There are several social collaboration tools that address this problem, though. Ideally, presentations should take no more than a few emails, a little delegation, and a final run-through. Online collaboration is especially helpful when your team works across the country or the world. So with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at a few of the top web-based presentation-building tools and are providing the pros and cons:
Google Docs: Google Docs is Google’s free, web-based document collaboration tool. With it, you can edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations within the web. For presentations, you can create slides, add images, format text, change themes and backgrounds, and most of all, invite anyone with a Google account to help edit the presentation.
The biggest pro to Google Docs is that it’s entirely free. You can be up and building presentations within minutes. Updates by others are clear and there are specific features like slide embedding that make it a very desirable option. However, if you’re a business that needs to build detailed, professional slides, then Google Docs may not have enough features to suit your tastes. A similar service to consider is Zoho Docs.
Acrobat.com by Adobe: Adobe’s Acrobat.com is a collaboration tool for businesses to work on documents, create and convert PDFs, engage in screencasts, and host virtual meetings. One of its newest features is Acrobat Presentations, a web-based tool for creating slides. It’s an elegant system that uses Adobe Flash to smoothly edit and share your PowerPoints.
Presentations can support up to 20 people editing at any one time. Collaborators can add their comments with their own distinguishing color. Editing colors, creating shapes, and adding animations is a relatively simple process, although there is a bit of a learning curve. It’s definitely designed for heavy business use. It will soon require a monthly subscription to use ($15 to $40/month), but if you’re a business that requires a deep array of business features, it may be worth the price.
SlideRocket: If Google and Adobe’s options don’t suit your needs, SlideRocket is another option. It can build gorgeous slides, has a simple yet elegant interface, and touts Google Docs integration. Its strength is its ability to collaboratively create vivid, bright slides that will catch the room’s attention. The animations and transitions are simply richer than the ones you can build in PowerPoint. There are also plenty of demos to help you get started.
SlideRocket has a free version, but to collaborate, it can become costly. For each user a business adds to SlideRocket, it costs an extra $20 per month. Beyond this issue though, SlideRocket doesn’t really have any other gaping faults.
Try out all of these presentation tools and see which one fits your needs best. There are plenty of options now available that make attaching PowerPoints an inefficient tradition of the past.
Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Yuri_Arcurs