24.November 2016
PowerPoint alternatives

“The topic was kind of interesting – but that presentation was a big yawn” – does that sound familiar to you? As to me, honestly speaking, I’ve been bored by dreadfully monotonous lectures too often in my career.

Before starting up my own business, I was Head of Marketing & PR at a lovely medium-sized company. Part of my department’s job was to support the sales guys, amongst others with helping them prepare their presentations for customer meetings, sales partner meetings, as well as for trade shows and other big events. And PowerPoint was the tool to use. No discussions about that. In retrospect, I really blew it! I’m wondering why I never raised my voice against that mediocre mishmash.


Bye bye boredom, hello entertainment!

Anyway, I made progress. Being on my own business-wise I was forced to be more innovative. More fascinating than my competitors. So I finally asked myself if there was really no alternative to good old PowerPoint. I came across two other software tools that advertised themselves as perfect solutions for creating captivating presentations: Preziwith 60 million users, and MindMeisterwith its 4 million users a newcomer compared to Prezi.


Both are online software tools that focus on visual storytelling. Instead of static slides, they feature dynamic multimedia slideshows. It helps your audience better understand your ideas, remember important details – and listen to you with gusto. This isn’t just a personal impression, but affirmed by science: Research revealed that pictures show superior recognition relative to their verbal labels. If you wish to dive deeper into theory, you can read the studies published on the website of the American Psychological Association.


A comparison: Prezi vs. MindMeister

Prezi is a cloud-based software tool solely dedicated to slideshow presentations. YouTube Video Prezi


MindMeister, on the other hand, has originally been developed as web-based collaborative mind mapping and brainstorming solution.  Thanks to the integrated presentation mode, you can easily turn your mind map into a slideshow. YouTuibe Video MindMeister


As MindMeister’s method of mind mapping is particularly suitable for organizing trains of thought, it perfectly assists you in giving your presentation a golden thread. Hierarchies and complex relationships between individual ideas are automatically highlighted thanks to the mind maps’ branches. Compared to Prezi, this is the top advantage MindMeister has to offer. It makes the process of structuring your message so simple.


You never know until you try

To try yourself if Prezi is your ideal partner, you have to create an account. The free test account is a public account. So anything you create will be publicly viewable and reusable. Consequently, when using real company data, you are forced to create a paid account for a little toying with the software.

To give MindMeister a try, sign up for free membership with less advanced feature set – but at least your mind maps experiments aren’t publically accessible.


Easy software handling, extensive visual capabilities

Both software tools promise easy handling combined with visual wowing potential – and they keep their promise: Prezi and MindMeister come with customized templates and themes, which makes designing really easy. Images, sound elements and videos can be integrated lightning-fast. And both allow for cloud-based collaboration. Prezi’s possibilities for image and text editing are more sophisticated (allowing for individual changes of font and font size, glitter effects for images etc.), while MindMeister offers three helpful gadgets that may rescue you when time is running: WunderBild, WunderNote and History View.

WunderBild will crawl the internet and add an image to your idea. An example: Imagine that you’re preparing a presentation sketching out relevant target groups for your company’s products. One of them might be “professors”. Then, by clicking on WunderBild’s magic wand, MindMeister automatically inserts an image showing a university professor at work. This has nothing to do with magic, by the way. The software makes use of Google images.

WunderNote works similarly: Adding a WunderNote to a term means that the software will insert a definition found on Wikipedia.
History View stores the entire change history of a mind map as separate revisions. This is especially helpful when you use the software for cloud-based collaboration, and you quickly want to check on the last changes your allys did.


Spread your word

In order to distribute your presentation, you’ll have to export it. No problem with Prezi nor MindMeister. Prezi requires a Pro account for converting your presentation to a PDF. MindMeister is more generous with respect to supported formats: Already the free basic account features exports as PDF, text, and image files.


The bottom line: Give it a shot!

Why not become acquainted with Prezi and/or MindMeister? It’s for sure not a time suck! Test both of them, and you will quickly have a frontrunner. You may prefer Prezi if you like to be part of a greater community, and if you insist on editing your text and images in a very individual way. You love to posh your presentation up? Prezi, with its enhanced editing possibilities paves the way! Just don’t get lost in space and time while beautifying your presentation. MindMeister is less chichi, but will deliver a good, professional look of your presentation – it rather focuses on speed, not artistry. Moreover, if you’re usually struggling with a presentation’s structure and train of thoughts, MindMeister will probably serve you better. And – last but not least –, MindMeister offers you various export formats, which may be important when you want to distribute the presentation to the audience.