Canva for Better PowerPoint Presentations | Nonprofit PowerPoint

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)

canva for powerpoint

Canva Makes Better PowerPoint Presentations

How is PowerPoint working for you? Still have folks nodding off in the back of the room? Does the background on your slides look like the screensaver from your high school computer lab? For a long time PowerPoint and even Keynote slides were limited in their design capabilities. Well worry no more- try Canva. For those looking to beef up their slides to build better PowerPoint presentations, give Canva a try.

We have been writing about this problem with the typical slide presentation for a while—too many words and too clunky of a design that is hard to read.  This tool is a great option if you want to make your slides more exciting and easy to follow. Read on to learn more about Canva, how to use it and things you should know before starting your next presentation.

Why is this a better option than PowerPoint on its own? Canva is a design platform that allows you to create slides and graphics that look almost like a professional designer built them. Photos, backgrounds and type are really clean and beautiful.

Design Options
The design options that come with PowerPoint and Keynote are stuck in the age of bullet points. Even Keynote, which was a favorite in the past, is still behind on what Canva can do.

Easy to Use
Most folks using PowerPoint don't have a design background and you shouldn't need one to make nice slides. The options for design and graphics in Canva are simple to use and to understand. There is a tutorial built into the program that explains just how easy it is.

The best part of Canva is that it is currently a pay as you go system. Most things are free, but for some themes and photos, you have to pay. However, the prices are very reasonable.

Canva vs. Prezi?
We still love Prezi, but Canva is much easier to use. Prezi is a good tool for big presentations, but not a great tool if you are doing a training where you are starting and stopping slides or talking with a small group.

Approach and Content Matters
Just because you use a presentation program  to create your slides does not mean you areautomatically making better PowerPoint presentations. You need to make sure your content is organized in a way that cuts through the morass of bad bullet points and tells your story with as few words as possible.

Free or Paid? 
For now, Canva still has a free version with some photos and backgrounds on a paid basis. Their pro version gives a lot more enhanced options what started out as  a start up, has really grown over the last couple of years.  but we are still watching how they evolve as a business and how their privacy policies evolve over time.

How To Make Your Canva Presentation Stand Out

  1. Use fewer words: You can't read and listen to at the same time.
  2. Make a point. The big take away is having something to say. Don't dwell on the slide, just make your point and move on.
  3. The less slides, the better. You do not need fifty slides for a thirty-minute presentation. How about ten good ones?
  4. Practice. Don't do your first run through of the presentation as you are giving it - work through it.

Questions about Using Canva and better PowerPoint presentations? Ask them here!