AuthorAdam Tratt

Ready to Play Bad Presentation Bingo?

We’ve all been there… The lights are low. The projector shines brightly at the front of the hotel ballroom or conference room. It’s your 6th presentation of the day and the third one since lunch where the conference presenter squints to read word-for-word off the screen. “Sorry, this one is hard to read,” is the excuse often shared- as if that’s any consolation to the audience members who checked out 30 seconds into the session.

Whether you’re attending a conference, strategic off-site, workshop, or summit, you’re bound to encounter at least a few presentations that seem to violate every rule in the book.

Here at Haiku Deck, we aim to help presentation authors abide by presentation best practices. If you’re reading this post, you’re already ahead of the game. But what’s a great presenter to do when trapped in the audience for a jargon-filled, egregiously animated, excessively bullet pointed, tiny-fonted presentation from hell?

We’ve got the perfect solution for you! Download your Bad Presentation Bingo cards, grab a few friends,, and play Haiku Deck’s Bad Presentation Bingo! When the session ends, the winner has to gently suggest to the presenter that they ought to try Haiku Deck for their next presentation. Oh, and don’t forget to Tweet or Post a photo of your completed Bad Presentation Bingo cards with #HaikuDeck for a chance to win some cool Haiku Deck SWAG.


Top 5 PowerPoint Alternatives for 2018

Half a billion people use PowerPoint and more than a few of them are looking for new alternatives in 2018. If you’re looking for a fresh approach this year, we’ve got a few ideas for you. Before you decide which method to present with, though, ask yourself what purposes your presentation materials have. At the end of the day, we wall want our story, lesson, sales pitch, or update to be compelling 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: 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. We designed the app around the key principles of great presentation design: express one idea at a time, reinforce that idea with powerful images, apply consistent formatting, and keep it simple. If you’re not familiar, watch the short video above for a taste.

Great for:

  • Inspiring your audience with memorable stories and impactful ideas illustrated with stunning images.
  • Presentations that abide by the presentation best practices that experts embrace around the world.
  • Visual Storytelling


  • Makes it quick and easy to create gorgeous presentations on the web or iPad
  • Supports you as a storyteller with over 40M Creative Commons License photos.
  • Fully mobile.
  • 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 for easy sharing.

Someone who uses Haiku Deck:

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

PowerPoint Alternative #2: Print-Outs

PowerPoint Alternatives - Printed Handouts

Even though we’re in the presentation business, we know that sometimes a simple handout works better than a presentation.

This alternative is great for:

  • Kicking off new projects involving  lots of detail and exhaustive task lists
  • In-depth 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.

PowerPoint Alternative #3: Flip-Boards / Whiteboards

PowerPoint Alternatives - Flipboards / Whiteboards

If you’ve got artistic chops or just like to scribble, you might try a using a flip board or whiteboard to present with.

This method can be great when:

  • Your topic can be diagrammed
  • If you like drawing or sketching
  • You want to brainstorm with your listeners


  • Listeners can find the physical action of drawing more engaging than looking at a screen.
  • This method allows you to be more dynamic, using different styles and colors to drive home understanding and emphasis in real time
  • You can make the presentation more interactive, inviting listeners to get involved at the whiteboard

How to pull it off:

  • Use color to your advantage. Make sure your listeners can see what you’re writing from the back of the room! Check to make sure there isn’t too much glare for your audience to see.
  • Practice beforehand. Practice writing at a whiteboard angle, which is very different from writing on paper.
  • Speak toward the audience. Remember, if your mouth is pointed at the white board, your listeners might have a hard time hearing you.
  • Include visuals with your words. Lines, shapes, and drawings make a  boring whiteboard much more compelling.

PowerPoint Alternative #4: No Slides

PowerPoint Alternatives - No Slides

Sometimes the best stories are delivered without any slides at all.
Great if:

  • You don’t have data to share
  • Your meeting topic involves interaction with the audience
  • You’re confident and entertaining


  • This method puts your personality front and center, free from visual distraction.
  • The situation lends itself nicely to connecting on a personal level with your audience
  • You can move around more, unencumbered by a projector or whiteboard


How to pull it off:

  • Use props and artifacts to illustrate your key points and trigger emotion from your listeners
  • Rehearse enough that you can deliver without a script
  • Watch the audience for visual cues you can interact with or respond to, so it feels fresh and unscripted

PowerPoint Alternative #5: Mind Maps

PowerPoint Alternatives - Mind Mapping

Mind-mapping tools are great for drawing out ideas and building connections with your audience. This can be a fun exercise and, when done correctly, keeps listeners very engaged.

Great for:

  • Idea generation
  • Strategic planning
  • Collaboration


  • Great for connecting and building upon ideas from listeners
  • Helps to organize different thoughts that come up in a free-form discussion
  • Results in a visual that gathers input, rather than showing specific findings.

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!

Presentation Writers Block? Get Unstuck with Upside Down Thinking

Great presentations, often start with great ideas, but what do you do when the new ideas aren’t flowing? How do you overcome presentation writers block?

We recently met Haiku Deck Pro subscriber, Forbes contributor, and business transformation consultant Patricia Cotton,  who has devoted her career to helping individuals and organizations unlock their creativity using a unique method she calls, Upside Down Thinking.   Using this method and presentations created with Haiku Deck, she facilitates Upside Down Thinking business retreats and workshops, keynote speeches and creative consulting. We asked Cotton about her method and advice she gives to leaders on change management, presentations, communication, and more.

What is Upside Down Thinking?

Upside Down Thinking is a mindset that helps individuals and organizations to transform new ideas and intuitive knowledge in reality, by fostering new ways to manage change & creativity. Although turning one’s thinking upside down is rather an unnatural and even painful process, it may unleash innovation, leading to unexplored, creative and also more authentic solutions.

It sounds like a big part of change management has to do with the way leaders communicate change to their organization. What are the most common mistakes you see leaders make when they communicate with their teams and what should others do to avoid the most common pitfalls?

It’s very common to see leaders assuming that new ideas will be embraced organically by their teams simply because they make logical sense for the business. However, one should not disregard the crucial power of human emotions, including the voices of fear, cynicism and judgment which tend to appear in change moments. Since telling is not selling, one should communicate any new strategy followed by an emotional link and reward, dealing with doubts, engaging with resistance and managing emotions. In a nutshell, leaders should move from the head to the heart when communicating with their teams.

How can Haiku Deck users apply upside down thinking to improve their presentations?

First of all, I would recommend inverting the natural flow of your presentations by focusing more on fostering emotional connection rather than sharing hard data. After establishing a certain level of trust, I’d suggest playing with the “sacred cows” of the industry, company and/or field of to which the audience belongs, questioning their crystallized (and probably limiting) beliefs, and reframing them in the opposite way. This can be a fun and unexpected way to unleash innovative thinking, reaching deeper levels of reflection and engagement. In order to support this process, it is worth checking out the open source tool Reframe.

What steps do you take to prepare for success in giving talks and running workshops?

Well, first of all, I do certain things in order to create time and space for preparation, such as getting rid of urgent and mundane tasks, meditating and being on my own at home. After creating the conditions to have a certain level of peace of mind, I start immersing into the workshop/talk topic, looking back on what I already built on it, as well as doing some new research and seeking for inspiration in random and non obvious sources.

Last but not least, I use Haiku Deck to inspire and organize my thinking. Haiku Deck is a support for all of my business presentations such as workshops, corporate talks, consulting reports and institutional presentations.It has always made a big difference to boost the quality of my presentations as well as the quality of my thinking, since it provokes me to nail the essence of things so that I can better communicate it.

What advice can you offer to Haiku Deck’s community as they think about their talk or workshop?

Being simple = being effective.

In Forbes you describe how optimism, risk-taking and self-confidence are extremely beneficial as change drivers. What advice do you give to leaders who are trying to show these traits when effecting change in their organization?

Be aware that these qualities can be highly contagious if shared and practiced with consistency over time. Also, bear in mind that is possible to spread and sustain these traits by building a courageous culture that is less risk-averse and more open to innovation. All this combined will probably foster the necessary organizational resilience to support you and your business in change moments.
Upside Down Thinking – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;
Patricia Cotton is a Corporate Marketing & Business Transformation Consultant with fifteen years of experience in Strategic Marketing, Corporate Branding and Change Management, working across Real Estate, Cosmetics and TV. Patricia holds an MBA in Creative Leadership from the Berlin School and Marketing from ESPM, Rio de Janeiro. She also holds a B.A in Communications from PUC-Rio, Brazil, and University of Leeds, England. Visit her web site to learn more about Upside Down Thinking

Career and Leadership Coaching Presentations: Q&A with Polly Chandler

Polly Chandler is a Tiburon California-based coach and facilitator that specializes in leadership development and career transitions. Before starting Chandler Coaching, she coached and taught students and faculty at Antioch University New England, where she served as Program Director for the MBA in Sustainability and Chair of the Department of Management for 10 years. An early Haiku Deck Pro subscriber and advocate, Polly recently shared her thoughts on coaching presentations, storytelling, and how effective presentations make a difference for her practice and her clients.

What makes your approach to leadership and career coaching unique?   

My approach is strengths focused, I support people in understanding their strengths so they can build from where their talents, values, interests, and even passions intersect.  I work with people to see that most of their challenges come from misapplication of their strengths, 70% of weaknesses are just an over or underuse of a top strength.  This is a powerful construct for people to use.  I focus on high energy and high performance.   I also do team trainings and integrate experiential learning and outdoors as much as possible

How do you use Haiku Deck in your practice? 

I use Haiku Deck to illustrate key concepts in a strengths based approach.  I have a series of decks that I develop based on a client’s goals.  For example, when I was working with First Five, I selected photos to tell the story of strengths through images about children.  When I work with healthcare, I select photos to tell their story.  Haiku Deck allows me to design customized decks that unfold as stories.

(Here’s an example of a Haiku Deck Polly used to help a group start thinking about how we would be working together)

Imagine it’s January 2017 – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

How has Haiku Deck made a difference for you and/or your clients?   

It’s easy to keep my role as a facilitator, not a lecturer.  I use the slides to open dialogue and conversation.  I believe that best learning happens with content and discussion, not just content.  I design decks so people learn to think about presentations as a story and conversation, not just a list of facts.

Before becoming a full-time coach, you were Chair of the Department of Management at Antioch University. How has your role as a teacher and department leader impacted your approach to coaching? 

One of the reasons I left Academia, was because I found my greatest energy and performance came when I was coaching students and faculty. I had talents and strengths in this role and I loved it.  I decided to spend more of my time doing what I loved most.  This is a great story to share with clients as I encourage them to leverage their strengths to do more of what they love.  My goal was to have more “best days at work”.  I also was determined to find a way to work outdoors as much as possible.  I do most of my coaching outdoors.  I do not have an office.  I prefer to meet clients in person outdoors.  If it is phone call coaching, I work from outdoors in a park or other beautiful setting.  Today, I sat on a bench overlooking San Francisco Bay.   If there are children playing, birds chirping, or other outdoor sounds, I just explain that I work where it gives me energy.  I try to encourage others to do the same.

When you coach leaders, what advice do you give to help them craft and deliver more effective storytelling to their teams, partners, and clients? 

Be a guide and storyteller.  People get overwhelmed by facts.  Design and deliver slides that weave together a story of facts, impressions, learnings, and insights.  Be a guide on the side.  Form a relationship with the audience through images that speak a common language.  Build a connection with the audience by building on shared knowledge.  Be a slide guide and customize all your presentations to meet the needs of your audience.  Never give the same talk twice.  Don’t give canned talks. They sound tired.  Come up with new ways of delivering every presentation to meet the needs, strengths and passions of your audience.

You mentioned that you’ve been an advocate for Haiku Deck. How do you describe Haiku Deck to others?

I ask people to tell me…What was your favorite children’s book? (Or if they are a parent, what is your favorite book to read to your child).  I then ask, why was it your favorite book.   Nine times out of ten the response is, the illustrations were so wonderful and there just was not a lot of need for words.  To me, that is Haiku Deck.  Finding excellent images to tell the story with as few words as possible.  I find I love building the decks now that I am out of the PowerPoint platform.  PowerPoint did not have the same creative potential for me, unless I decided to spend a lot of time learning.  Haiku Deck was easy, fast and I have had great success with audiences.

To learn more about Polly and her coaching practice, visit

Are you a coach using Haiku Deck to deliver impact with your clients? We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line at

Your Feedback Matters!

Whether you’ve been with us for a while or are new to the Haiku Deck community, hopefully you know that we spend ALOT of time listening to customer feedback with an eye toward improving the experience. In software, there’s always more work to be done, and we rely on you to be our guide.

If you’re having trouble with the app or just wish that it did something differently, please leave us a ticket through our support site or write us an email at

If you love Haiku Deck, will you share your enthusiasm and help us spread the word? Authentic product reviews help us more than you know. Here are a few places:

  • For the Haiku Deck web app, please leave us a review on the Chrome store or G2Crowd.
  • If you use the iPad or iPhone app, please leave us a review on iTunes (open the App Store on your device and search for Haiku Deck, the click write a review).

Looking for inspiration? Here’s some kind words our users have shared about the Haiku Deck Web App.

HAIKU DECK WEB APP: TOP TWEETS – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;


Curate & Organize Presentation Collections

We are pleased to announce Haiku Deck Presentation Collections, a new feature on the web that lets you curate and organize presentations that you or others create for your own use or for sharing with others. Only paying subscribers can create Haiku Presentation Deck Collections, but anyone can view a Haiku Deck Presentation Collection, regardless of whether or not they are a subscriber.

Here are the primary ways to use Collections:

  1. Use Haiku Deck Collections to organize your own Haiku Decks: If you’re a teacher, you might want to have a collection of Decks for each class or unit. If you’re a professional, you might want to have a collection for functional decks like ‘sales pitches,’ ‘status updates,’ or ‘strategic plans.’ If you’re a real estate agent you might create a collection of ‘listing presentations,’ ‘comparative marketing analyses,’ and ‘team update’ Haiku Decks.
  2. Use Haiku Deck Collections to curate and share decks you create and/or public Haiku Decks that others create for sharing: Using the Haiku Deck Gallery Search or links that other Haiku Deck users share with you, you can create collections that are for sharing with others. For example, an event organizer or attendee can share collections of Haiku Decks from a conference or meeting or an educator can search for a topic to create subject-matter collections related to a curriculum.
  3. Use Haiku Deck Collections to curate and save decks you might want to use for inspiration later on: Let’s say you’re surfing the Haiku Deck gallery and you find a deck that inspires you. Just copy the URL and add it to a collection so you can easily find it for reference later on.

Only paying Haiku Deck subscribers can create collections, but anyone can view a collection when they have a link to it. If a deck is added to a collection and later made private by the author, it will be automatically removed from the Collection.

Learn how to create Haiku Deck Collections in our user guide.

Learn more in the Haiku Deck Collections FAQ

We’d love to see the presentation collections you create! Send us a link at

New! Presentation Analytics from Haiku Deck

We are pleased to announce a new feature for Haiku Deck Premium subscribers, Presentation Analytics. If you’re using presentations to raise money or sell or conduct marketing, this is a great new way to see how your presentation content is being consumed by viewers and to get notified when key people engage with your Haiku Decks.

Invitations: Allows you to create a custom link to send to anyone in order to get in-depth analytics based on their actions related to your Haiku Deck. Presentation Analytics will track when the invitation is clicked, how long the viewer spent looking at the deck, and trigger an email notification to you when the link is clicked.

Recent Viewers: Provides high-level data on recent viewers of your individual decks or all of your decks in aggregate. This includes time spent on the deck(s), the location of the viewer, the date and time of their visit.

Views: Provides a line chart showing the number of views received for the deck and time frame you select.

Downloads: Shows a line chart of all of the downloads that you deck has received over the selected time period.

Shares: Show the number of shares of your deck to different social media platforms via the share buttons on the playback page. Specifically, you will see the number of shares of your deck to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Google Classroom, as well as the number of time a link to your deck has been copied.

Though Presentation Analytics will apply to all of your Haiku Decks, data for this feature is only available beginning from the start of Presentation Analytics tracking on September 15, 2017. Learn more about Presentation Analytics in the Haiku Deck user guide.

As with any new feature, we’re eager to hear your feedback! Click here to learn more about Haiku Deck Premium and to upgrade. Also, if you’re a qualifying nonprofit, be sure to take advantage of our 50% off pricing. Drop us a line at and let us know what you think!


Get 40 Million Free Presentation Images for Microsoft PowerPoint with Haiku Decks Add-In

Who doesn’t want free presentation images for Powerpoint? Millions of users already turn to Haiku Deck as a huge time-saver when it comes to sourcing great images and finding great presentation design. But we know that sometimes users have to work in PowerPoint, and now we’ve got a solution for you!

Now with Haiku Deck Add-In for Microsoft PowerPoint, we bring  40 million+  world-class presentation images to PowerPoint so you can get your work done faster even when you’re not using Haiku Deck.

Just as with Haiku Deck’s award-winning web and iOS apps, the presentation images found in our search results are all high-quality, royalty-free images licensed under the Creative Commons license. In order to comply with the Creative Commons license, users must include attribution and license information for the photos they include in their work.

Not only do we help you find great images, but the add-in automatically provides the license details and attribution information for you to copy/paste either as a note, footnote, or onto an attribution slide at the end of your presentation. Please remember, the deal with Creative Commons photos is that the photographer is licensing their work to you in exchange for you giving them credit for their work. Please be respectful of their copyrights and take a moment to learn about the various flavors of the Creative Commons license here.

The add in also helps you find presentation templates created by members of our community and shared publicly through the Haiku Deck Gallery. Anyone can search for and find presentation templates and examples through the add-in. Paying Haiku Deck subscribers have the added benefit of being able to download editable versions of presentations they find, saving countless hours of presentation authoring.

The add-in works in PowerPoint 2013 Service Pack 1 or later, PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, PowerPoint 2016 or later, PowerPoint Online. Go and get your free presentation images for Powerpoint by downloading the Haiku Deck add-in here. While you’re there, please leave us a review if you like the add-in, and if you have additional questions learn more in the Haiku Deck User Guide.

How Real Estate Agents Ace their Listing Presentations with Haiku Deck

We were pleasantly surprised to recently see Haiku Deck hailed yet again by real estate technology blog Inman as a way for agents to ace their listing presentations. We’ve known this ever since one of our earliest fans told the same publication about the time he used Haiku Deck to score a $1.4M property listing.

Turns out thousands of real estate professionals are using Haiku Deck for all kinds of presentations from market trends analyses to comparative market reports, to decks that showcase a neighborhood, to professional profiles or vacation rental marketing materials.  Aside from the fact  that Haiku Deck works great with iPad and iPhone (as well as the web), realtors love that sales and marketing materials can be easily shared through social media, embedded in blog posts, shared with clients as links, or downloaded to .pdf or .pptx formats for offline sharing and printing.

We’ve collected templates that can be instantly copied and customized, testimonial quotes, and more information on our real estate page, but thought we’d also share some of what we’re hearing on Twitter from real estate professionals around the world. If you’re using Haiku Deck to drive your real estate business, will you tell us your story? Drop us an email at

New! Live Presentations for Webinars, Remote Sales, and More

If you’re looking to offer live presentations for webinars, remote sales calls, or online classes, Haiku Deck’s new Live Presentation Mode is for you! This allows you share your presentation playback from a browser to remote viewers no matter where they are or what connected device they’re using.  As the presenter navigates through slides on their web browser, the audience members will see the slides change on their screens, whether they’re across the room or across the world.

To use Live Mode, first sign into a Haiku Deck Premium account. If you’re a qualifying public-sector educator, you can get Live Mode through the Haiku Deck Classroom subscription level.

Next, visit the playback page for your presentation and look for the green GO LIVE button next to your slides.

When you click the Go Live button, you’ll see a special Live presentation URL. This is the link your audience members will need in order to join your presentation. Just copy it and share it in your meeting request, through email, or chat.

When this link is  clicked, viewers will be prompted to enter their name before they join the presentation.

The animation above shows three different browser windows. The audience-member experience is shown in the windows on the left in separate Firefox and Chrome browsers. The right side is the presenter’s view. As the presenter clicks to advance the slides, the audience stays in sync. Here’s a short video demonstration of the feature in action:

This feature has been tested on up to 150 simultaneous connected devices. 1:1 Classroom teachers who are familiar with products like Nearpod can use live mode in a similar fashion, driving a presentation from their device for students who are viewing from their own devices.

This works as well for desktop viewers as it does on mobile devices. It doesn’t matter if you’re presenting to someone across the board room on a browser or across the world on a connected iOS or Android device. The audience will see what you want them to see when you want them to see it. Questions? Learn more in our user guide.

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