08 Sep 2011by Georgie Cousens

A quick overview of online preso tool SlideRocket

For PowerPoint users, SlideRocket will feel more familiar than its rival online presentation tool Prezi, which uses a single canvas and zooms in on single elements as you speak. SlideRocket is also reportedly more reliable than Prezi, with fewer gremlins – as with working with any programme, hitting that Save button often is a good habit to cultivate.

It should be said upfront that while free SlideRocket is a good basic version, paying the $24 a month subscription fee unlocks features that a heavy-duty presentation designer simply cannot go without. For instance, the basic version allows you to design your presentation and then publish it to a web URL, which you can access anywhere. However, those 24 bucks allow you to save the file to your computer, as well as export it in PDF and PPT, and even record audio commentary. It also allows you to have more than one version of each slide, which is handy when presenting the same slide show to different clients or markets.

As SlideRocket is web-based, it’s extremely simple to add elements such as YouTube videos and Flickr images to your slides. You would expect that a graphic-heavy presentation would be slow-going but SlideRocket is unexpectedly nimble.

Its bag of tricks is bigger (but not necessarily better) than what you’re used to on PowerPoint and Keynote, with much more to offer than a selection of clever transitions and animations. Its plug-ins includes stock price indexes, dictionary definitions and Twitter feeds. Typefaces, colour palettes and design elements are controlled by a very elegant looking ‘inspector’ panel on the right-hand side of the slide. It has selection of visually arresting themes that are fresh and fun. There’s even a plug-in than creates a ‘snowfall’ on your slide to prevent the audience from reading while you are talking, but is still soothing to watch…

What’s your experience of SlideRocket been like?

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