PowerPoint for iPad

There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about the long-awaited arrival of PowerPoint for iPad, and as you might expect, we have a thought or two on the subject.

Should I Use PowerPoint for iPad?

It depends. We have long believed in the flexibility and power of the iPad as tool for content creation and productivity, not just content consumption. We love being able to work on a presentation whenever and wherever inspiration strikes, whether it’s at a coffee shop, on a plane, or curled up on the couch while half-watching House Hunters International. That’s why we started with Haiku Deck for iPad.

So we are all for creating and sharing presentations on an iPad, but we’ve also worked hard to make that experience uniquely tailored to the tablet — simple, fluid, and even fun. One key difference between Haiku Deck and PowerPoint is that we build the experience around images, not words.

We build the experience around images, not words.

We do this because we believe that people are tired of seeing presentation slides crammed with text (and, even worse, presenters who read that text word for word). Dave Paradi’s Annoying PowerPoint Survey provides more detail on this subject. Here’s our Haiku Deck version of the findings:

PowerPoint for iPad: Annoying PowerPoint Survey Results

Click to view the full Haiku Deck with Notes

Like many presentation design experts, we believe that images speak to our emotions and make what we have to say more engaging and memorable, and we’ve purposefully designed our Creative Commons image search to trigger creative flow.

Images speak to our emotions and make what we have to say more engaging and memorable.

So if PowerPoint makes you feel more creative and inspired, we say, go for it! But if you’d like to feel more creative and inspired, and create the kind of presentations that make people lean in instead of tune out, we’re here for you.

OK, I Get It. So How Do I Turn My PowerPoint into a Haiku Deck?

Though you can’t (yet) pull your PowerPoint directly into Haiku Deck,  it’s exactly the kind of magical experience we think a lot about and plan to offer at some point. But don’t be discouraged. One of the best things about Haiku Deck is how quickly you can create a new deck that looks amazing.

One of the best things about Haiku Deck is how quickly you can create a new deck that looks amazing.

Here’s the systematic approach I use to transform a ho-hum, or even only-a-mother-could-love-it PowerPoint into a hot-to-trot, head-turning Haiku Deck.

1. Let go of the corporate template.

Trust me on this one: the only people who care deeply about your corporate template are people in your corporation.

The only people who care deeply about your corporate template are people in your corporation.

More often than not, your template is just taking space and attention away from the stuff that really matters. Try importing a single high-impact logo image for your opening slide, or choosing images and colors that evoke your brand palette, instead.

Here’s a Haiku Deck we created for our friends at OfficeNinjas, which evokes their brand in more creative ways than a typically stuffy corporate template.

PowerPoint for iPad: OfficeNinjas Haiku Deck Example

Click to view the full Office Ninjas story with Notes

2. Lose the top-of-slide headers.

If you’re using slide headings to indicate the primary sections of your presentation, try using a solid-color, standalone slide to introduce each major section instead. You can also choose an abstract image in your brand colors, or another strong graphic pattern, to use on each of your section header slides.

I use both of these techniques in this Haiku Deck I created for a recent Re/Max webinar:

PowerPoint for iPad: How to Wow with Haiku Deck, Webinar Slides

Click to view the full webinar presentation, with Notes

3. Trim down your text. 

For text-heavy slides, zero in on the most important point you want to communicate, and move the rest to the Public Notes field.

4. Use text-heavy slides sparingly.

For text-heavy slides that can’t be condensed, such as quotes, you can use a multiline slide layout. Try to sprinkle these in sparingly, however.

5. Break up bullets.

For slides with lots of bullets, try pulling each individual bullet into its own slide. If a bullet doesn’t seem to merit its own slide, cut it or move it to the Notes. Yes, you will have more slides with this approach, but you can go through your slides quickly — and hold your audience’s attention more effectively along the way.

6. Condense lists.

For lists with 5 or fewer items, you can use a Haiku Deck list slide layout. If you have more than 5 items, you can condense your list, break it into two lists, or turn each item into a single slide, as described above. (We limit our lists to 5 items on purpose to help prevent information overload.) Like multiline slides, I recommend using lists sparingly.

7. Save key photos for easy importing.

If your PowerPoint includes your own photographs, you can save them to your computer, your camera roll, or a service like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Flickr to easily import them to Haiku Deck.

8. Cut the clip art.

If your PowerPoint includes clip art or stock photography, you’ll likely find comparable or superior images using the Haiku Deck Creative Commons image search.

Want to see what I mean? Check out these incredibly gorgeous, free, perfectly sized, automatically attributed Creative Commons images of horses, all found using the Haiku Deck image search.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

9. Simplify charts and graphs. 

If your PowerPoint includes pie charts or bar charts, you’ll be able to create simple, beautiful versions quickly in Haiku Deck. Remember that the simpler you make them, the easier they will be to understand. Other important stats can be highlighted using a stat chart.

This Haiku Deck illustrates some creative ways to communicate hard-hitting data.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

10. Grab screenshots of must-keep custom graphics. 

If your PowerPoint includes complex graphics that can’t be recreated in Haiku Deck, you can either explore a more creative, visual way to tell the same story (using the Notes for additional detail if needed) or take a screen shot of your slide and import it to Haiku Deck.

How Do I Import PowerPoint Slides into Haiku Deck?

If you don’t have time to recreate your PowerPoint from scratch quite yet, but you’d like to be able to enjoy all of Haiku Deck’s awesome mobile-friendly features like emailing links instead of gigantic files, sharing directly to your favorite social sites, embedding in your blog or website, or uploading to Slideshare, you can import your slides to very quickly create a Haiku Deck like this:

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

This is also a good strategy if you are creating a Haiku Deck but you’d like to pull in a custom graphic or a full slide as is. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open your .ppt deck in PowerPoint.
  2. On the File menu, choose “Save as Pictures.” Choose JPEG as the format from the drop-down. This will save each of your slides as an image. Choose a location for the folder that will contain each of your slides, individually saved as a JPEG image. If you’re moving from a desktop to an iPad, try saving to a free Dropbox or Box account, which makes the transfer to your iPad easier.
  3. Now switch over to Haiku Deck, either on your iPad or on the web.
  4. Select an existing Haiku Deck or create a new one, and open it in Edit mode.
  5. Click the blue Image tab, and then “Import.” Select images from your iPad/computer or from an online service, like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box. Tip: If your original deck was formatted for 16:9 instead of 4:3, you’ll have to resize and reposition each image using the image resize function.
  6. Do a victory lap around the office while shouting, “Haiku Deck is AMAZING!”

More tips, as well as steps for importing from Keynote, here.

How Do I Export My Haiku Deck to PowerPoint?

There are a lot of good reasons to keep your Haiku Deck in Haiku Deck — you can view or present on any mobile device, see how many times your deck has been viewed, share it with your social networks, and use your iPhone as a remote, just for starters — but we also know there are times when exporting to PowerPoint is helpful or even necessary.

 PowerPoint for iPad: Chart of reasons people export from Haiku Deck to PowerPoint

Whether you’d like to add video, turn your Haiku Deck into a YouTube video, or do a creative mash-up with one or more other apps, you can now export to .pptx format from either the iPad App or the Web App.

So Which is Better: Haiku Deck or PowerPoint for iPad?

Well, sure, we have a thought or two about this as well. But it doesn’t matter what we say, it really only matters what our fans say:

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

Convinced? Hai-5! You can download the free iPad app or set up an account for the Web App to join our amazing creative community.