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Apple Keynote and Microsoft Powerpoint: a Comparison

Updated on July 9, 2011

As workers in the knowledge information era, there are specific software that anyone must be familiar with in our companies. For example, word processing is an early example of software that virtually everyone needs to use.

In most companies, however, presentation packages are coming close to word processing in the competition for the most used piece of software. What is more common in American businesses than scheduling and delivering meetings? If you want to grow in your company you must be able to communicate well in meetings, and this involves using a presentation package such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote.

In this article I will try to list the difference between these packages and how they can be used to enhance your presentation.

Microsoft PowerPoint for Business Presentations

PowerPoint is nowadays the standard for business presentations. If you want to give a successful presentation, you almost certainly want to enhance it with graphics of high quality, and other visual material that will keep the attention of your audience.

The problem with PowerPoint, however, is that the styles that it make available by default are not very engaging, and will make your presentation look very simplistic or plain ugly.

If you search the standard models presented with PowerPoint, you will only see the pre fabricated, low quality styles that have been shipped with the application. Using them will not enhance your credibility with your audience.

Of course, you can spend money with external styles, which be bought from several places in the web. You can also even pay someone knowledgeable to create good slides for your, but I believe this is over the reach of most users.

Enter Apple Keynote

Keynote is a software developed by Apple to create presentations on the Macintosh. It is conceived after the philosophy of PowerPoint, but it is much more well designed.

With keynote, you have a lot more choice of how to create your presentation. Instead of a fixed background that will be used on all slides, Keynote provides users with a large pallet of different styles elements that can be applied on each slide separately. This is made easy by the several style-related tools in the software.

The graphical elements in keynote also distinguish themselves by the quality of the result. All images in Keynote are presented in high-resolution, with stunning graphic effects. The transitions in Keynote are not only beautiful, but are also sophisticated. If fells like these transitions were created by expert graphic designers, not by an average programmers (like they feel in Microsoft PowerPoint).

The conclusion

PowerPoint and keynote a software packages targeted at similar purposes: to present slides for public presentations. However, there is a difference when it comes to the quality of the result.

My experience, and of many others, is that Apple Keynote is engineered is such a way that makes it easier to achieve your results. The available interface options are more focused, than the thousand of buttons in PowerPoint. There is also a lot simple way to achieve stunning effects that are difficult to replicate in PowerPoint.

So, although a good graphical designer can do approximately the same work in both PowerPoint and Keynote, I believe that average computer users can do much better with Keynote.

Moreover, if you compare the price of both products, you will see that Keynote is an excellent deal. Keynote sells for around $70 (along with Pages, a powerful text editor), while the MS product cannot be bought for less than $200, depending on the version of MS Office you are trying to buy.

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      Microsoft Powerpoint Free Download Fan 6 years ago

      I've been on Mac platform for 5 years and I've never used Keynote or Microsoft Powerpoint. I'm using NeoOffice, as it is free and has got basically all the features. But of course Keynote presentations are the most stylish ones.

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      Nick 8 years ago

      Microsoft uses Keynote with there Technet 'keynotes'

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      Business Financing Guru 9 years ago

      I think for small business tools, the word processors are less important now than the presentation software. When you're trying to get business financing and other small business help you need to not just "give them the numbers" as another commentor mentioned but you need to convey the image/message that your company needs to convey (whatever that may be). Without some mastry of presentation software, you could miss out on big opportunities. IMO.

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      David 10 years ago

      Maddog may miss the point - I have to give most of my presentations in Powerpoint, but if they are important, then I always write them in Keynote and export them.

      The problem in most business environments is that no-one ever measures the communication effectiveness of the presentations, but as Seekay says it is not about dumping the stats on a slide, so much as cleanly communicating a message. Most workplace powerpoint presentations do not cleanly communicate anything!

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      Seekay 10 years ago

      Maddog - In real business environments a good presenter with the right tools should be able to achieve the meeting objectives he/she has set prior to the event, whilst letting the audience leave the room thinking they have got what they wanted from the session. If you truly believe that all you should be doing during a presentation is broadcasting stats that you think your audience is interested in, then you are in the wrong game mate! By the way Keynote is a much better tool than Powerpoint but you shouldn't use either.

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      Brendan 10 years ago

      I never used Powerpoint, but all I can say is the first time I used Keynote 2 I created a presentaion that was better than the one I saw being shown at our local bank on an LCD TV to display ads for local companies while I was waiting in line.

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      Maddog 10 years ago

      Except in a real life business environment, they don't want flashy. They want only the numbers. Nice opinion but it is only your opinion. In the world where Microsoft Office has such a huge marketshare, Keynote fails to deliver and may become the creator of only 0.1% of presentations shown.