Our world has become increasingly more digitized and with that has come a greater focus on the visual. Whether on social media (Instagram) or home entertainment (TV’s with OLED and 4K technology)--we are used to being visually stimulated. Now your average company presentation, with its tired PowerPoint slides and 1980’s clip art just won’t cut it anymore.
Fortunately, the field of presentation software has evolved with that demand and creating visually stunning presentations is now easier than ever. As an added bonus, many of them allow for the inclusion of audio and voice—taking your presentations to the next level.
A Prezi for Your Thoughts
The first company to break ground, which we covered in a previous post, was Prezi. Founded in 2009, Prezi has over 100 million users, and unlike PowerPoint slides, it offers “a limitless zoomable canvas and the ability to show relationships between the big picture and fine details.” Instead of a linear format we now have a virtual “mind map.”
In 2013 they started to offer Audio and Voice capabilities and we were excited to see how this would add depth and context to users “prezis”—allowing their amazing content to still be played even if they couldn’t be there in person to present it.
However, as we all know, something this good doesn’t come free. Now, adding audio is only available to users with a Plus or higher Prezi Next plan, which start at $19/month.
Bummer, right? But there are some compelling reasons why you want to add audio:
Play That Funky Music
When you study don’t you play some jazzy music in the background to set the mood? Likewise, when people are viewing your presentations they can focus and retain content better if there is music to guide the experience.
But you can’t just pick any song from your iTunes list without repercussions. There are many licensing issues you can run into, which we’ve covered in this post. Making sure you have the correct licensing is your responsibility so be sure you know the rules of the game.
A Voice That Launched A Thousand Ships
Adding professional audio and voice talent narration to your Prezi is a way to make it more interesting, informative, and engaging. It can:
- Guide visitors during an online viewing of your presentation
- Help show professionalism and improve your image
- Allow you to use fewer words on screen
- Give you control over how content is interpreted
- Add different languages to fit a multilingual audience around the world
I Love Audio, It's Perfect, Now What?
Besides Prezi and PowerPoint there are many other options to suit consumers’ needs. Some allow for audio integration and some do not. It’s good to know ahead of time before you commit to a platform whether they will have all the features to fit your needs in the future. Having to import your presentations into another platform can cause data loss or additional work to reformat it.
Vyond: No free option—Audio and video files allowed at the $49/month Essential level.
Zoho Show: Allows you to add audio for the animations effects in the slide but requires some knowledge of html.
Google Slides: You cannot add audio but you can link to them. Tip: you can trick Google Slides into playing audio by uploading as an embedded video then hiding the video entirely: https://www.labnol.org/internet/audio-in-google-slides/30903/
Keynote: This is free with the purchase of a new Mac—if you have an older computer that has been upgraded without Keynote you will not get a free copy. It allows you to add and adjust narration, notes, and sounds for people to play in your presentations.
Haiku Deck: Their pro plan allows you to add audio narration for $9.99/month billed annually.
Slidedog: Does not seem to allow you to add audio.
Visme: For $25/month you can add audio to your presentations.
A Presentation and A Bag of Chips
Follow these steps and you will have a well-rounded presentation that hits all the right notes: amazing visuals, music, and voice over narration. We, at Holdcom, would love to help you create your masterpiece, wow your boss, and get that promotion (ok, don’t hold us to that last one!).
With all these elements to play around with you will no doubt have a blast—and blow the traditional PowerPoint presentation out of the water to boot. And remember, once we create a custom music or voice program for you, it’s yours to use forever!
Share below what’s worked for you to rock those presentations—platforms, programs, anything!: