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How to build beautiful presentations on your iPad

(MoneyWatch) Most of us use a single program to create presentations: PowerPoint. And that's fine, for the most part -- PowerPoint can be trusted to create solid, serviceable decks with text, images, transitions and all the other stuff you expect. Unfortunately, our exclusive reliance on PowerPoint does mean that all of our slides tend to look more or less alike.

If you want to try something different, something that will set your presentations apart from everyone else in the office, you could try your hand at Prezi, an awesome online presentation tool that I've recommended before. Or if you have an iPad, you could install the free Haiku Deck, which gives you everything you need to make simple, but attractive, presentations right on your iPad.

That said, in its current form Haiku Deck lacks many of the more advanced features in PowerPoint. There are no transitions or animations, for example, nor can you embed videos, sounds or links.

But what it does do, it does very well. It's easy to choose from among 16 visually arresting themes and a handful of slide layouts. Adding text is a snap, and -- here's where Haiku really shines -- the image options are awesome. In particular, I love the way Haiku searches online for rights-free images that match keywords in your slides. Browse images that correspond to your slide ideas, and you can immediately add those visuals to your presentation.

When you're done, you can run the presentation from your iPad, post it online or share it as a PDF.

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