PowerPoint Vs Keynote Vs Prezi

Powerpoint, Keynote, or Prezi? Picking the Right Platform

Do you have an important presentation lined up in front of you? Then, my friend, you’ve got the most dreadful moment approaching you- deciding which presentation software you should use to craft your presentation.

From PowerPoint to Keynote to Prezi and every other presentation software in between, each holds its own share of strengths and limitations. While an old-school PowerPoint Presentation helps you craft a formal presentation for an office setting, Prezi and Keynote give you a platform to bring out that creativity hook in your presentations.

Presentation PlatformKey Features
PowerPoint1. Supports multiple file formats for the users
2. Best-suited for the creation of professional work presentations
3. It has a user-friendly interface so that even technologically challenged users can easily create minimalistic presentations
Keynote1. It is exclusive to iOS users with advanced features available on the paid version
2. Keynote is a slightly advanced version of PowerPoint in terms of the template designs, animations, and transitions
3. Creative library of shapes and icons
Prezi1. Unlike most of the presentation platforms, Prezi offers its users an enhanced zoom-in and out feature as part of the slide transitions to beautifully support the storytelling narrative of the presenter
2. While providing lesser scope for text-heavy slides, Prezi focuses more upon the aesthetic feel of the slides
3. Comparatively fewer slide transitions and animations are available

Choosing the right presentation software that fits your needs can be tricky if not done well. In this article, we shall dive into a comparative analysis of PowerPoint Vs Keynote Vs Prezi to help you make the right choice!

With the right set of tips, comparison charts, and a guide on how to use these platforms the right way, this article is your one-stop destination for knowing everything about this topic. So, let’s dive right into it!

PowerPoint Vs Keynote Vs Prezi: The Best One for You?

From students to working professionals and everyone in between (quite literally!), we all are required to give presentations every once in a while. As Windows Users end up opting for PowerPoint, Mac Users go for Keynote as their first preference.

Undoubtedly, one thing that we blissfully ignore while choosing the right presentation application is ‘the purpose of our presentations’. So, the next time you need to craft a presentation, ask yourself, ‘What is the purpose of my presentation?’ and accordingly, select the platform based on the guidance provided in this guide.

To put the entire guide in a nutshell, here’s a quick table for you to refer-

Basis of CategorizationIdeal Presentation Platform
Purpose of your Presentation1. Formal Corporate Slides- Keynote
2. Basic Formal Slides- PowerPoint
3. Creative Persuasive Slides- Prezi
Average Age of Audience1. School and College Students- Prezi
2. Employees in Serious Settings- Keynote/PowerPoint
3. Employees in Creative Settings- Prezi
Level of Knowledge of Audience1. Beginner’s Level- PowerPoint/Keynote
2. Advanced Stage- Prezi
Work Culture of Organization1. Absolutely Formal- PowerPoint/Keynote
2. Creative Start-Ups- Prezi
Type of Presentation1. Demonstrative Slides- PowerPoint/Keynote
2. Visual Aids- Prezi

Want to know more? Read the entire article to know which presentation platform is the best in terms of features like transitions, animations, and much more. Not just that, as a bonus tip, we’ve listed down the pros and cons of PowerPoint, Keynote, and Prezi towards the end, just for you!

Your Guide to Choosing the Right Presentation Platform

PowerPoint Vs Prezi Vs Keynote

The dilemma of choosing the right presentation platform can force you to stand on a fence for a really long time. But, worry not! With the aid of these pointers, this process is gonna become much easier for you-

1. Based on the Need

What’s your TRUE Purpose?

Hold on for a second, take a break from the stress, and ask yourself ‘What’s my purpose behind crafting this presentation?’

Figuring out the purpose for creating a given presentation will help you choose between PowerPoint Vs Keynote Vs Prezi.

Purpose of the Presentation

A) Game-Changing FORMAL Corporate Presentations

If you find yourself associating with the below-mentioned terms in a presentation setting-

  • Mac User
  • Crucial Business Pitches
  • Rich Presentation Layout
  • User-friendly Interface

What to choose?: Then, Keynote gives you an edge over PowerPoint and Prezi for this purpose. Why, you ask?

While PowerPoint slightly lacks behind in providing its users with rich professional templates and advanced settings, Prezi goes a bit overboard with the creativity quotient with its zooming in and out option.

In such a situation, Keynote balances out the overall feel of your presentation and provides you with that needed sense of respite!

B) Basic FORMAL Presentations

Moving forward, are you a Proud Windows User? And, find yourself in a situation where you need to craft a presentation carrying the following traits-

  • Minimalist Professional Layout
  • Basic Settings
  • Text-heavy Design
  • User-friendly Interface

What to choose?: If your answer is ‘YES’ to this question, Microsoft PowerPoint is the right fit for you with minimalistic templates to get you started.

C) Creative PERSUASIVE Pitches

Persuasion is an art in itself, it doesn’t come to people easily. One needs to work his/her way out to get the audiences’ thoughts aligned with the speaker’s ideas.

But what if I told you that just by changing the look and feel of your presentation you’re more likely to persuade your audience? Surprising, isn’t it?

Many times, we find ourselves in a setting wherein we need to pitch our ideas. Be it a start-up pitch or ideas to take the existing business forward. To be persuasive, one needs to incorporate the following elements to a presentation-

  • Engaging Story
  • Hook the maximum attention of the audience
  • Aesthetic presentation design
  • Appeal to the audiences’ sentiments

What to choose?: Prezi best suits your requirement for a creative and persuasive presentation with its attention grabbing templates, zoom in and out feature to compliment your story and rich typography to get across your key message.

Who’s your Audience?

In order for the audience to understand you, you must understand your audience FIRST!

Audience Analysis

Understanding your audience not only helps you craft a better presentation but also acts as a guiding light for you to choose the right presentation platform. While getting the audience, one must find answers to a few important questions. Here’s how-

A) What’s their average age?

average age of audience

If your audience members consist of school and college students, you’re required to bring out your creativity quotient in the best way you can to hook them up with your presentation. Given the wide range of artistic choices, Prezi acts as the best choice for you!

While addressing working-age professionals in a serious setting, choose either Keynote or PowerPoint because of its minimalistic and formal layout. But how do you even choose between these two? Reach a decision based on the purpose of your presentation as discussed in the section above.

On the other hand, when you are addressing working-age professionals in a creative setting, you need to narrate your story well and Prezi will help you do that the right way!

Addressing the old age population while sustaining their interest levels and maintaining a minimalist layout so that they don’t get lost can be a challenge in itself but worry not! Keynote will help you out here with its rich yet minimalistic templates to pique the interest here.

B) What’s the work culture they associate themselves with?

Preachers of Creativity? or Followers of Good-old Minimalist Set-up? Which of these two phrases best describes your audience members?

While a firm set-up in new-age era with young creative minds would always appreciate the aesthetics and creativity of a nicely-done Prezi Presentation, a slightly old firm of experienced adults would always get swayed by the charm of a good-old PowerPoint Presentation.

C) What’s their level of knowledge regarding the given topic?

Knowledge of audience

Depending upon the level of familiarity of your audience with the subject in consideration, you need to choose between text-heavy slides and creative slides.

If your audience is at a beginner’s level, consider have elaborate text-heavy slides along with charts and graphs. As here, your primary goal would be to form a foundation of the topic in the audiences’ minds. In such a situation, PowerPoint is your best friend!

On the other hand, if your audience is at an advanced stage of learning, you can incorporate jargon and have creative slides with less focus upon explaining everything in great details from scratch. Here, you can go offer Prezi to level up your creativity game!

Still not sure about audience analysis? Worry not! We’ve written an in-depth article on ‘The Best Guide to Audience Analysis’ Check it out.

Content or Aesthetics? What matters the most?

presentation content

Most of the presenters fail to ponder over this while crafting their presentations. This is where you can stand out!

Any presentation serves two purposes:

A) Present content to help demonstrate the topic better

If yours is a demonstrative one and you wish for the audience to focus more on the content, always remember to give the slides a minimalist look. Why, you ask?

Going overboard can distract the eye level of the audience and as a consequence, they won’t focus solely on the content. You need to direct the eyes of the audience towards the content with proper formatting.

So, we’d recommend you to use PowerPoint in such a case!

PRO Tip: Use the 10:20:30 technique the next time you give a demonstrative presentation to make your presentation even more engaging and fun to understand. Don’t know what it is? Check out this article to know about this secret hack!

B) An Aid to Complement your Talk and Story

Know how garlic bread complements your pizza party with friends? Well, in a similar fashion, sometimes we use presentation slides as garlic bread to aid our overall talk.

The main goal here is to capture that audience’s attention. Bring out that spark of creativity by incorporating images, videos, music, and essential clip arts to make your slides interesting. But, HOLD ON! Don’t just add any visuals, there can be copyright issues and you can get penalized. Here are Top 7 Resources for you to find FREE Visuals for your Presentation.

But whatever you do here, make sure that you maintain a consistent color scheme for your presentation. Have the layout, text, and visuals designed as per the color scheme. You may wonder why! The fact is while we all appreciate creativity, we look to build an association with the brand and the person. Color will help you build that connection!

Our recommendation here is to use Prezi with its enhances features to support a storytelling narrative!

2. Based on the Features

Now that you have an understanding of ‘when you should use PowerPoint/Keynote/Prezi?’, let’s focus on a comparative analysis based solely on the features of each of these platforms.

Templates

In this modern world when we all are running short of time, most of us prefer using templates instead of crafting presentation slides from scratch.

This leads us to the question, ‘Which presentation software has the most aesthetic templates?’

Let’s have a glimpse of the template gallery of each of these presentation platforms.

Microsoft PowerPoint

PowerPoint Templates

Apple Keynote

best templates keynote
aesthetic templates keynote

Prezi

Prezi Templates

Now that you are familiar with the look and feel of each of the template sections, here’s a table for you to refer to make the right choice-

DesignPresentation Platform
Basic and Minimalist TemplateMicrosoft PowerPoint
Rich and Minimalist TemplateApple Keynote
Aesthetic and Creative TemplatePrezi

Transitions and Animations

transitions and animations

Just simply moving from one slide to another doesn’t do anyone any good.

Transitions and animations act as essential pre-requisites to help run your slides smoothly without making it boring.

Professional or Peppy? How do you want your transitions and animations to look?

In your mind, prepare a mind map as to how you want your presentation slides to flow and then, refer to this table to choose the right presentation platform-

Desired Look and Feel of SlidesPresentation Platform
Simple CreativesMicrosoft PowerPoint
Rich, Classy, and ProfessionalApple Keynote (slightly advanced than PowerPoint here)
More Creative, Less ProfessionalPrezi

Formatting and Design Elements

Whether you are designing your slides from scratch or formatting the existing array of elements, the control over formatting and design elements plays a huge role in deciding how much creative and innovation freedom you have.

Given the immense similarities, choosing between PowerPoint, Keynote and Prezi is a tiresome task in itself!

While the basic features remain the same, advancement and addition of certain options act as a game-changer. Here’s how-

Creative Freedom in terms of FormattingPresentation Platform
Absolute Freedom (can even change the entire look of a specific element to make it look unique)Microsoft PowerPoint
Less Creative Freedom (can change the look but not to an extent to make it look unique)Apple Keynote
Very Less Creative Freedom (in order to maintain the peculiarity of zoom in and out, and other features)Prezi

Creation of Shapes and Icons

The use of shapes and icons in presentation slides adds value to the viewing experience of your audience.

So, it’s absolutely essential for you to choose the right shapes with right formatting and right placement.

Without any delay, let’s see who wins this round? PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi?

Features (Shapes and Icons)Presentation Platform
Wide range of shapes and modification options availableMicrosoft PowerPoint
Only 15 shapes along with a decent number of icons are available but with fewer modification optionsApple Keynote
Very basic shapes and modification options are provided just to meet the necessary requirementsPrezi

Cost and Accessibility

In this fiery battle between PowerPoint and Keynote, one of the major hindrance is the accessibility.

While Keynote is exclusive to only iOS users, Microsoft PowerPoint is available to all the users in the browser view.

Moving forward, let’s draw a comparative analysis among PowerPoint, Keynote and Prezi on the basis of their price and accessibility to users.

Price and Accessibility Presentation Platform
While one needs to pay for Microsoft 365 for additional features on PowerPoint, access to the free browser version is available for all users in generalMicrosoft PowerPoint
Free and exclusive to iOS users with advanced features available on the paid versionKeynote
Monthly payment of $3 per userPrezi

3. Based on Technological Framework

Admit it or not, a person’s comfort level with technology plays a huge role in choosing of any platform.

The presentation platforms with simple user interface tend to attract more users as platforms with slightly complex interface tend to lose out on its users.

Having mentioned that, in this section, we shall focus on choosing the right presentation platform solely based on the technological framework.

Operating System Limitations

operating system limitations

Accessibility to Keynote is a common issue that most of the users face as it is only available on iOS devices.

To the relief of the users, PowerPoint’s browser version and Prezi are not limited to any such restrictions and can be put to use by any user in this world.

User Interface

The user interface with the presentation platform either motivates or pushes away its users to work on it.

A minimalist layout with a clear bifurcation of features motivates its users to work on it. The best examples in point are PowerPoint and Keynote. These two platforms stand to be one of the most popular presentation sites.

On the other hand, Prezi follows a unique and complex interface which makes it a bit difficult for the users to adapt. As a result, most of the users dread using the same.

4. Pros and Cons of PowerPoint, Keynote, and Prezi

Just like a coin, even the presentation platforms have two faces: the advantages and disadvantages.

To make an aware decision, one must be aware of pros and cons of each of these presentation platforms (PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi).

So, without any further delay, let’s dive right into it!

Microsoft PowerPoint

Pros of PowerPointCons of PowerPoint
Easy to use with a simple interfaceGeneric and less-aesthetic themes
Wide range of formatting and design featuresBasic and amateur transitions and animations
Most basic professional templatesMultiple collaborations are difficult
Easily accessible to all the users for free
Supports more file formats

Keynote

Pros of KeynoteCons of Keynote
Easy to use interfaceExclusive to only iOS Users
Rich and classy-looking professional templatesSupports fewer file formats
Advanced slide transitions and animationsLess creative freedom in terms of formatting options
Aesthetic library of clip arts, shapes, and icons

Prezi

Pros of PreziCons of Prezi
Creative and aesthetic templatesOnly paid version is available for use
Best creative animations and transitionsZoom in and out feature confuses the viewer’s attention
Greater scope for slide design innovationEven the common features of PowerPoint and Keynote are difficult to find here
Multiple collaborations are easy

5. Similarities between PowerPoint, Keynote, and Prezi

Let’s say, you spent your entire day working on crafting your office presentation. As you get closer to making the final changes, the presentation platform gets crashed and all of your changes get lost.

Tell us, what would you do if you find yourself in such a situation?

Most of us would search for an alternate platform with similar features. Now, we’re not appealing to the pessimistic side of your brain but it’s always preferred to keep your backup options ready-

So, without any further delay, let’s discuss the similarities between PowerPoint, Keynote and Prezi.

Similarities between PowerPoint and Keynote

If we were to draw an analogy between PowerPoint and Keynote, we would like to refer them as a pair of identical twins. You know why?

Just like any pair of identical twins, PowerPoint and Keynote look similar in terms of their workspace with a range of similarities between its tool bars and menu bars but when you start to navigate between each of these features, you get to see how different they are in terms of their features.

Thus, to list a few similarities-

  • The workspace window of both of these platforms share a similar look and feel with closely-related tool bars and menu bars
  • Template designs of PowerPoint and Keynote look amazingly similar in terms of its minimalist aesthetic design
  • The save and export procedure for both of these presentation platforms are distinctly similar too.
  • Animations and transitions for each of these presentation software hold the same aesthetic feel to it

Similarities Between PowerPoint and Prezi

Remember how difficult it is to find a needle in a haystack?

Well, my friend, so is the case with PowerPoint and Prezi!

The only similarity one can draw between both of these platforms is of the typography. Other than that, no relevant similarities can be drawn as PowerPoint and Prezi stick to entirely distinct code of creative freedom.

Similarities Between Keynote and Prezi

When one bears in mind the creativity and persuasive quotient of the work presentations, one can draw the following similarities between Keynote and Prezi-

  • Greater scope for slide design innovation
  • Multiple collaborations are comparatively easier in comparison to PowerPoint
  • A range of rich and classy-looking template designs are available
  • Aesthetic library of cliparts, shapes and icons are available at the disposal of the user

In Conclusion

In this article, we dived into an in-depth comparative analysis of PowerPoint Vs Keynote Vs Prezi on the basis of

  • the requirements of a presenter
  • the features of the platforms
  • the presenter’s comfort level with technology

We hope that this article helps you reach a concrete decision while choosing the right presentation platform for yourself!

But what after you are done presenting? How do you evaluate your own presentation to get better? Here’s an article that we’ve written that will help you do just that!

Hrideep Barot is the founder and chief writer at Frantically Speaking, a portal to help people learn everything about public speaking. The purpose of franticallyspeaking.com is to showcase the lessons that he has learned (and still learning) from his numerous stage experiences and mentors over all these years.