. Have you worked much with the extensions (nearpod or peardeck)? I'd love to know what you think about those, in terms of extending GS interactive features. As for the others–I agree–Canva for banners and such, but not $$helling out for a presentation tool. I used Prezi once in a job interview presentation for K-6 administration, and all I can say is Prezi=Dizzy :/ 🙂 And haven't used Keynote much (just got a Mac relatively recently on my timeline 🙂 )

KaYing V · January 8, 2020 at 4:47 pm

Any thoughts on collaboratively working on slide decks? We had two fails this past year. In my group, we used google slides and then the internet turned bad — once us and every other presenter at the conference was using the internet. So our slide deck wouldn't load properly to present. This has convinced me to make sure I'm using something that can work offline.

Alternatively, a friend of mine had his team send him ppt slides, but then had problems with the translation when fonts and colors didn't show up attractively. He had to spend hours correcting the deck so it would work. He's convinced that next time, he just needs to present as PDF rather than PPT.

Paula Lago · January 10, 2020 at 7:24 am

I am relieved with the winner 🙂
Recently I discovered PowerPoint also has live subtitles for the presentations also. I haven't tried it yet, but I absolutely loved the idea of having subtitles. Have you tried them? What is your opinion on them? I was afraid it was going to be distracting if I used them and they just didn't work properly

David Schaich · January 12, 2020 at 4:06 am

I have to say that I hate, loathe and despise the .pptx file format.

Whenever I've had to use .pptx or .ppt files over the past ~15 years, they have not displayed correctly. For obvious reasons I avoid using them whenever possible, but I had two experiences in 2019 where event organizers claimed they couldn't handle pdf files and demanded pptx. In one case elements got moved around on top of each other, as usual. In the other case the organizers completely reformatted my slides themselves, to convert them to some organizational branding template that I saw for the first time when giving the presentation.

I use pdf files if at all possible—preferably produced using latex, though that has a very steep learning curve, so I don't recommend folks use it for slides unless they're familiar with it already.

I saw the earlier remark about the absence of animations in pdf files. I am perfectly happy to sacrifice this in order to get a portable document that will actually work reliably.

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