If you’ve been tasked with creating a presentation for an important business meeting, pitch, or training session, you want to be able to create something that is engaging, effective, and professional.
It’s important to make sure you create a high quality presentation, grabbing the viewer’s attention whilst clearly communicating your information.
Are you determined to create a beautiful slideshow, but unsure of which ‘presentation software’ to select? Thanks to developments in technology and the way we interact with one another, an increasing number of presentation tools and apps are now available for use. Not only do they focus on creating slides with a little more flair, they also help us collaborate more easily with colleagues, tell an engaging story to our audiences, and quickly share the beautiful presentations we create.
The team at Saxons has handpicked our favourite presentation apps and tools. We’ve listed our recommendations below, and we’re confident that there is something to suit every presentation need, so you can win over and amaze your audience:
A picture is worth a thousand words, so it is important to create a presentation that allows your audience to visualise your thought process. Prezi is part presentation, part whiteboard and can help tell a story with its non-linear structure. Prezi uses pathways instead of slides, making it perfect for mind-maps, where you can zoom into certain areas for more detail. If it sounds daunting, there are a number of professionally designed templates you can choose from to get started, as well as videos and images. Prezi is cloud-based, making it accessible from any location, which is perfect for collaboration and sharing. Create your first few Prezi presentations for free, or purchase one of the available pre-paid packages for more frequent use or business purposes.
This software is used with iOS devices, such as Mac computers, iPads and iPhones. It is very similar to its rival, Microsoft PowerPoint, as you can add a selection of charts, images, and other visual elements. This program is enjoyable to use, with exciting slide transitions, 3D graphics, the option to add voice over, and much more. Once you have created your presentation, it is seamlessly saved to iCloud, so you can easily access, edit and share it from any iOS device. It’s also free to use on recently purchased Mac computers. You can even download the Keynote Remote to your iPhone and use it as a wireless controller to switch slides!
PowerPoint is one of the most well known tools for creating presentations. It provides everything you need to create professional looking slides, allowing you to add images, graphs, text, animations, and much more. It is also easy to use with its clear user interface. Microsoft PowerPoint isn’t a free tool though, so it is important to take a look at their package costs first.
- Haiku Deck
Haiku Desk is a tool that helps your presentations stand out through fun, simple, and well designed slides. The tool provides you with quality backgrounds, exciting charts, professional designs and colour schemes, millions of stock photos, and more. Haiku Deck requires no design skills, as it is user-friendly and all resources are available for any account holder. It’s also free for you to use, can be accessed via the web and has recently begun to offer integration with SlideShare.
With Flowboard, you’ll no longer have boring slides. Flowboard presentations are made up of interactive screens, so you can show documents, videos, galleries, and navigation, among other features. Flowboard will allow you to create attractive slides with great features, but is still simple to use. Since it was specifically designed for mobile, presentations can be shared easily, and Flowboard provides analytics to monitor views and other key stats.
- Google Slides
Google Slides is a feature of well-known software suite, Google Docs. It is very similar to Microsoft PowerPoint and should be an easy transition for PowerPoint users. Although it may not be the most aesthetic tool, it is easy to use and can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. It is also completely free to use when you have a Google account!
There’s much more to a presentation than just plain text and basic charts. With Projeqt, whether you start from scratch or use an existing presentation, you can make your slides much more dynamic. You can also use the power of social and multimedia to impress your customers, manager or employees. Projeqt allows you to embed live tweets, interactive maps, videos, and many other rich forms of media. Plus, Projeqt is free to use – just register with your email address and you can then easily access your presentation via your browser on any device, so it’s easy to share and collaborate with others. You can also embed it on your website or blog.
Slides is an easy way to create captivating presentations. It is online, so your presentation can be accessed through your browser from anywhere and there’s no need to download any software, regardless of device. You can even embed your presentation onto your website or transform it into a PDF so it is easy to print or share with your audience. That’s not all. Slides is free to use as long as you’re happy to create public desks. For private presentations, there are a number of options with a small monthly fee.
If you’re struggling to really connect with your audience, PowToon may be the perfect tool for you. It’s ideal for creating animated presentations, such as product demos or a how-to videos. This means you don’t have to hire a professional designer or animator, as the tool does everything for you. It’s even free to use for standard definition videos. If you want to download the clips, or have high-definition, there is a small fee for the service.
Create your own whiteboard-style animations for an entertaining and informative presentation. You don’t need any design skills, as everything is quick and easy to set up – just choose your images and add text. VideoScribe will automatically turn it into a captivating presentation, where a hand “draws” your presentation. This does come at a small cost, however you can enjoy a seven day free trial, and see how fun it is to use for yourself!
Canva is a design tool that lets you create a range of items, from posters and business cards to social media cover images and blog graphics. To top it off, they also create presentations. Canva allows you to design stunning slides that will help you capture and delight your audience. There are many layouts to choose from, as well as a variety of images and fonts. Once it’s complete, you can download your presentation or share it online.
In addition to the wonderful presentation design programs we’ve included above, we have found a few others that will allow you to seamlessly share your work.
Upload a presentation to SlideShark and you will be able to access it from any device. This program has a number of great features, such as allowing the presenter to easily jump around slides. You can also broadcast it online, track views, and more.
If you’re sending a presentation to a client or colleague, they may need more than just the slides. A voice-over narration is the perfect way to engage your audience in this situation. With Zentation, you can upload your presentation with a voice over, thereby allowing your viewers to watch the presentation whilst the voice over is playing. This is free to use if your videos are hosted on YouTube. If they’re not, it will come at a cost.
SlideShare is a sharing platform on which you can upload your content for colleagues and customers to view. From here, your presentation can also be embedded on other sites. Alternatively, you can use private sharing so only selected people can view your work. It’s free to use, so get started now!
Try out a few tools and see what works best for your business presentation. With so much incredible technology, designing a stunning, impressive presentation is easy (and cheap)!
For some useful and amusing design tips to keep in mind when designing a presentation, take a look at the following SlideShare presentations:
Do you have any presentation tools or apps you’d like to add? Tweet us @SaxonsTraining with your suggestions!
Photo: Adam Tr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/28991097@N00/ – CC BY-SA 2.0