Don’t get me wrong. I love Apple’s Keynote program. In fact, this was the very program that got me to consider switching from my PC in the first place. But now, after using Keynote for almost 18 months, I have to admit that sometimes PowerPoint is the better choice.
In general, I think that Keynote is the better when you want to motivate or to inspire. On the other hand, PowerPoint may be the better choice if you need to inform or educate—not always, but sometimes.
For example, I have been working on a presentation for our Board regarding our new employee bonus program. Initially, I started the project in Keynote. I knew the presentation would require numerous tables with lots of financial data. I started to create the tables in Keynote (which has a pretty nifty formula function), but it quickly became too cumbersome. So, I switched to PowerPoint where I could embed my Excel tables directly. This made updating the tables a snap.
In the process, I was also reminded of a couple of functions I actually liked better in PowerPoint. For starters, the drawing tools are much better and more robust in PowerPoint. They made creating my diagrams a breeze. (PowerPoint 2007 kicks this up several notches. The new SmartArt function is amazing.) When I finished, I created a PDF of the presentation to email to my Board. I was shocked by how small the file was—about half a meg. In my experience, Keynotes files are almost always huge.
Finally, I could easily share my PowerPoint deck with my staff, so they could double-check my calculations and modify the actual slides. Since I am one of the few people in my company who uses Keynote, this is not something I have been able to do easily.
I am not ready to go back to PowerPoint exclusively. I still love Keynote and am preparing two new presentations using it. My only point is that you have to pick the right tool for the job. And, though it sounds like heresy, sometimes even Microsoft gets it right.