Slide presentations have been both the bread-and-butter and the champagne-and-caviar of the business pitch. Slides offer an outline and a set of visual cues that help engage audiences and move donors to action. Moreover, the best-known desktop applications to create presentations, Microsoft’s PowerPoint and Apple’s Keynote, offer various ways to save your slideshow and share it via email or posting on your website.
Nevertheless, developers and startups believe the sharing of these presentations is where the next big thing will be, and they are moving not only the sharing but also the development of slide presentations online. We’d like to introduce two of them, and what they bring to businesses and nonprofits that the traditional desktop apps do not. They both have free starter accounts, with greater features and storage space with subscriptions.
Notice the slide, the narrative on the right, and the opportunity to sign up below (Click to enlarge).
Presentation software is pretty easy to manipulate. Making a presentation is not easy, however. ‘Death by a thousand bullet points’ can ensure that your efforts pass by a moribund audience unwilling to resurrect the donation checks. thepit.ch. (Whether the product will retain the name or not is unclear.)a story. And telling the story is behind the startup selling ‘The Pitch’ with the clever URL:
The Pitch is one of the newest and most intriguing of the growing number of online presentation apps. It begins with asking the developer a few questions about the story you and your peers want to tell the audience. It looks for some keywords and suggests a narrative strategy for the slides. Once done, the slide deck/show resides in your account in the computing cloud, and you can give access to it to anyone you wish. As the app works within the cloud and potential donors access it from that cloud, sharing is seamless and the design you created is accessible by any web browser.
Thus far the standard-bearer in this growing field of online presentation software is Prezi. It challenges the fundamental concept of ‘slides’ and replaces them with a single large canvas upon which you lay out your ideas, images, and (few!) bullet points. Even video can be incorporated. Once all the pieces are drawn up on the canvass, Presi offers tools to move, zoom, turn, and call out specific parts of the canvass to tell your story. We have included their YouTube video here to introduce the concept of the canvass.
An exciting thing about both these technologies (and likely those that will follow and refine the concepts) is the emphasis on narrative. They encourage both chronological thinking and drawing up a story line before turning to their many features. In particular, ‘The Pitch’ seems especially designed to encourage users to consider the story you want told and the audience you want to tell it to. As our tech world grows more mobile and more cloud-stored and cloud-shared, we will see ever more standard software packages become more modular and more accessible, or their companies will grow more bankrupt.