Posted on September 9, 2016
When the time comes to produce a financial presentation, most people automatically fire up PowerPoint without thinking twice. Given that PowerPoint likely came pre-installed on your computer, chances are it’s the presentation software you know best, and that feels easiest.
But here at Talisman, we like to offer our clients a range of options for their presentations. Although there’s nothing wrong with using PowerPoint, it isn’t the only choice available, and the truth is that we feel there are other applications that stand out and produce presentations that look even better.
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Here are three alternatives to consider:
1. Interactive PDF
By using Adobe InDesign, we can create an impressive-looking financial presentation in the same way we’d produce a traditional print document, but with a degree of interactivity.
Unless you’re confident using InDesign, this option would need to involve a creative agency to produce it well and make any amends, so this isn’t the cheapest option available. However, as you’ll see, because of InDesign’s extra capabilities, it’s possible to produce a single presentation you can use for a variety of different purposes and audiences. With a little investment, you’ll have something that looks great, and you can use over and over.
Imagine you have 50 slides: an introduction, followed by slides that cover all the different areas of your company. InDesign could let us break down the slides into eight sections and list them along the bottom of your screen in the form of a navigation device using buttons. This way you’d be able to present a tailored presentation, applicable to your specific audience, mixing and matching sections and navigating smoothly between them.
Bookmarks allow a similar organisation tool. Acting like a table of contents, bookmarks create an index to help you navigate through your presentation via clickable headings. Bookmark entries can be made as a standard table of contents (using the standard InDesign Table of Contents tool), or applied to specific pages, objects and text (using the Bookmarks panel).
Media and hyperlinks
With interactive PDFs, it’s easy to embed videos or include hyperlinks to navigate you directly to a webpage (provided you’re connected to the internet). Just make sure you check your device compatibility beforehand as not all devices support all video formats.
Once you’ve completed your InDesign file, you can export it as an interactive PDF. This can be opened and presented through Adobe Acrobat on Macs, PCs, tablets or even mobile phones.
Keynote presentation software comes as standard on all Apple computers and is only really available for Mac users. However, if you have access to it, it’s definitely worth your attention.
Speedy and reliable, Keynote works in a very similar way to PowerPoint but supports large media files far better. You can drag and drop HD movies, high-res photos and audio files without the worry the presentation will lag. Slide transitions and animations are supported too, with everything running smoothly every time.
If limiting yourself to Macs is a problem, Keynote does allow you to save documents as PowerPoint files or import old PowerPoint files to edit within Keynote. However, you will find that not all features convert perfectly, so to ensure you end up with a final presentation you can rely on, it’s best to keep the process in Keynote as much as possible.
One Keynote feature we love especially, is the ability to create interactive charts using external data. Data can be imported and organised really easily, and, come presentation time, you’ll be able to interact with the chart using sliders and buttons.
Keynote presentations created on a Mac look exactly the same on your iPhone or iPad and vice versa and it’s effortless to move your work from one device to another. You can even access your presentations from the web, share them and collaborate with others in real-time.
If you would like to know more about Keynote’s features, take a look here:
Prezi is an online application platform that enables you to produce unique presentations with a focus on storytelling and engaging spatial dimension and motion.
Unlike traditional slides presentations, Prezi is all about its zoomable features.
To picture what we mean, imagine a large canvas in front of you, with one, huge infographic covering the surface. It would be too much to see or take in one go, but Prezi’s idea is to break it down into frames and zoom in and out on key elements to create a journey through the information. These key elements could be as simple as a few lines of static text, or something more interactive like a video, graphic or chart.
If you need to present complex (or a large amount of) financial information, then Prezi could be a very useful tool. Get the design right, and Prezi presentations are unforgettable.
The big advantage of building a presentation in Prezi is that because it’s a cloud-based application, it’s easy for a team to log-in and work on a presentation separately from different locations.
Simple, skilled design
Obviously, Prezi takes some practice, and you’ll need to be confident that your whole team are skilled in its use. Less is definitely more when it comes to moving visuals: I have heard stories of people getting motion sickness while watching on a big screen!
Prezi is available through a few different subscription licenses:
- Public Licenses – free, but makes all your presentations available to public view.
- Enjoy and Edu Enjoy Licenses
- Pro Plus, Pro, and Edu Pro Licenses
- Prezi for Teams Licenses
- Prezi Business
For more information on what each license includes and the cost of Prezi’s packages, please click on the below links:
Online and offline viewing
Once you’ve completed your presentation, you’ll be able to present it online but will only be able to download a portable, offline version if you’ve subscribed to the Pro feature. A portable Prezi file can’t be edited, but would allow you to transfer and present your presentation when the internet is not available.
Leave behind ideas
Irrespective of which way you decide to produce your presentation, have you given any thought to what you could do once the presentation or meeting has finished?
A ‘leave behind’ offers a useful reminder to your audience and client and helps keep the momentum of interest going. Here are some ideas that we’ve found work well:
Video cards are gaining popularity and, although expensive at first glance, the price very much depends on the numbers printed and created. For a high-stakes presentation, it may very well be worth the investment. Videos made for this purpose need to short and succinct and could feature animation or simply someone talking to the camera.
Designed to sit in a high-quality box or small envelope, you could produce a short 4-6 page roll fold featuring key take-outs and the benefits of using your company. Additionally, you could create some personalised cards listing some key information from your presentation.
Need some help?
Making the most of new tech trends and software does depend on having someone in front of the screen who knows what they’re doing. If your team don’t have the know-how, a digital creative agency could be the way forward. We’d love to help, so if you’d like a chat, just get in touch.