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PowerPoint vs Other Presentation Tools: Which is Right for You?

When it comes to creating impactful presentations, there are numerous tools available in the market. However, one of the most popular and widely used applications is Microsoft PowerPoint. While PowerPoint has been the go-to choice for many professionals and educators, it’s important to consider other presentation tools as well. In this article, we will compare PowerPoint with other presentation tools to help you decide which one is right for you.

PowerPoint: The Classic Choice

Microsoft PowerPoint has been around since 1987 and continues to dominate the presentation software market. It offers a wide range of features and functionalities that make it ideal for creating visually appealing slideshows. With its user-friendly interface, anyone can quickly learn how to use it effectively.

One of the key advantages of PowerPoint is its compatibility with various operating systems, including Windows and Mac. This means you can easily create presentations on one device and present them on another without any compatibility issues.

PowerPoint also provides a vast library of templates, themes, and design elements that allow users to create professional-looking presentations in no time. It offers a plethora of customization options, allowing you to tailor your slides according to your specific needs.

Prezi: The Dynamic Alternative

Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software that takes a different approach than traditional slide-based tools like PowerPoint. Instead of using slides, Prezi allows users to create dynamic presentations on a virtual canvas where they can zoom in and out and navigate through content freely.

This unique feature makes Prezi an excellent choice for storytelling or when you want to present information in a nonlinear format. It enables presenters to create engaging visuals that captivate their audience’s attention from start to finish.

Additionally, Prezi offers seamless collaboration features that allow multiple users to work on the same presentation simultaneously. This makes it an excellent choice for teams or individuals who need real-time collaboration capabilities.

Google Slides: The Collaborative Solution

Google Slides is a web-based presentation tool that is part of the Google Workspace suite. Similar to PowerPoint, it offers a range of features to create visually appealing presentations. Its intuitive interface and easy-to-use tools make it accessible to users of all skill levels.

One of the standout features of Google Slides is its collaborative capabilities. Multiple users can work on a presentation simultaneously, making it ideal for team projects or remote collaboration. It also allows for real-time commenting and editing, ensuring seamless communication among team members.

Another advantage of Google Slides is its integration with other Google Workspace apps such as Google Docs and Sheets. This integration allows users to import data directly from these apps, saving time and effort when creating presentations.

Keynote: The Mac-Friendly Option

If you are an Apple user, Keynote is the presentation software designed specifically for you. Keynote offers a sleek and modern interface with powerful tools that allow users to create stunning presentations effortlessly.

One of the key advantages of Keynote is its seamless integration with other Apple devices and software. You can easily create presentations on your Mac and present them using your iPhone or iPad without any compatibility issues.

Keynote also provides a wide selection of pre-designed templates that cater to various presentation styles. Additionally, it offers advanced animation and transition effects that can enhance the visual appeal of your slideshows.

Choosing the right presentation tool depends on your specific needs and preferences. PowerPoint remains a solid choice for its versatility, while Prezi offers a dynamic alternative for nonlinear storytelling. Google Slides excels in collaborative capabilities, especially for remote teams, while Keynote provides an excellent option for Apple users seeking seamless integration across devices.

Consider the features, ease-of-use, collaboration options, and platform compatibility when deciding which presentation tool suits you best. Ultimately, selecting the right tool will empower you to create impactful presentations that engage and impress your audience.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


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Presenter View in Teams Meetings

Microsoft Teams meetings now feature Presenter View for your PowerPoint slides. Presenters can see their slide notes and upcoming slides in Teams; meeting participants cannot. Navigating slides is easier for presenters, and participants still can be kept from jumping ahead. Presenters also can use meeting chat while in Presenter View. Plus, participant video feeds are included at the bottom of Presenter View. Watch the three-minute video below for more details.

When to use Presenter View 

Before trying Presenter View, consider the number of monitors you will use and whether your online class session/meeting will be completely virtual or hybrid.


Please contact the IT Services TechSquad for questions about Microsoft Teams.

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Attendee/Presenter Roles

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  • Use Presenter View with PowerPoint
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Present Live: Engage your audience with Live Presentations

With Live Presentations in PowerPoint, audience members can see a presentation on their devices and read live subtitles in their preferred language while you speak. They can use "pinch to zoom" to see the slides more clearly on mobile devices, give feedback, send live reactions to the presenter, and navigate back to review previous slides.


To use Live Presentations, presenters must have a Microsoft 365 subscription. Audience members don't need a subscription to participate in Live Presentations. 

Live Presentations is not supported for presenters in GCC, GCC-High, or DoD tenants.

Getting started

To get started with Live Presentations open your slide deck in PowerPoint for the web and go to the Slide Show tab. 

Important:  Live Presentations is supported on Microsoft Edge version 80+, Google Chrome version 72+, Mozilla Firefox version 68+, or Opera version 60+ on Windows or Mac. Currently Safari is not supported for presenters, but works fine for audience members.

First, check your audience setting. Click the drop arrow next to Present Live to select who should be able to connect to this presentation.

Audience selection for Live Presentation

Only people in your organization  - This is the default option for presenters signed in with their work or school account. It limits access to people signed in with accounts in the same Microsoft 365 organization (work or school) the presenter is in.

Anyone  - If you're presenting to an audience that includes people who are not in your organization you'll need to select this one. 

Next, select Present Live and your presentation will begin with a screen that shows a customized QR code. You can also start your Live presentation from the slideshow toolbar:

slideshow toolbar

Your audience can point their device cameras at the QR code, tap the link that appears over the QR code, and PowerPoint Live will load your presentation in their web browser. There's nothing for them to install.

The join screen of PowerPoint Live Presentations - showing the QR code and join URL.

Tip:  If they're having trouble using the QR code they can also just go to their browser and enter the short URL shown at the top of the presentation screen.

The audience can connect from any device has that has an Internet connection and a browser: iOS, Android, Windows, or Mac.   

Important:  For audiences accessing Live Presentations on their mobile devices it requires at least iOS version 11, or Android version 8.

Once your audience has joined the presentation simply advance to your first slide as normal to start presenting.

Presentation subtitles

Once your audience has loaded the presentation they will see your spoken words transcribed on the screen in near real-time. This is great for audiences when the acoustics of the venue aren't good, or if you have audience members who have difficulty hearing.

If an audience member would like to have your words translated for them into a different language, they can tap the language indicator and select from any of the supported languages. Once they've selected their language your spoken words will be machine translated into that language, and shown to them on their device as subtitles.

Each audience member can select the language of their choice.

Reviewing previous slides

If an audience member wants to look back at one of your earlier slides that can do that using the slide control that appears on their screen just below the current slide. They can go all the way back to your first slide, but they can only go as far forward as the slide you're currently displaying, so you don't have to worry about them reading ahead in your deck.

Live feedback

If an audience member using PowerPoint Live wants to give you feedback as you go, they can tap the feedback button (which looks like a smiley face) towards the bottom right of their device screen.  There they can select from a handful of different feedback types, from "like" to "puzzled" and more. Their selection will briefly appear on the presentation screen.

Presentation evaluation

When you end the presentation audience members using PowerPoint Live will each get a short survey where they get to rate your slide design, speaker's skill, content, and interaction with audience on a scale of 1 to 5. They can add any other comments or feedback they might have and submit. This feedback is collected by Microsoft Forms where you can view the aggregated, anonymous, responses. 

Important:  You can save the aggregated feedback email in your inbox, but the detailed audience feedback in Microsoft Forms isn’t kept indefinitely. If you want to keep the detailed feedback, go to the feedback form, select Open in Excel , and save the resulting Excel file.

Email summary

After the presentation you will get an email containing a summary of audience feedback responses, live reactions from the audience, and some recommendations on what to improve for the next time.

Presenting remotely?

You can still use PowerPoint Live Presentations when you present remotely! Here are a few tips for your that might help:

If you're presenting using Microsoft Teams and want to use Live Presentations you'll need to use screen sharing mode, rather than presentation sharing mode, to share your presentation. Otherwise you won't be able to start Live Presentations.

It will usually be easier for your audience to use a second device, like a smartphone or tablet, to join the Live Presentation. This allows their primary device to be dedicated to the presentation itself.

If an audience member has two (or more) screens on their device it can work to join the Live Presentation in a browser window on another screen, reserving the primary screen for the presentation.

Tips for creating and delivering an effective presentation

Rehearse your slide show with Presenter Coach


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Best way to present PowerPoint Presentations in Microsoft Teams: How to use PowerPoint Live for meetings, proposals and webinars

Picture of Katherine Garratt

Today, the best way to present a PowerPoint presentation on Teams, is by using PowerPoint Live . PowerPoint Live is a professional and easy method to share your slide deck and avoid the many pitfalls of sharing your screen. Now that PowerPoint Live is available, we would not recommend using screen share, particularly for important presentations. PowerPoint Live offers a better experience for presenters/attendees and is ideal for:

Team meetings

Presenting important proposals

Hosting webinars

During the pandemic, Microsoft added new functionality to Teams, including PowerPoint Live. It’s a relatively new update, so you may not be aware of what it is, the benefits or how to use it. This article will guide you through:

  • The pitfalls of screen share in Teams and why you should stop using it
  • 🌟 How to set up your slide deck on Teams using PowerPoint Live 🌟
  • How to use PowerPoint Live
  • How to set up multiple presenters and easily transition between presenters
  • Roles within Teams; Organiser, Presenter and Attendee

Pitfalls of screen share on Teams

Screen sharing is a quick and easy way to share PowerPoint presentations on Teams, however, you run into several issues. Here are the disadvantages of screen sharing a PowerPoint presentation on Teams:

Accidentally sharing sensitive information

It’s all too easy to leave a screen open that contains sensitive information. Presenters can accidentally share their email inbox, instant chat messages, CRM, or any kind of competitive information while sharing their screen.

Audience distracted by elements around the slide

All too often, when PowerPoint is presented on Teams, the presenter opts to share their screen. It means the audience sees the presenter’s entire desktop or window. Those who share their PowerPoint window can not only see the slides, but a good proportion of the screen is taken up by the slide preview on the side, notes, title bar, the menu, ribbon and tabs and all the grey space around the slide. It can be quite distracting and not the best audience experience.

Attendees can see your slide notes

When sharing your screen, the presenter must choose between the audience being able to see your slide notes, or closing the slide notes so they're out of view.

Links on slides aren’t clickable

While sharing your screen, the audience’s screen is static - links on your slide deck cannot be copied or clicked, leaving room for error or not having enough time to write out contact details or website addresses.

Low resolution

Screen sharing typically requires a higher bandwidth, compared to using PowerPoint Live, therefore, the graphics can be slow to respond and not crisp.

Difficulty when co-presenting

Changing presenters using screen share can be slow and tedious when you screen share. Typically, one presenter has to end screen share, then the next presenter has to then share their screen, leaving an awkward gap of silence and pressure on the next presenter to hurry!

Presenter can’t see ‘Chat’ or ‘Raised hand’

Team’s Chat and Raised Hand are functionality that is now regularly used by attendees. When the presenter shares a window on Teams, they can not see either, leaving them unable to interact with attendees.

How to set up a slide deck on Teams using PowerPoint Live

Here is a step-by-step guide of how to set up your PowerPoint presentation on a Teams call using PowerPoint Live. Once you are on your teams call, follow the points below:

Press the share icon

Below PowerPoint Live, it automatically lists presentations you most recently interacted with. Click on the presentation you want to share.

Powerpoint presntations recently interacted with

If your presentation is not automatically showing under PowerPoint Live then scroll down to browse and upload your PowerPoint presentation.

Upload presentation

Find your presentation slide and select Open .

Teams will then upload the slides directly into your Teams call.

Tip: Bring all your slides together into one presentation

If there are multiple presenters, ordinarily each individual creates their own slides. For a smooth transition between presenters, bring all of your slides together into one file before the presentation. Then upload the single PowerPoint file into PowerPoint Live. There won’t be that awkward pause between swapping presenters/presentations, and makes it easy for multiple presenters to alternate and take control during their part in the presentation.

PowerPoint Live functionality

Now we have set the slide deck uploaded, let's run through the functionality and how PowerPoint Live works.

Presenter’s View

Once the PowerPoint presentation is uploaded, you will see the Presenter’s View . This is private to the presenter. The attendees will only see one active slide, and not the additional functionality that the presenter can see and has access to.  

What Microsoft has done is include all of the important functions into one view within Presenter's View so everything is one click away. 

Presenter view in PowerPoint Live

Slide notes

Slide notes


The presenter can easily view who is on the call by clicking on the People tab.

People Tab - view attendees

The presenter can access Chat during the presentation by clicking Chat , making it easier to interact with the audience while presenting.

Access Chat in PowerPoint Live

Using the Thumbnail strip, the presenter can see what slides are coming up next, but also jump forward or backward a few slides.

Thumbnail tab in PowerPoint Live Teams

Grid View displays up to 25 slide thumbnails at once, enabling the presenter to quickly scan and navigate through many slides. This view is ideal for skipping a significant number of slides. For example, you may want to skip back to the beginning of the presentation if an attendee asks a question relevant to a topic discussed earlier in the presentation.

Press grid view

Presenter Mode: Content Only

By default, PowerPoint Live displays Content Only mode. This means that the audience can  see your slide.

Presenter view - content only

Presenter Mode: Standout

If you press Standout (next to Content Only tab), attendees can also see the presenter in the corner of the presentation slide. Make sure your camera is switched on to see the presenter.

Standout presenter view

Microsoft has added this functionality for a more personable experience and to enable attendees to read the presenter’s body language. Here is what the slide looks like for the attendee when Standout is switched on:

Standout - how it looks

Presenters can switch between Content Only and Standout at any point by clicking on the respective buttons.

High contrast

When High Contract is switched on, white backgrounds turn dark and dark text is switched to white to help attendees read the slide content more easily. Attendees can choose, individually, whether they want High Contrast switched on or off on their device. To switch High Contrast on, click on the three dots icon ( ... ), then select View slides in high contrast .

High contrast mode


The Lazer Pen, Highlighter and Pen tools can help to highlight areas. Then the Eraser tool removes markings made by the highlighter or pen tool. Click the respective tool to begin using the laser, pen or highlighter. Click on the curser to unselect the tool.

Tools in PowerPoint Live

Interactive links

Links on PowerPoint Live are interactive. It makes any call to action easily accessible. Links to your website/landing page, resources, white papers, your email address or LinkedIn account can be included. Attendees no longer rely on writing details down, which can lead to misspellings, errors and missed opportunities.

*Tip* when switching presenters

It can be tempting to press Stop Presenting when you have finished your part of the presentation. However, if you do press End Presentation , then the entire presentation will close. Instead, you need to wait for the next presenter to press Take Control . 

Stop Presenting

Access to Skip Slides and Take Control

By default, other attendees on the Teams call will be able to Skip Slides and Take Control of the presentation. With access to Skip Slides attendees can deviate from the slide you are presenting. Access to Take Control means that other attendees can also jump in and co-present after pressing Take Control .

Navigate slides and Take Control

Set up presenters, Remove skip slide and take control for attendees

If you don’t want attendees to Skip Slides or Take Control , then these default settings can be switched off in two ways:

1. Switch off Skip Slides/Take Control: for single presenters

The first method to switch off Skip Slide or Take Control functionality for attendees, is done inside PowerPoint Live. This is ideal if you have only one presenter. Click on the Eye Icon to deactivate attendee's Skip Slide and Take Control .

Eye icon

The Eye Icon will have a line through it once it is selected, indicating that participants can no longer Skip Slides or Take Control .

Share slides switched off - line through eye

2. Switch off Skip Slides/Take Control: for multiple presenters

If you have multiple presenters, then use the following method:

Head to Teams , prior to the event taking place, to edit the event details.

In teams, click on the Calendar tab.

Find and open your event, then press Edit

Select Meeting Options . The image below was taken on a Mac. Meeting Options can appear in a different location on PC.

Meeting Options in Teams

A new window will open. Find Who can present?  and select the dropdown button.

Best way to present on Teams - Teams meeting options

Choose Presenters . Select from ‘ Only me’ or ‘ Everyone ’ or ‘ Specific people ’.

Select Specific People , and type in the attendee's name that you would like to become a presenter.

Specific people and type name

Press Save .

Roles within Teams Meetings

It is worth understanding that within Teams meetings, everyone is assigned one of three roles: Organiser , Presenter or Attendee . Each role has different admin controls (see table below). There can only be one organiser - the person that creates the event. The Organiser has access to all admin controls. The organiser assigns roles to the other attendees. If you are assigned as a presenter, you have fewer admin controls, but you will still have controls to present, but also record or stop recording the meeting .

*Tip*  Practise makes perfect

It is strongly advised that as a Teams event organiser, you test the event settings prior to important presentations or webinars taking place. This will ensure that your IT is working smoothly. It will also ensure presenters know when to press Take Control and lead the presentation. Be prepared, and learn from mistakes while the pressure is off.

Looking for IT Consultancy?

If you need further help, then you could benefit from IT consultancy . Get in touch and we can ensure your business is making the most out of Microsoft 365.

For further details about Microsoft 365 licenses and pricing changes, schedule time with one of our consultants .

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Screenshot of PowerPoint Live in MS Teams

MS Teams Tip: Use PowerPoint Live to Present with Ease

  • Categories: Digital Workplace , News

Anyone who has shared a PowerPoint presentation during a Microsoft Teams meeting likely recognizes this uncomfortable feeling: The slides look great, but you don’t have easy access to any of the meeting tools or your notes, and, perhaps worst of all, you can’t see the participants. 

Instead of sharing your screen, use the PowerPoint Live presenting function, which is seamlessly integrated into Teams. Once in your meeting, simply open the “Share” function and scroll down to find PowerPoint Live, as well as a selection of recently shared PPT presentations. If the needed presentation doesn’t appear in the list, scroll down a bit further to browse either OneDrive or your computer to open the appropriate file. With just one click, PowerPoint Live launches in your meeting. 

By deploying the present function, you’ll have quick access to all meeting tools, including an area for typing notes, a highlighter tool to emphasize content, and even a digital pointer. And you’ll be able to read the room in one view, especially helpful when presenting from a single screen. 

Screenshot of PowerPoint Live in MS Teams

As an added bonus, participants can interact with the presentation and personalize their viewing experience with captions, high-contrast slides, and slides translated into another language. 

Screenshot of PowerPoint Live in MS Teams

Learn more about presenting from PowerPoint Live via a video and step-by-step instructions from Microsoft.  


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