6 Presentation Software Options to Knock ’em Dead

6

They say that power corrupts, and PowerPoint corrupts absolutely. At least, most of us aren’t at our happiest when we sit down to create a presentation. Public speaking is bad enough without also worrying about what’s behind you. Enter our list of the 6 best presentation software options.

When you give a pitch or a briefing, there’s so much more than just what you say. In fact, a large part of the success of your presentation will depend on how you come across in general.

That includes the presentation itself. Visual elements, transitions and the overall feel of your slides will contribute greatly to how you are perceived. In short, a well constructed presentation could be the difference between people taking you serious or not.

What are the Best Presentation Software Options?

OK, a few years ago the answer would have simply been ‘PowerPoint’. Maybe the last couple of years Google Slides too. But there’s a host of new kids on the block trying to make creating awesome presentations that bit easier.

Typically, they’re more focused on usability, and creating the most professional looking presentations in the shortest time possible. Some presentation software platforms will then throw in some extra features like collaboration or broadcasting.

The question is can any of these up-starts dethrone the existing big wigs? Let’s have a quick look at the pros and cons of each;

SoftwareStarting From
Best Thing About It
Biggest Problem
Prezi$5 per month.Visually impressive presentations.Might be less appropriate for certain contexts.
Deckset$29 one off.Turn text document into presentation.Limited customisation.
Haiku Deck$9.99 per month.Wealth of stock images.Slightly more expensive.
Slidebean$96 per year.Very usable templates.Not ideal if you want to create from scratch
Zoho ShowFree.Broadcasting.Commercial license is priced per user per month
SwipeFree.Easy to share online presentations.Less useful in person.

So, there’s not a massive variation in prices, but you’ll notice all the presentation software options seem to be aimed at slightly different niches. That in mind, let’s take a look at which presentation tool might be right for you!

Presentations tools

Prezi

First up we have Prezi. Starting from $5 per month, this was one of the early alternatives to the major presentation tools. It also has a very distinctive, non-linear visual style. Rather than flipping between static slides, you sort of zoom in and out of particular elements on one master slide.

But don’t think this is a gimmick. There are some really neat enterprise features too. I particularly liked the ‘Smart Branding’ feature. This allows you to upload your logo, and Prezi bases the colour palette for your presentation around what suits your brand identity.

presentation tools

Deckset

With a one off fee of $29, Deckset takes a different approach to presentations again. Indeed, it’s aimed more at design-phobes. The idea is you simply input your notes as text document and Deckset does the rest.

This works with a series of built in templates. Key aspects of these can then be edited, including fonts and colour schemes. It’s very easy to get a workable presentation in a few second, but the trade-off is a little bit less flexibility.

presentation tools

Haiku Deck

Starting at $9.99 per month, Haiku Deck is the priciest of today’s presentation tools. However, I was a big fan of it in terms of use for both online and in-person presentations. To that end, you can record a voiceover and export the presentation as a video file.

The real selling point for me is the inclusion of over 40 million stock images. When you’re trying to create presentations, quite often sourcing decent visuals can quickly become costly, so this is a real asset.

presentation tools

Slidebean

At $96 per year, automation is the name of the game with Slidebean. This is another tool which is more geared towards people who want to work with templates, rather than creating their entire presentation from scratch.

You really just have to input your headings and body copy and then select a theme. The presence of real-time collaboration means that Slidebean could be a very good option for larger organisations, with multiple people working on different elements of a given presentation.

Zoho Show

Zoho Show offers a free version, but it should be noted that for business use you’ll be charged per user per month. Of course, whether or not this is right is highly dependent on your business.

In terms of use, it will feel very familiar to PowerPoint veterans. Although the UI is a little bit more stripped back. What really sets Zoho Show out though is the ability to broadcast your presentations live online, which means it could also be used for the likes of webinars or remote training sessions.

Swipe

Last up there’s Swipe. Again, there’s a free version on offer, but unlimited usage will set you back at least $15 per month. The idea here is slightly different to your normal presentation tools.

The focus is mainly on creating interactive online presentations. Another great option for webinars, as you can create polls and ask for feedback in real time. It’s also completely browser based, so your viewers won’t need any extra software to take part.

Presentation Tools: Final Thoughts

There we have it. Of course, which of these presentation tools is right for you is highly dependent on your individual business. Personally, I’ve always been a big fan of Prezi, both as a presenter and a viewer. However, if I was pressed to go for something a little more traditional, I think it’d have to be Haiku Deck.

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About the author

Ronan McQuilan

I'm a specialist technology copywriter and blogger, originally from Belfast in Ireland. When I'm not writing about software, I'm also a massive folk music nerd.

By Ronan McQuilan

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