Back in October I was asked by Visme’s founder, Payman Taei if I would be interesting in reviewing his company’s new presentation software called Visme. I gotta say, I was not very interested at that point not that Payman wasn’t excited to share the new presentation software tool with me, but rather because I felt that nothing could really touch the purpose-built presentation software offering by Microsoft called, PowerPoint.
As a technology marketing manager, I haven’t created hundreds of PowerPoint presentations, I’ve actually created thousands over the past 25 years. So, honestly cracking open a “new” presentation tool and kicking the tires wasn’t very high on my list of to-do’s.
What I found was that Visme is a Software as a Service (SaaS) product, that allows you to use the tool from anywhere on the Internet, using any type of device without needing to download any software. For me that is clutch, as I often using other people’s laptops and tablets that don’t have PowerPoint loaded to them. Even if I had a memory stick with my presentation on it. I would not be able to use it.
Before changing subjects in this product review, let that functionality sink in.
With Visme, I don’t even need a memory stick, I just log into visme.com and pull up the presentation I created for my client. No need to be without my presentations, no matter where I am.
So, the first thing you notice when logging into Visme is that the application asks you what you want to do, or rather, “What would you like to create?”
OK so this is NOT just like PowerPoint. It’s a tool that allows you to construct slide decks, infographics, banners and something called “custom dimensions”.
Similar to other presentation software products, Visme allows you to choose from a rich selection of very attractive themes with varied images and color palettes. But honestly that is about where the comparisons end.
The first thing I noticed was that when I went to add a new slide I was presented with a large series of pre-formatted theme elements, making layout choices easy, and even adding some pizazz to my own creative thoughts. Slides that embed video, embed data objects, show charts, and display images and active graphics. Nice, right?
Let’s start with the swiftness of actions that are available with a right click. I can arrange, set layers, duplicate, lock and format objects with ease. All the most important things right there for you on the right click.
Feeling “un-creative” at the moment? Staring at that first white slide? Well, Visme has your back by bundling a bunch of royalty free images to lay into your presentation slides right there within the tool. Selling hamburgers and you need to add a cow to your slide, type in “cow” and you have 1,128 images to choose from. No need to go anywhere or pay anything additional. It’s all there in the tool.
With PowerPoint, I am able to save a deck as PPTX, DOC, and PDF. I really haven’t gotten much past that. Well, I didn’t think there was anything beyond that available. Enter Visme. They allow you to share your presentation securely or publicly via URL link, or via social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Pinterest. They provide a code snippet area where you can copy and paste embed code within your website, they allow you to download the entire presentation as a JPG, PNG, PDF or HTML5 document and then even provide a section where you can tweak how your animations and slide deck navigation is handled. WOW! You cannot download the file as PPTX. Which, wasn’t a big deal for me with all those other options. I would compare Visme to YouTube in that they provide every sharing capability as a core competency and not an afterthought.
Overall, I’d say that I enjoyed creating presentations with Visme more than alternative products because the interface was new, the available export formats make my job easier, and I could more quickly create a compelling slide deck for clients.
Well, since Microsoft doesn’t touch Infographics or banner ads in any of their product offerings, I can’t rightly compare the two products, however I do have to say that both Infographics and Banner Ad creation functions work great.
Visme must have invested a lot of time and energy into their infographics functionality as I keep scrolling and scrolling to view their template examples. There is an infographic for every use. In fact, there were so many options, I had a hard time choosing which one to use to best communicate the messaging to the client. That’s a great problem to have.. Too many options.
Normally it would take me several hours, or $200-$300 paid to a contractor to construct custom graphics to fill up the body of an infographic to tell the story. And when time and money are both constrained, a drag and drop rich template environment is a true blessing.
What surprised me was that many of the objects were not simply jpg graphics. I could select them, change their size, and even COLOR! That’s right. If you liked their infographic style, but the colors were all wrong, it just took seconds to re-key the colors to match your brand. That was a strong feature.
Overall, I would rank this infographics functionality to exceed my expectations for the tool, however if you are used to paying hundreds/thousands for infographic designs, this tool will not be for you. The more complex graphics features like gradients, shadows, and the like are missing.
Just like the infographic review, if you are looking for the level of graphics that you see coming out of Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop you should probably go get those tools and learn those skills. If you are a business major who doesn’t have time for a side hustle like graphic designer, then Visme is perfect. It lets you quickly (in mere minutes) create standard sized web banners for use within ad campaigns or across your website.
The resulting graphics are not as crisp as those that come out of Adobe-products but hey, if you can create 15 an hour.. That may benefit you and your organization.
Visme seems to do a great job in the Presentation realm, and it does a good job in allowing busy small business owners to add infographics and banner ads to their marketing capabilities list.
One of the “hidden” features we discovered about a month in on our product trial was how beautiful the tool presented data elements. Drag and drop a bar graph, quickly type in some values, and the bar graph represents your data perfectly. And it looks great! Normally, I would do something like this in Excel, create a pivot table, and then build the bar graph. Ugly, difficult to format and yes, ugly.
To hear from Visme founder Payman Taei in January that the team is doubling down on their data function and graphs, even making them animated.. I was pretty excited. I see this as a data presentation tool, in addition to your “standard” presentation tool. I mean, we all know that executives and our prospects take more actions on data presented in a graphical format. So why not do a damn good job at that? I love the direction Visme is going in.
I am usually very open to kicking the tires on new software products. I enjoy helping to provide constructive feedback, and if I like the product, I want it to do well and grow in a direction that makes their company (and mine) more successful. I really hope Visme is able to address these new data element enhancements, and expand their user-base using growth hacker techniques. I have a personal stake in this now that I have come to use this tool on a very regular basis. It’s fun, does what I need it to, and provides me with a creative spark to build better data presentations.
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