Business: The differences you need to know between Canva and Powerpoint

Credits: Canva.com

If you are a regular speaker in front of a group of people then you already know this: your slides can make or break your presentation. Think back to all those presentations you attended where the speaker had unreadable or boring slides. Then such a sit lasts super long. There is an English term for this: Death by PowerPoint. Microsoft PowerPoint has long been the standard for making presentations. But if you really want to make an impact on your audience, be sure to check out Canva for a refreshing approach. Canva expert Ankie compares PowerPoint and Canva for you in this article.

What is Canva?

Canva is the free online design tool of the moment. Anyone can use it to easily create a professional design. Think of social media images, e-books, infographics, posters, maps, but also presentations. Is Canva new to you? Then start with the free basic course Canva.

What you need to know about creating with Canva

Canva is not difficult: Canva has a low learning curve. If you spend a little time with it, you’ll soon be able to create beautiful things with it. Even if you are not a designer, it looks good right away. This is partly due to the huge selection of free templates, which you can use as a starting point for your designs.

Free photos, videos, icons, illustrations, charts, backgrounds, tables and audio: you can use a search function to search the entire Canva library for elements to use in your presentation. Premium elements have a Pro icon, and this requires a small fee to be paid, but the choice of free elements is huge.

Nothing to download or install: because Canva is an online tool, you can start creating your presentation right away. And you can access your slides from any computer with internet. Ideal.

Collaborate: it is super easy to work with multiple people on the same presentation in Canva. You can also easily share your design without anyone being able to edit it.

Inspirational: no inspiration or struggling to get started when creating your presentation? Canva offers thousands of templates that you can use as a starting point. Everything in the templates is fully customizable. You can convert them to your own style with your own pictures and texts.

Few options: Compared to PowerPoint, Canva has fewer options when it comes to presentations. Although this sounds like a disadvantage, it is actually an advantage. You don’t get lost in a forest of features and create your presentation faster in Canva than in PowerPoint.

– Animations: make your slides more interesting by animating certain elements or adding transitions between slides.

Drag & drop: Canva is a so-called drag & drop program. You have found an element you want to use, you grab it and you drag it to the place in your presentation where you want it. Super simple.

Canva app: Everything you design in the online version of Canva is also accessible through the Canva app on your phone. And vice versa. Ideal if you want to make a few changes to your presentation on the go.

Price: Canva is free! Really. The possibilities of the free version of Canva are already huge. You can’t use all the images and elements for free, but for a small extra charge per download you can incorporate them into your design. And if you want even more features and to use all the images and elements for free, you can switch to Canva Pro. You can use Canva Pro 30 days for free to test it out.

Presentation shortcuts: You can present directly from Canva. Either online, or live in front of an audience, with 1 or 2 screens or a beamer. There are many possibilities. During the presentation you can use so-called presentation shortcuts. This allows you to attract the attention of your audience, or call people back to attention. Just press the letter “Q” while presenting. An emoticon appears on the screen that silences the audience, with sound. You can also conjure up a timer, a drum roll to announce something, etc.

Everything about creating presentations in PowerPoint

Everyone, of course, knows PowerPoint, the dinosaur in making presentations. PowerPoint comes standard in the Microsoft Office package. It has been the market leader in this field since the 1990s and the standard in many industries today.

PowerPoint is not difficult: like Canva, PowerPoint is very user-friendly. It looks organized and all functions are easy to find.

Free elements and icons: within PowerPoint you can find a number of elements that you can use in your presentation. But actually you have to add all the visuals yourself.

Lots of possibilities: the possibilities within PowerPoint are really endless. Have fun making your presentation just the way you want it.

Collaboration: like Canva, PowerPoint has the ability to collaborate when creating a slideshow.

Animations: PowerPoint has clearly been the inspiration for Canva in terms of animated slides. Therefore, you can use this to enliven your presentation tremendously to hold the attention of the viewer.

Templates: PowerPoint also features templates. The ideal start for creating your presentation. Templates created by other users can also be imported into PowerPoint after you download them. You will have to put in some extra effort for this.

Price: You can use an online version of PowerPoint for free. This version is also available as a Chrome extension. If you want to install the desktop application, then you will have to purchase a subscription for this.

– Hacks: there are many hacks and workarounds online to make a great presentation in PowerPoint.

PowerPoint and Canva are both powerful programs for creating a presentation. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. Canva is clearly competing with PowerPoint in the area of presentation making and is working hard to gain market share. And Canva also looks just a bit more modern and fresh and feels less cumbersome to work with.

Canva is free to work with, although you will have some limitations. If you take out a Canva Pro subscription then you have free access to many more photos, videos, audio and other elements. One of the additional benefits of Canva Pro is that you can create multiple branded materials, per project or per client. In these you record logos, corporate colors and fonts. You can then convert an existing template into your chosen corporate identity with just a few clicks.

Ankie’s preference is Canva. It offers everything she needs and she can use it to express her creativity better than PowerPoint. She can also easily integrate (parts of) other designs into her Canva presentation. To her, Canva works more intuitively, which she really likes. And if you really need to, you can always download your presentation from Canva as a PowerPoint presentation.


Need help setting up your Canva account or creating your Canva presentations? Or would you prefer to start from your own custom made templates? Find more info here or get in touch.

This article has been written in collaboration with Graphic Avenue

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