If we set to work to create a presentation 10 years ago, there was only one place we would head to – Microsoft PowerPoint. However, over recent years, Canva has become increasingly popular and users are now using it to design a wide range of visuals, including presentations.

Most of us are familiar with PowerPoint. It remains the go-to application to use when asked to create a presentation in your role at work. PowerPoint is part of the Microsoft Office suite and therefore available on most computers.

So, what is Canva?

Canva is an online platform designed to make creating graphics easy for any user. It does far more than presentations; it has 1000’s pre-loaded templates ranging from flyers, marketing leaflets, business cards, invitations, and much more. By choosing a template, you can simply change the colours to match your brand or theme, choose from some stock images, change the text, and there – you have yourself a professional-looking creative! Easy!

What are the main features of both?

Both applications have a strong list of pro’s.

PowerPoint Pro List:
  • Designed specifically for presentations and has been updated and refreshed over the years to become the most established application for creating a presentation. It is often the preferred option within workplaces.
  • Super simple and easy to use – whether it is a very basic presentation you are creating, or something far more technical and intricate, this will create both and makes it very easy to do. With similarities between other Microsoft applications, you will find it a logical space to navigate if you are familiar with Word, Excel etc.
  • A wide variety of free templates to use.
  • Motion Options – to keep a presentation interesting and not 2D, there are a variety of options that can have the content come to life a bit more and support your delivery of the presentation.
  • Installed onto your computer so can be used offline.
  • As presentations are often used in business, they have 50+ different graph types to illustrate your data.
Canva Pro List:
  • A clear benefit of Canva is the vast number of templates and options available. It feels a bit like anything is possible within Canva – there is a template for everything. Presentation templates are just one aspect, out of many, to choose from – yet still 12,000 templates to choose from (including 16:9 and 4:3, plus size options specifically for mobile phone displays)
  • An extensive selection of stock images, videos and graphics – Over 1 million and new ones added weekly!
  • 16 different graphics types to illustrate your data.
  • Cloud-based and easy to share with teams or groups created in Canva, and externally via Google Drive or Dropbox.

So, there are the benefits of each programme, but are there any drawbacks to either of them?

Well, given these are the two most popular applications, the ‘con’s’ list is merely a list of things that may not suit everyone or is down to personal preference.

PowerPoint ‘Con’s’:
  • Less options in fonts and templates vs Canva.
  • Must have Microsoft Office installed (between £60 – £100 annually), which gives you a range of applications including PowerPoint, Excel, Word, Office etc.
  • It feels a tad bulky or old school in comparison to some of the newer applications, but with updates each year, PowerPoint is becoming higher in specifications and visually fashionable.
Canva ‘Con’s’:
  • Cloud-based can be great, until it isn’t. Having internet access is essential for using Canva.
  • There is a maximum limit of slides per presentation – 30 pages – so not ideal for in-depth presentations.
  • The animations and transition options are not the same, making it feel more of an info document rather than a presentation.
  • There is a free option for Canva, but this has limited uses. To gain access to the full site, it costs either £12.99 when paid monthly or £100 annually.

So, there you have what we believe to be the pro’s and con’s of each, but when it comes down to which should you use – it really is down to personal preference. Assuming your boss hasn’t specified a PowerPoint presentation (which often does happen because Microsoft is often seen as the most versatile and uniform way of carrying out work projects), then it really comes down to which you prefer and which you find the easiest to use.

For business owners, we would recommend having a look at Canva, even if not for presentations but to explore the variety available. No doubt there will be times when you are looking into flyers, posters, email graphic contents to send out, for example.

Personally, PowerPoint remains a favourite for presentations and Canva is used regularly for one pagers, information documents and when I am in need of some creative inspiration for my clients.

Have fun exploring!

Don’t feel like it’s your ‘bag’ and have far more important and key business things to do? Then let us create items for you – whether that be in Microsoft Office or the versatile Canva. Give us your brief and we will find a solution to suit you and the needs of your business.

Helen is the author of this fabulous blog and also a dab hand with both PowerPoint and Canva. You’re in great hands for your creative solutions.