7 Tools for Presenting without Breaking the Bank

If you are like me then it is natural for you to use technology mediums to help teach our teenagers. Here are 7 Tools that I’ve used in my various ministry settings.

1. Prezi | www.prezi.com Is possibly my most favorite programmed presentation software out there. It works different than a Keynote or a Powerpoint. It is one large slide or “Canvas” and is totally Flash based. This gives you some capabilities to move text/images/videos around on a presentation. I love the ability to zoom into small text, is a great effect for revealing point. The nature of the set up is very good for organic conversations, you can zoom out and zoom back into different thoughts as they get discussed. It is free unless you want to remove their watermark or download your presentations. Which I have yet to feel a need to do.

Pros: Super cool platform, Different visual effect than traditional software, Free as much as I’ve ever needed, Even pay is reasonable, iPad player app available

Con: If you don’t pay for service to download presentation then you need internet to load your presentation. Trick, if you have internet at home/hotel you can load it on browser and then play without net.

2. SlideRocket | www.sliderocket.com Slide Rocket is a new service that I am totally digging. It is the same powerpoint capabilities, but because it is done “on the cloud” (cloud computing = all data and work is done on a secure server ‘in the clouds’ through your internet browser) it has capabilities that put a desktop service to shame. You can collaborate on a slideshow if you are doing some joint presentation.

Pros: Remote hosting and editing of your presentations, Full range of files can be plugged in to ‘pimp out’ your presentations, Collaborative editing in real time, Can upload all your old powerpoint files, gives metrics to who is viewing your slides (if want)

Cons: To download presentations you have to upgrade past the ‘lite’ (ie. free) account setting & it is a bit more expensive than Prezi for that. Not bad price IF you are going to use it enough to get value from it.

3. SlideJockey | www.slidejockey.org Okay, this is a bit of a cheater because it requires an iPad or iPhone to work with it. But it is freaking cool!! Adaptive presentation, Interactive from the crowd, Editing on the fly = Pretty cool in my book. Here’s their promo video.

Pros: A total game changer in interactive presenting, Can host all your presentations in one spot, Free as far I’ve encountered so far,

Cons: Not a full fledge editing software, Only available for iPad/iPhone owners.. So Kevin is not going to be that pleased

4. LiveWorship | www.liveworship.com I like LiveWorship for two main reasons. 1. it is an EASY to use worship presentation software. Not overly complicated in set up and use, however it has all the capabilities that you might want in moving from videos to song slides, to standing background images. 2. It has one license fee for as many computers you need the software to run on that you’d like. That is really really nice in the cost category.

Pros: Powerful worship presentation software, easy to use, set up of presentations is easy, lots of cool capabilities for switching around presentations, only need to purchase one license for as many computer loads as need, has a 30 day trial to kick the tires around

Cons: Not as technically robust as other softwares, but in ways that is a pro

5. Keynote | www.keynote.com & PowerPoint | It used to be that the office packages that came with iWork or MS Office were a pricey tag. But not so much these days. Keynote with a $75 iWorks price tag is a great option. Keynote, IMHO, puts Powerpoint to shame as far as cool transitions and effects. However, PPT is still an industry standard and done right (ie. don’t use the old stock templates & excessive bullet lists)

Pros: It is the set up you already know, Growing capabilities

Cons: Its the presentation that many folks already know

6. Google Earth | www.earth.google.com Have you checked out Google Earth lately? It keeps improving on itself and it has some really neat capabilities to give a global perspective to your teenagers. Start on the map in your hometown or hovering over the church and then span across the oceans (or in the oceans if you like) to Jerusalem and the gate where Christ did his triumphant entry. People have posted photos attached to sites so that you can view, it also can move into street view if you like. Going on or were on a mission trip? Attach photos to that area yourself and show where the group is going. How cool to bring the scope of the world and teenagers local understandings.

Pros: Totally free, Always updating, Very cool, Can update yourself

Cons: Do need to download, Doesn’t work within presentation softwares, so have to use outside a normal set up

7. Poll Everywhere | www.polleverywhere.com This is a fun add on to a presentation or website. You can set up a poll or two or some question you want responses for and let your audience respond via text message. This is a cool tool with various levels of free to pay membership. I use the personal plan which allowed 50 different ‘votes’ and gave us response capabilities sending a message back to anyone who voted. We used that to send a note of encouragement and/or announcement.

Pros: Totally hits the habitual device of teenagers today, Free to try out, Pay plans are reasonable, Integrates into website, Live updating on browser, Can promote over social media

Cons: Not the best experiences with open ended questions, Adults are not that quick to pick up on this, might take some explaining how to respond the first go round

To Note:

Kevin likes ProPresenter (www.renewedvision.com) for EVERYTHING & granted, he does some cool stuff with that. It is a bit pricy in my book for multiple licenses (which is why I love LiveWorship). It is pretty much the industry standard in worship presentation software & is reasonable if you are going to use it regularly.