How to Build Thought Leadership

December 18th, 2014 by

Haiku Deck Rock Star Series: Building Thought Leadership

We believe everybody has ideas and stories that are worth sharing — yes, you!

It might be social media tips, a unique approach to landing real estate listings, or thoughts about the future of education or ecommerce, but your unique expertise and insights can help others interested in your topic, and they can help you extend your personal brand as well through thought leadership.

At work we think and talk a lot about presentation technology and trends (naturally), but I don’t always take the time to zoom out and capture these thoughts.

When I noticed that one of the month’s showcase themes on SlideShare was “Future Of…,” it was pretty easy to put this together.

The Future of Presentations: Top Trends for Communicators – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

I uploaded my Haiku Deck to SlideShare (where it reached more than 10,000 people in a single weekend), shared it on all of my social networks, and added a link to my email signature. Sometimes I’m wowed by how quickly content like this can spread when you just put your ideas out there.

Sometimes I’m wowed by how quickly content like this can spread when you just put your ideas out there.

What kind of thought leadership content could you create? What have you learned or observed this year, or what trends do you see for next year? I’d love to see your thought leadership Haiku Decks out there, spreading ideas and inspiration.

What have you learned or observed this year, or what trends do you see for next year?

To make it easy, here’s an idea sharing template you can use as a visual model, plus my favorite “rock star” tips:

Idea Sharing Presentation Template – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Rock Star Tips for Creating Thought Leadership Content

  • This is an ideal place to try out the new logo slide type — you can add your company logo or even a picture of yourself to connect your ideas to your identity.
  • For this kind of highly shareable content, you want to make sure your message is self-contained within your slides. It’s a perfect place to use the paragraph slide type to be sure each idea is expressed clearly and fully. (Remember that more and more presentation content is viewed on mobile devices, where Notes may not be visible.)
Building thought leadership: Sample paragraph slide type

Sample paragraph slide 

  • This doesn’t mean you should cram your slides full of text, however — you want to keep your ideas crisp, clear, and easy to scan.
  • You can set your deck privacy to “private” or “restricted” while you’re working on it, but don’t forget to change it to “public” to get your ideas out there!

Rock Star Tips for Promoting Your Thought Leadership Content

Building thought leadership: Optimizing your decks for Twitter

Tweets with images win!

 Your Turn

We’d love to see your thought leadership Haiku Decks! Please share links in the comments, or tweet them with the hashtag #hdgallery.

Happy Holidays from Haiku Deck: Free New Fonts and Filters!

December 17th, 2014 by

Here at Haiku Deck, it’s been a truly remarkable year.

We’ve released new features, like our brand-friendly logo slide type and custom slide colors. We made Haiku Deck for iPhone, and partnered up with SlideShare to make it easy to build beautiful decks on the world’s most popular presentation sharing site. We hit one million, and then two million, iPad app downloads. We were honored to be chosen by Geekwire as one of Seattle’s 10 most groundbreaking startups.

None of that would have been possible without our amazing creative community, and we wanted to do something as a little thank you. Since “more fonts” is a very frequently requested feature, we’ve added 14 new fonts and image filters to the web by adding premium themes that were previously only available on the iPad.

Plus, we made all 20 themes free for both iPad and the web!

haiku deck premium themes now free

Selecting a Theme

To check out the new free themes in the app, simply tap or click on the “FONTS/THEMES” tab in the top center of edit mode:

haiku deck fonts/themes

If you’d like to learn more about each theme, we’ve included a short summary, screenshots, and links to our Pinterest boards dedicated to showcasing examples of each of our themes, here.

Share Your Story

Now, you can make the most stylish holiday greeting or wish list ever. Tweet us the results with #hdholiday or drop us a line at - we’d love to see how you use the new themes!

The New Corporate Template

November 20th, 2014 by

Corporate Templates: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

To me, a corporate template is kind of like a pinstripe suit — professional and conservative, but (usually) not particularly exciting.

Most corporate templates are like a pinstripe suit: professional, but not exciting

Templates are like pinstripes: professional, but not particularly exciting

And let’s face it — the corporate template is as pervasive as bad PowerPoint in today’s business culture.

Nearly every company and brand has one, and in my role as Haiku Deck’s Chief Inspiration Officer, I’ve seen plenty of them — beautiful, bland, and downright hideous.


This would fall into the latter category….

Now as a bona fide brand geek, I appreciate that there are plenty of great intentions behind most corporate templates — they keep brand expression consistent, they give presentations a cohesive, polished look, and (in most cases) they give presentation creators a leg up in terms of design, structure, and layout.

But I believe corporate templates also have a few drawbacks that are worth noting:

1. They take valuable space (and attention) away from the content being presented.

2. In the rush of presentation prep, slides from different templates are often combined into a single presentation, resulting in a mishmash instead of a polished whole.

3. Just like a presentation using endless header-and-bullet slides, corporate templates can set a tone of uniformity and, well, corporateness that subtly signals “This is going to be boring.” Especially in longer presentations, it gets monotonous.

Zooming out a bit, corporate templates do not exactly encourage creativity or inspiration on the part of the presenter, and I can’t help but feel that at some level they disrespect the intelligence of the audience. Putting a logo or a company name on every single slide seems to suggest that the audience is going to forget where they are, or who they’re talking to. It’s just overkill.

Putting a logo on every single slide seems to suggest that the audience is going to forget who they’re talking to.

Bottom line: It’s really only your company who cares about your company template.

A New Take on the Template

I love working with companies, large and small, to help them create beautifully branded Haiku Decks that loosen the tie, so to speak, on the typically stuffy corporate template.

Here’s one we created for our friends at OfficeNinjas:

The OfficeNinjas Story – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Here’s another example of a Haiku Deck that’s branded with a lighter touch:

Ideas that Stick – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

7 Strategies for a More Creative Corporate Template

You might not be able to abandon your corporate template wholesale, but perhaps you can experiment a bit. Here are my top tips to help you try out this new approach.

1. Try putting your logo on the first and last slides, not on every slide. (Tip: The new Haiku Deck logo layout is ideal for this.)

New corporate template: Sample logo slide

The new Haiku Deck logo slide layout makes this a snap

2. Include boilerplate or legalese on one slide, not every slide.

3. Include your hashtag or Twitter handle at the beginning of your presentation (or sprinkle throughout), not on every slide.

The New Corporate Template: sample hashtag slide

Include your hashtag at the beginning of your presentation, not on every slide

4. Include your contact info at the end of your presentation, not (you guessed it) on every slide.

New corporate template: Sample contact info slide

Sample contact info slide to close a presentation

5. Instead of repeating slide headings, try using solid-color, standalone slides to introduce new topics or sections. (Tip: In Haiku Deck, you can now create solid-color backgrounds to match your brand colors using the new color picker.)

New corporate template: Sample section break slide

Try a solid-color section break slide instead of repeating slide headers

6. Use creative imagery to evoke or illustrate your brand — you don’t have to resort to logos alone. You can include images of actual products, people, places, or symbolic objects that relate to your brand or company.

For example, when I give talks about Haiku Deck, I prefer to represent our brand with beautiful images of colorful origami instead of showing our logo over and over again.

New corporate template: Using evocative imagery instead of a logo

Try using evocative imagery to express your brand in place of logos

7. Experiment with choosing photographs and colorful backgrounds that showcase your brand colors in a more stimulating way.  If your company colors are, say, blue and green, try doing an image search for “blue green,” “blue green abstract,” or “blue green pattern.” (Tip: You can now match your brand’s colors exactly using custom color slide backgrounds.)

New Corporate Template: Using abstract colors

Try using abstract patterns in your brand colors for a creative twist

New corporate template: Using abstract patterns in brand colors

Your Turn

What ideas do you have for loosening the tie on the corporate template? We’d love to hear your thoughts and see your examples — feel free to share your creations at

More Helpful Resources

If you found this article helpful, you might enjoy these as well:

Showcase Your Brand Identity Beautifully with New Logo Slides and Custom Colors

November 20th, 2014 by

As more and more Haiku Deck users work with the app for selling products or representing their company’s vision, the need for slides to showcase a company’s brand identity with logos and custom background colors has become a top request.

Beginning today, iPad users can update Haiku Deck to version 3.3, and web app users can sign in to, to give these awesome new features a try. Here’s how they work:

Creating a Logo Slide

Select the orange Text button on the left, then the Logo Slide type that now appears at the bottom of the “SELECT FORMAT” options.

haiku deck logo slide

Once you’ve selected the Logo Slide type, tap on the camera icon in the white circle on the slide to upload your image or logo. After importing your logo, enter your text and tap on the blue Image icon to search for a Creative Commons image, import your own photo, or use a solid color for your slide’s background.

Tip: For the best results, the optimal size for logo images in Haiku Deck is 600 x 600 pixels. If you find that the automatic zoom is cropping your image, we recommend resizing your image with free apps such as Canva to place your logo on a larger canvas, or PicMonkey’s collage feature to increase the amount of white space around your logo.

Selecting Custom Colors and Theme Colors

To select your background color, choose the blue background tab and then the solid color icon as shown below. Toggle “SOLID BACKGROUND” to ON. This gives you the ability to choose a preset background color or create a custom color to fit your brand exactly.

haiku deck solid colors

Custom Colors

When you tap on the eyedropper icon, you can customize the color of your slide background. Simply tap, or press, hold and move the small circle located on the color wheel to select a color. Pressing and holding the circle located on the square within the color wheel will adjust the color’s saturation and hue.

Tip: If you have the hex code for a color you’d like to use on your slide, tap on the hex code above the color wheel and type in the code.

haiku deck custom colors

Theme Colors and Haiku Deck Favorites

You’ll notice a few new options when you turn on solid background colors for a slide. Tapping on the color palette icon will provide you with a pre-selected group of colors specifically tailored to the current theme you have selected, as well as our Haiku Deck Favorites you’re already familiar with. Simply tap to select your desired color.

haiku deck color palette

Share Your Story

What’s the story behind your brand? Share your decks with us by dropping us a line at – we’d love to see what you create! And if you ever have any questions, our support team is always here to help!

Power Tips: Optimize Your Haiku Decks for SlideShare

November 6th, 2014 by

Haiku Deck for SlideShare

Uploading your Haiku Decks to SlideShare is a breeze — and now you can create them right from SlideShare! Here are a few things to keep in mind to make your Haiku Decks look their best for SlideShare’s 70 million monthly visitors (wow!).

5 Power Tips

1. Include an attention-grabbing title slide.

Make your first slide the title slide — think of it like a headline. This is the first thing your audience will see, and you want to grab their attention.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 3.53.25 PM

Click here to view the full deck on SlideShare

2. Sprinkle in keywords.

Haiku Decks on SlideShare can draw some serious traffic! Be sure to include your important keywords in your deck title and throughout your slide content.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 3.43.06 PM

Click here to view the full deck on SlideShare

3. Break out the multiline slides.

SlideShare is a great place to make use of multiline slides, which give you a bit more room to flesh out an idea, showcase an inspiring quote, or capture a mission statement. (Keep in mind that currently Public Notes are not uploaded to SlideShare, so you want to make sure you’re capturing a complete thought on each slide.)

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 4.02.31 PM

Click here to view the full deck on SlideShare

4. Optimize your layouts.

Haiku Deck’s different text layouts allow you to customize the placement of your text. For Haiku Decks shared on SlideShare, we favor layouts that place your text toward the middle and top of your slides (this keeps the Creative Commons licensing information from overlapping with your slide text).

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 3.35.15 PM
Click to view the full deck on SlideShare

5. Include your contact information on the last slide.

When creating and publishing your Haiku Deck on SlideShare, the normal final slide with your contact information will not be displayed. So be sure to add a wrap-up slide with any contact information you’d like to share with your audience. (We actually like to do this for all of our Haiku Decks!)

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 4.06.33 PM

Click to view the full deck on SlideShare

Your Turn!

Now that you can easily create and share Haiku Decks from either site, there’s no reason not to set your story free! If you’ve shared a Haiku Deck on SlideShare, we’d love to see it — just leave us a comment below.

SlideShare and Haiku Deck Team Up for Presentation Creation and Sharing

November 6th, 2014 by

Millions of Users Can Now Create Beautiful Visual Presentations Directly from SlideShare

Announcing Haiku Deck for SlideShare – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Click to view a version of this announcement created with Haiku Deck for SlideShare

Seattle, WA — November 6, 2014 – Haiku Deck today announced that its popular presentation creation software will be integrated into, allowing SlideShare users to publish beautiful Haiku Decks quickly and easily to the platform’s 60 million global monthly visitors without leaving the site.

SlideShare, a LinkedIn company, is the world’s largest community for presentation discovery and sharing, and Haiku Deck has won a passionate global following for making it fast and simple to produce stunning slides. This new integration brings together the best of both worlds: Create standout slides quickly with Haiku Deck and publish directly to SlideShare. The streamlined login experience keeps the focus on creating outstanding presentation content.

“Our goal at Haiku Deck is to make it 10 times easier for professionals to create decks that are 10 times more effective, in 1/10th the time,” said Adam Tratt, co-founder and CEO of Haiku Deck. “We’re thrilled to help SlideShare users express their ideas and share their expertise through beautiful presentations.”

Haiku Deck for SlideShare makes powerful digital storytelling available to professionals from all disciplines. Presentations are no longer confined to a particular time and place — increasingly they are vehicles for circulating ideas, showcasing expertise, and building thought leadership. Haiku Deck’s streamlined design templates, high-impact visuals, and vast image library — with more than 40 million free, beautiful Creative Commons images — make it easy to communicate ideas powerfully, without design skills or a big budget. Plus, SlideShare’s avid, rapidly growing community makes presentation content instantly visible to the widest possible audience.

Haiku Deck for SlideShare extends and deepens the partnership announced in December 2012, when Haiku Deck added the ability to upload decks  to SlideShare. Since that time thousands of Haiku Decks have been uploaded to SlideShare, and many have been featured on the SlideShare home page.

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 3.55.10 PM.png

This Haiku Deck by content marketing agency XPLAIN has received more than 275,000 views on SlideShare.

Try Haiku Deck for SlideShare for free at

About Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck makes it simple and fun to create flawlessly beautiful presentations. Headquartered in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, Haiku Deck is a privately held company with the backing of prominent investors, including Trilogy Partnership, Madrona Venture Group, Founder’s Co-op, and Techstars. The Seattle-based startup was founded by Adam Tratt and Kevin Leneway. Haiku Deck has been embraced by creative communicators from a wide range of disciplines worldwide; for examples of how people are using Haiku Deck to pitch ideas, teach lessons, tell stories, and ignite movements, visit the Haiku Deck Featured and Popular Galleries, Blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Pinterest boards. For additional information and company images, visit

Media Contact

Nicole Brunet


AccuWeather Tells Winning Weather Stories with Haiku Deck

October 14th, 2014 by

Headquartered in State College, PA, AccuWeather provides worldwide weather forecasting services with superior accuracy, and they’re using Haiku Deck to help aid their efforts of spreading the news. Most recently, we had the opportunity to speak to their team about how they’re using Haiku Deck, and their predictions for using in the future.

Guest Q&A

Haiku Deck: Tell us a little bit about how your team is using Haiku Deck at AccuWeather.

AccuWeather: We first heard about Haiku Deck in a Poynter NewsU Webinar. Our team started experimenting with it afterward and we now build Haiku Decks on a regular basis for very visual stories. We believe that pictures help to tell the whole story of an event, so we like to provide our readers with compelling visual evidence in addition to our written news content.

“We believe that pictures help to tell the whole story of an event.”

We usually build Haiku Decks around major weather events, such as dangerous flooding, tornado outbreaks, heavy snowfalls, tropical storms and hurricanes. They’re also great for summary stories. Once per week, we use them for our weekly wrap-ups and frequently for end-of-season recaps.

Underwater Cyclone Destruction – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Haiku Deck: What are your team’s favorite things about it?

AccuWeather: Haiku Deck is one of the best tools we’ve found to date that allows us to recreate weather events on a timeline. Our most recent deck was a weather recap of the summer of 2014. It’s now received nearly 160,000 views!

Summer of 2014 – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

(Here’s the blog post that goes along with the above Haiku Deck.)

We love that it allows us to create photo galleries to complement our editorial content. If we’re talking about a specific typhoon, we may build a deck encompassing the overall typhoon season. It becomes a second destination for people who are interested in knowing more after reading.

“It becomes a second destination for people who are interested in knowing more after reading.”

It also allows us to house all of our photos related to a story in one location, instead of embedding numerous images throughout and pushing our editorial content too far down the page.

Haiku Deck: Your decks have been very popular! Have you gotten good feedback from your audience? Do you have more planned?

AccuWeather: We think the feedback is in the page views! We’ve also seen a lot of engagement in stories that contain decks. We definitely believe that this tool adds something to our editorial content and plan to continue brainstorming new ways to use it!

We’ve seen a lot of engagement in stories that contain decks.

Check out some of their other stories here:

Haiku Deck: Do you use Haiku Deck for purposes other than for the AccuWeather blog?

AccuWeather: We’re experimenting with using it as an invite tool for our AccuWeather LIVE weekday noon shows and our Thursday extended editions.

Share Your Ideas

How do you use Haiku Deck? Share your experience and ideas with us in the comments below, or drop us a line at — we’d love to hear about them!

An Awesome Five-Minute Method to Promote Your Blog

September 29th, 2014 by

We’ve long been a fan of incorporating visuals into blogging and marketing efforts. Images not only improve the appearance of your blog post, adding color and grabbing attention — they have been shown to drive engagement and social sharing among your readers.

But recently we’ve noticed some creative thinkers in our community using Haiku Deck in some cool ways to promote their blog content. Here are a few of our favorites.

Method 1: Create Custom Visuals to Drive Traffic

Links alone are boring, but links with beautiful images get noticed. The content managers at Bruce Clay, Inc. use Haiku Deck to create one-slide custom visuals to promote blog content on their social media channels. Here’s an example from Google+, where gorgeous visuals really shine.

The Haiku Deck slide crisply captures the blog content in a way that’s easy to read and understand, and definitely stands out in the stream. To this, we say +1!

Tips: Showcasing a beautiful image with minimal text is your goal here. You can import your own image, or use our Creative Commons image search to pick out an image that perfectly captures the topic of your post to use as the background. You’ll then want to include the title of your post  with a minimal amount of text — think of it like a headline.

Method 2: Create a Slideshow Summary to Share with a Larger Audience

The team at PGi uses Haiku Deck to create awesome slideshow summaries that they embed right in their blog post and upload to SlideShare to gain more traction. Uploading to SlideShare makes it easy to share widely — they’ll tweet it and post it on Google+, LinkedIn, and other social media channels to really cast a wide net.

Below is their slideshow summary based on their original blog post here.

Tips: Here, you’re basically creating a preview of your post that summarizes your ideas and piques interest. You can include intriguing pull quotes and interesting data points. Blog content focused on a list of tips or how-to steps lends itself beautifully to this format. Be sure to include a link back to your blog — you can either highlight it on a slide (using a link shortener here helps) or include it in the Notes field.

Method 3: Create a Video to Cross-Promote on Your Social Media Platforms

Videos allow you to expand your cross-promotion efforts of your content onto YouTube, and provides you with another content piece to promote on your other social media platforms. Here’s another great example from Bruce Clay Inc. — check out how they’ve turned their Haiku Deck recap summarizing a blog post on 6 ways to repurpose blog content into a video.

how to promote your blog

Tips: One of the great things about YouTube videos is that they can sync with your Google+ page, making it super easy for your followers to share and comment. Also try adding music for an extra element of fun or add narration to include more supporting details, and make sure to include a link back to the blog post in the info box. Converting a Haiku Deck into a video is quite simple, and we’ve written a helpful article on how to do that here.

How to Promote Your Blog – Additional Resources

And of course, if there’s ever anything we can help you out with, drop us a line!

5 Fresh PowerPoint Alternatives

September 26th, 2014 by

PowerPoint. Everyone’s used it, everyone’s heard of it, and a lot of people are pretty tired of it. Have you found yourself seeking an exciting new angle to approach your presentations from? If so, try these five fresh PowerPoint alternatives on for size.

Before you decide which method to present with, though, ask yourself what purposes your presentation materials have. Critically thinking about how your materials are going to support you will help your presentation be more interesting and memorable. For each PowerPoint alternative we’ve listed below, we’ve included a few of its best scenarios and benefits, so that you can pick the best presentation method for your purposes.

PowerPoint Alternative #1: Printed Handouts

PowerPoint Alternatives - Printed Handouts

An often-overlooked option for presenters is to provide a simple handout, instead of putting together a full-blown presentation.

Great for:

  • Kicking off new projects
  • Meetings with a light tone
  • Content that your team might want to reference later
  • Meetings outside of the office
  • Being prepared ahead of time so you won’t have to fuss with technology


Handouts allow your audience members to interact with the materials, and take your presentation home with them. Your attendees:

  • Can read while you speak, benefitting from both auditory and visual learning aids
  • Won’t have to divert attention to taking notes
  • Will be able to focus more energy into thinking about what you’re presenting on
  • Can share your work with others

Handouts in action:

One person who strongly advocates the use of handouts is Edward Tufte, a pioneer in the presenting world. In his words:

Overhead projectors and PowerPoint tend to leave no traces; instead give people paper, which they can read, take away, show others, make copies, and come back to you in a month and say “Didn’t you say this last month? It’s right here in your handout.”

A paper record tells your audience that you are serious, responsible, exact, credible.

How to pull it off:

Once you’ve decided to make a handout, how are you going to make sure it’s memorable and fun? We recommend Canva as a free, easy, impressive way to put together handouts. Canva allows you to generate all kinds of different content, and it makes you look like a design god with very little effort on your part. Here’s an example made by our Chief Inspiration Officer, Catherine:

PowerPoint Alternative - Handout

PowerPoint Alternative #2: Flip-Boards / Whiteboards

PowerPoint Alternatives - Flipboards / Whiteboards

If you have a dynamic presentation style, and like to sketch or scribble, you might try a using a flip board or whiteboard to present with, in lieu of slides.

Great for:

  • Topics you can draw diagrams to represent
  • If you like drawing or sketching
  • Involving your audience in brainstorming exercises


  • The audience will be captivated by your physical interaction with the board
  • You can shift gears easily and use different colors, lines, and shapes to make sure everyone understands
  • You can invite team members to be involved at the board
  • Doodling can facilitate funny situations easily, which keeps audiences entertained and engaged
  • You have the opportunity to really shine as a presenter, because all eyes are on you

Flip boards in action:

Simon Sinek, author and well-known TED talker, often uses flip boards to sketch and demonstrate concepts during his talks, like his highly-popular Start with Why:

How to pull it off:

There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when presenting with a flip chart, whiteboard, paper tablet, etc:

  • Use bold colors. Yellow, orange, light blue, etc. markers can be very hard to see, especially from the back of the room. Test your markers beforehand and make sure you are well-stocked with easily-seen colors (that aren’t dried out!).
  • Practice beforehand. Find the balance between large enough to be read from the back, and small enough to fit on your board, beforehand. Practice writing at a whiteboard angle, which is very different from writing on paper. If you’re nervous about drawing on the fly, you can even lightly draw diagrams you know you’ll be making in pencil if you’re using a flip board, and trace over them with markers when you’re presenting.
  • Check for glare. If you’re using a whiteboard, scope out the room with the lighting you’re intending on using, and make sure there’s not too much of a glare for anyone in the audience.
  • Speak toward the audience. It’s easy to get caught up drawing or writing on a whiteboard, and to keep speaking when your back is to your team. Just remember, if your mouth is pointed at the audience, they’re going to have an easier time hearing you!
  • Write legibly. Don’t get caught up trying to write so quickly that no one can read what you’ve written.
  • Include visuals. If you’re using a whiteboard or a flipboard, don’t just use it to write words – even lines and shapes can make an otherwise boring whiteboard much more fun and interesting.

PowerPoint Alternative #3: No Slides

PowerPoint Alternatives - No Slides

If you are really comfortable with your material, try delivering a talk without any slides at all. Think about some of the greatest storytellers you’ve known — how many of them used slides?

Great if:

  • You don’t need to show data to prove a point
  • Your meeting topic can involve a lot of discussion
  • You’re confident about presenting and keeping people entertained
  • The content for your meeting can be covered without visual aids, screenshots, examples, etc.


  • There’s nothing to distract your audience or teammates from giving you their full attention
  • Attendees will learn more about your personality through watching you present
  • The situation lends itself nicely to personal interaction
  • You’re more capable of moving around the presentation space
  • You can pack a very powerful punch by moving your audience with your delivery alone

See it in action:

Some of history’s greatest speakers didn’t use any visuals — just think about some of the most famous speeches you know of.  For example, would President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address have been so famous if it’d been made in PowerPoint?

Sir Ken Robinson does an excellent job of addressing creativity in the standard educational system in this TED talk, without using a single presentation aid:

How to pull it off:

  • Bring physical objects or other props, especially interactive ones
  • Incorporate other senses — play music or audio, for example
  • Rehearse enough that you can deliver without a script — you can do this in the car, while working out, etc.
  • Watch the audience for visual cues you can interact with or respond to, so it feels fresh and unscripted

PowerPoint Alternative #4: Mind Maps

PowerPoint Alternatives - Mind Mapping

Mind-mapping apps are great tools for capturing and connecting ideas. They help you understand how you got to where you are, the motivations behind ideas, cause and effect, etc. Creating a mind map during a meeting can be a stimulating experience for your whole team and will definitely keep your audience engaged.

Great for:

  • Brainstorming
  • Planning
  • Strategizing
  • Collaborating


  • Demonstrates connected concepts better than many other methods of presenting
  • Helps keep non-linear ideas organized in an easier-to-understand manner
  • Provides an interesting visual for gathering input, rather than presenting findings

Mind-Mapping apps to try:

  • iMindMap – Featuring one of the most elegant presentation modes available for mind-mapping apps, iMindMap is available for Windows and Mac OS. There’s a free trial, as well as Home & Student / Ultimate editions of the software available.
  • NovaMind – Available for Windows Desktop and Mac OS X, NovaMind is in beta for a number of other platforms as well. The app breaks your maps up into slides you can present, and makes moving through your branches and nodes intuitive and effortless. Both the Windows and OS X versions have free trials.
  • MindManager 8 – If you want to have a lot of control over how much information is shown or hidden within your mind maps, and especially during presentation, MindManager 8 is for you. It’s available for Mac and PC, and you can get a free trial to see if you like it before buying.
  • iThoughts - Creating Mind Maps on the go, or while passing a device around the meeting, can be easy with iThoughts. You can get it for your iPhone, your iPad, and your Mac in the App Store.

PowerPoint Alternative #5: Haiku Deck

PowerPoint Alternatives - Haiku Deck

Of course we have to mention Haiku Deck! It’s very near and dear to our hearts, as you may imagine — but not just because it’s our job. Haiku Deck embraces our favorite aspects of presentations and storytelling: simplicity, beauty, and fun.

Great for:

  • Being inspiring and evocative
  • Presentations that benefit from strong visuals and bold text
  • Large groups that wouldn’t be able to see smaller text from the back of the room
  • Storytelling


  • Makes it quick and easy to create gorgeous presentations
  • Supports you as a storyteller with stunning visuals to pull your audience in
  • iPhone remote allows you to present without having to bring your iPad or computer to the meeting
  • It’s available on multiple platforms (iPhone, iPad, PC / Mac / Chromebook via the web)
  • Your slides will look clean, attractive, and professional — without the ‘template’ feel of a PowerPoint or Keynote slideshow
  • You can print handouts from your deck
  • Your materials will be available online (as long as you save them as public or restricted) so you can share with your team

Someone who uses Haiku Deck:

Lots of people use Haiku Deck, for a wide range of purposes! Here are a few good examples to check out:

But in the interest of the topic at hand, the example I’ll leave you with is from Stefanos Karagos, Haiku Deck guru and founder of XPlain, a performance marketing agency:

The MindMapping Road – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

So, what PowerPoint alternatives do you use?

Have another PowerPoint alternative not listed here? Any other apps you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments below!

A Field Guide to Haiku Deck Slide Types

September 25th, 2014 by

Bar graph or pie chart? Text block or headline? If you’re looking for the perfect way to communicate your message — simply, beautifully, and effectively — be sure to take a spin through our field guide to the seven Haiku Deck slide types. You’ll see examples and get expert tips for making the most of each type.

Haiku Deck slide types

Click to view the full Haiku Deck with Notes

I love the flexibility of these simple, yet versatile, slide types. You can also get creative — stat charts can be a fun way to showcase words as well as numbers, for example. The multiline text layout is super useful for quotes, short paragraphs, or even haikus.

Formatting is also a snap —  I no longer get frustrated with having to manually resize each text box I create, and I no longer resort to the “trial and error” method for finding the perfect font size, since Haiku Deck takes care of that automatically.

Additional resources

Let us know your thoughts!

Do you have a favorite slide type or have a slide type that you’d like to see in Haiku Deck? Let us know in the comments! And as usual, if you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line anytime.