Do you need to make a report that can wow your businesses? Perhaps a presentation that works well with your bored students? For this – and many more reasons – you are going to need a presentation software. As the name suggests, it is a program that allows you to show information by way of a slide show.
Much has changed since the first software programs were launched. Jurassic presentation programs were then made to create 35 mm slides to be loaded to a slide projector. These were slowly phased out as companies swapped their slide projectors for high-tech video projectors.
With that being said, if you want to present your info in an easily understandable manner – and impress your boss or students at the same time – then you need to try any of these topnotch presentation software programs:
Adobe Connect is more than just a presentation software. This suite also provides web conferencing, desktop sharing, and remote training. It takes pride in being one of the most secure platforms on the planet, given its multi-layered security approach.
Adobe Connect permits the upload, download, and management of several presentation types, including PPTX, PDF, JPEG, GIF, and MP4, to name a few. It also comes with a Leverage Backstage and Prepare mode, where presenters and moderators can work together during a session.
Adobe Connect also offers a free 90-day trial for interested users. Paid plan costs, on the other hand, depend on the billing agreement. For monthly payments, prices range from $50 to $370 per month. The annual fees, on the other hand, cost anywhere from $540 to $3500.
1. All in one product
If you are looking for a presentation software that goes up and beyond, then Adobe Connect is for you. It’s best for educational institutions and businesses with users that need to interact regularly, especially in this time of social distancing and what not.
2. High Degree of Security
As mentioned, Adobe Connect boasts of multi-layered security. This means your files remain safe and secured, even if you share it regularly with other people.
While this is an advantage, it can be a boon to not-so-techy users. If you want to make the most out of Adobe Connect, chances are you are going to need a technician to help you do so.
Canva is a presentation program that allows you to ‘design anything and publish (it) anywhere.’ It comes with more than 50,000 templates, ranging from presentations and posters to Zoom virtual backgrounds.
Canva allows you to make presentations in just a few clicks, given its library of over 1 million stock images. You can also add your own photos, so you can make a more ‘personal’ slide show.
You can make use of your brand logo to use in your Canva presentation as well. With over 120 fonts to choose from, the possibilities prove to be almost endless with this program.
Canva offers a free plan for individuals and small groups. A Pro plan, on the other hand, promises more customization and productivity for $9.95 per user, per month for annual pricing. The cost is markedly higher for monthly billing, which is $12.95.
The Enterprise plan, in the meantime, costs $30 per user per month. It includes all features, with additional unlimited storage and 24/7 support.
1. Free Features
You don’t need to spend a penny to use most of Canva’s resources. You can easily make presentations, among many other things, with its free plan. Outside the watermarked pictures, Canva offers a good value for zilch.
2. Easy to Use
You don’t have to be a techy person to be able to use Canva. Just a few clicks and you can create a presentation by yourself.
3. Many Templates
Canva is not limited to presentations. Whatever you wish to make, there’s a good chance that Canva has a template for it. You can create a Mood Board, a bingo card, even a meme with just a few clicks.
1. Editing Problems with the Mobile App
Canva has a mobile app for designers on-the-go. However, it’s harder to edit and resize with the app.
2. Free Images Mixed with Premium
If you are using a free account and find yourself searching for images, chances are you will see that the free photos are mixed together. This means it will take some time for you to sort things out – unless you want to use a watermarked picture in your project.
Google Slides is a presentation program that allows you to create beautiful, impactful, and inspiring slide shows. It comes with numerous themes, fonts, animations, embedded videos, and more.
If you don’t have the time or the know-how to create your own design, worry not as Google Slides offers templates that you can use easily.
If you need to collaborate with other users, you can do so with Google Slides’ sharing feature. Not only does it permit editing in real-time, but it also comes with a chat and comment feature.
Google Slides is not confined to PC use. You can also edit your presentations through your smartphone or tablet.
Google Slides is available for free for personal use. There are also paid plans, which are specifically designed for businesses. G Suite Essentials normally costs $10 per user per month, though it is available for free until September 30, 2020. There’s also the G Suite Enterprise Essentials package, however, you need to contact the Sales department for a price quote.
1. Automatic Saving Feature
No need to hit the save button every so often. Google Slides does the automatic saving for you.
2. Offline Editing Feature
Compared to other programs, Google Slides allows its users to edit their presentations offline. So even if you don’t have the internet, you can make changes to your slide show right away.
3. Wireless Broadcasting
You don’t have to get entangled in a bunch of wires to make your Google Slides presentation. You can project your slide show with the help of Chromecast Hangouts or Airplay.
1. Editing Issues with PowerPoint
If you wish to open your Google Slides-edited presentation with PowerPoint, you will be met with a couple of challenges. The bullet point design may be changed, and in some cases, the bullet might end up in a differently new location.
2. Slide Transition Issues
You can’t change the transition times for every slide as you can only put one ‘time length’. If your slide would require the readers more time to read, then you need to break this up into several other pieces.
When it comes to a presentation software that is specifically designed for worship, know that MediaShout is the perfect program for you. This reliable yet time-saving platform is a favorite amongst many users who are engaged in church or ministerial services.
For one, its interface has everything you could ever want for a worship presentation. It has a ribbon bar for bibles and lyrics, as well as a Script box for the ‘more important’ items in your slide. It also has the option of a plug-in for transitions, key objects, and cues library.
MediaShout also comes with a Sermon Builder, which you can use as a basis for your presentations.
MediaShout offers a 30-day free trial for Windows and MAC computer users. If you like what you see, you can opt for a Plus membership, which costs $17 a month or $149 a year.
1. All-in-One Feature
You don’t have to access multiple programs for your church presentation. Apart from its basic features, MediaShout comes with add-ons for bible verses, hymns, and songs.
2. Excellent Customer Support
Many clients are raving over MediaShout’s support service. Reps are patient and helpful, and they are sure to assist you cheerfully with any of your concerns.
Limited Tutorial Resources
MediaShout offers a video tutorial, but that’s about it. It does not have a written/text guide, which a lot of users prefer.
PowerPoint is perhaps one of the more famous presentation software programs in the market. It allows for easy slide creation with the help of its Designer program. It also has 40 available templates, if you don’t have time to make one from scratch.
You also have the option to add 3D objects and animations – whether it’s your own or sourced from the PowerPoint library.
PowerPoint comes also with a ‘while you were away’ feature, where you can keep track of recent changes in your presentation.
Microsoft PowerPoint can be availed through bundled offers. The Office & Home Student 2019 plan, which comes with PowerPoint, Word, and Excel, comes with a one-time payment of $149.99.
The Microsoft 365 personal plan, on the other hand, costs $69.99 per year or $6.99 per month. This plan comes with the 3 core programs, as well as Note, Outlook, Access, and Publisher.
Microsoft 365 Family, which can be used by up to 6 people, costs $99.99 per year or $9.99 month.
As for business plans, they are usually priced according to an annual commitment. The fees (per user, per month) are as follows: $5 for Business Basic, $12.50 for Business Standard, $20 for Business Premium, and $8.25 for Apps for Business.
1. Interactive Features
With PowerPoint, presentation-making is no longer confined to your laptop or PC. You can use touch, ink, or even your voice to make a presentation. Heck, you can even transform your handwritten notes into much legible computer text.
2. Presenter Coach
PowerPoint goes beyond the presentation itself. It also has a Presenter coach, which can make recommendations in terms of word choice or pacing.
3. Various File Saving Options
PowerPoint programs are not limited to the PPTX suffix. It could also be saved as a PDF, JPEG, or another file type that you deem fit.
1. Not Available for Separate Purchase
Compared to other programs, PowerPoint cannot be purchased ‘alone.’ You need to pay for a bundle, which usually comes with Word and Excel. As such, you need to spend a great deal of money just to get this presentation software.
2. Overwhelming Additional Features
PowerPoint strives to improve itself as the years go by. However, these additional features could be confusing to the user. Worse, he/she might end up using everything – and this could lead to a visually distracting (instead of informative) presentation.
PicMonkey is a presentation software that allows you to create show-stopping figures for Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram. It allows you to design slide shows easily with its vector graphics, effects, text tools, and several other features.
Then again, you can also use the pre-made templates that PicMonkey has to offer. Whether you are making a slide show, social media post, or flyer, PicMonkey has the design that you need. As a bonus, it also has a photo editor that comes with numerous filters and amazing effects.
PicMonkey’s plan prices differ according to the billing schedules. For monthly payments, the Basic plan costs $7.99. The Pro and Team plans cost $12.99 and $33.99 respectively.
As with other programs, there are more discounts with annual payments. Basic will cost you $72, while the Pro and Team plans cost $120 and $300 respectively.
1. Free Trial
While PicMonkey does not have a free plan, it offers a 7-day free trial. Here, you can take PicMonkey out for a spin to see if it’s the best presentation software for your needs.
2. Mobile or Tablet App Availability
You can edit your presentations on-the-go with the PicMonkey app.
3. Tutorials and Resource Center
While PicMonkey is relatively easy to use, you may have some questions about certain features. Well, you can get the answers that you need right away by accessing PicMonkey’s tutorials page and resource center.
1. Some Glitches Along the Way
Many users complain of PicMonkey bugging down in the middle of a project. Since this happens more often than not, it’s best to save your presentation whenever you can. If not, you might lose all the progress in the middle of a glitch.
2. One-at-a-Time Downloading and Uploading
You can’t load your presentations or designs in one fell swoop. If you wish to do so, you need to upload or download your projects one by one.
If you want to create presentations, infographics, and print media with relative ease, then Piktochart is what you are looking for.
For one, it has over 800 professionally-designed templates for you to choose from. Once you have chosen one, you can go ahead and add images, videos, charts, and animated icons. And when you get done, you can go ahead and share (even print) your finished product.
Piktochart offers several tools for presentation makers. It boasts of a large library of icons and photos. It also allows you to create charts and graphs, so you can convey your sales pitch even better. If you like, you can also import videos from Youtube or Vimeo.
Piktochart offers a free plan that is limited to 5 active visuals. The monthly fee for Pro is $29 and $52 for the Pro team. For savings of up to 25%, you can avail of the annual plan that costs $24.17 for Pro and $43.33 for Pro team.
Bigger discounts await educational institutions and non-profit groups.
1. Easy to Use
You don’t have to browse through the tutorials (though you can) to use Piktochart proficiently. The program is easy and simple to use, allowing you to create beautiful presentations in a matter of minutes.
2. Free 30-day Trial
While Piktochart has a free plan, you can navigate through the paid features by signing up for a free 30-day trial. Who knows? You might like what you see.
No Password-Protection for Published Visuals
If you signed up for the free plan, privacy may be an issue for you. There is no password protection for published projects, so it’s not advisable if you need to make a presentation with sensitive data.
Want to create visually-appealing videos and presentations? Then you should consider Powtoon, a presentation software that is perfect for work, school, even personal use.
This program claims to be better than video, as Powtoons are known to engage, explain, and sell with much impact. For one, it’s known to grab more attention compared to videos or simple text.
Powtoon pricing depends on the plan you wish to get. If you want to pay monthly, the cost is $89 for the Pro plan, $197 for Pro+, and $97 for Agency.
For annual pricing, the fees will decrease to $27 for Pro and $37 for Pro+. The price of $97 remains for the Agency package.
All paid plans include removed Powtoon branding, MP4 download option, Full HD video (1080p) feature, and 24/7 priority support.
Although this is the case, Powtoon is not just reserved for big industries. Personal users can avail of the free package, where you can make a presentation at 3 minutes max. This free package also comes with 100MB of storage.
1. Ready-Made Templates
If you are new to the world of Powtoon, you need not spend a lot of time going through the tutorial. Powtoon has drag-and-drop templates that you can fill up easily. By using this option, you can come up with a presentation in as short as 20 minutes.
2. Integrative Program
With Powtoon, you can access various media collections such as Flickr or Storyblocks for your presentation. You can also publish your Powtoon on most platforms, including Facebook and Youtube. Better yet, you can add Powtoon to your app, so your client can make his/her own presentation without leaving your program.
3. Excellent Support
Powtoon has a training center for people who find it hard to navigate through the system. It also offers a live webinar, as well as a support center that offers some extra help from other Powtoon users.
1. No Offline Editing Option
If you want to use Powtoon, you need to be online all the time. It does not have an offline editing option, and as such, you cannot tinker with your presentation without an internet connection.
2. Long Waiting Times
You may need to wait a few minutes to upload images and videos. There are times when the program would hang, so you need to save your presentation whenever possible!
Renderforest is a presentation software that also serves as a website, logo, animation, and video maker.
One of its features is Renderforest Video, a cloud-based system that can help you create videos for presentation purposes. It is not limited to that, as your video outputs can be used for weddings, invitations, even Youtube content.
Another good offering is Renderforest Logo, where you can create your own brand in a matter of minutes. Renderforest sites, on the other hand, allows you to make a professional-looking website in under an hour.
Renderforest offers a ‘free forever’ plan where you are entitled to make 3-minute (max) videos. There are also several paid plans, with prices ranging according to the billing scheme. Monthly plans cost $39 for Amateur, $69 for Pro, and $99 for Popular.
Yearly plans (on a monthly payment basis) cost $9.99 for Amateur, $24.99 for Pro, and $39.99 for Popular. The Agency plan, which is the highest tier, costs $49.99.
1. Easy to Use
You don’t have to be a computer wizard to use Renderforest. The program comes with templates that allow you to work on videos, logos, and websites in just a few clicks.
2. 24/7 Free Customer Support
If you have questions about Renderforest, you can access the support page no matter what time it is. This makes the program a good deal for night owls, as well as users who live in other parts of the globe.
3. Roll-Over Credits
If you haven’t maxed out all your video credits for the month, you need not worry. Renderforest offers a roll-over option, so you can use these additional credits for next month’s project.
1. No Offline Editing Feature
If you don’t have an internet connection, you would not be able to edit any of your Renderforest presentations. This is a boon for people who can’t be online whenever they wish to be.
2. Limited Options for the Free Plan
Like most presentation programs, Renderforest’s free plan has some glaring limitations. For one, the output is often of sub-par quality. The images are also watermarked, and thus can be unpleasing to the eyes.
Founded in 2009, Prezi is a presentation software that gives popular programs (such as PowerPoint) a run for their money.
It comes with “Smart Structures,” which allow you to arrange content by dragging and dropping. It also has a “Zoom Reveal” that can help you unmask important details as you push through with your presentation.
Prezi comes with designer templates, as well as reusable presentations.
Prezi offers a personal use Standard plan, which costs $5 a month. For a paid program, the features are fairly limited. It does not come with an offline access option, as well as a presenter view.
The Plus plan is specially designed for expert visual communicators. As the most popular Prezi package, it costs $15 per month.
For businesses, Prezi offers a Premium plan, which costs $59 per month. This comes with the most number of features, including presentation analytics and advanced online training.
All of these plans come with a free trial option.
1. Allows Editing of Other Slide Shows
If you want to make your slides more engaging, you can do so easily with Prezi. All you need to do is upload your presentation. You can transform it into a Prezi masterpiece in as little as 10 minutes.
2. Online and Offline Feature
With its cloud-based software, Prezi allows you to make presentations online or offline. This allows you and your fellow users to collaborate on a certain project, wherever you might be.
3. Remote Presentation Clicker
You don’t need to buy a remote for your presentation. Prezi allows you to use your mobile phone as a clicker for your slide show.
1. Limited Zoom Functions
While its zoom reveal makes it different from other programs, it has become one of its waterloos. This can make your photos look fuzzy, if not pixelated.
2. Limited Design Features
Although Prezi offers templates, the options are limited – especially during the free trial. There’s really not a lot of fonts and colors to choose from, and as such, they can be huge drawbacks for many users.
Samepage is a one-stop-shop for project management, communication, meeting organization, and online collaboration.
One of its features is a presentation software, which allows you to add diagrams, videos, text, images, spreadsheets, and maps from any device.
Samepage offers a free plan that is ideal for personal use, as well as small teams. It allows for unlimited members, guests, folders, pages, and chats. It also comes with Communication and Collaboration features, as well as 2GB storage.
The Standard plan costs $7.50 per user, per month. Apart from the free features, this includes 1TB storage, folder access rights, and change tracking capacity. It also comes with live and in-product support.
The Pro plan, on the other hand, costs $9 per user, per month. Apart from the Standard plan features, this comes with extended admin capabilities, admin-controlled membership, content manager mode, and an additional 1TB per user.
The Pro plan also comes at a reduced cost of $6 for non-profit organizations and educational institutions.
1. Easy to Use
Although Samepage integrates everything you could ever ask for in an app, this program remains easy to use. It is easily navigable, and if you find yourself stuck, there are webinars and live online support and tutorials.
2. Customizable Layout
You could easily personalize your Samepage program. This allows you to focus on programs or projects that you need the most.
3. All-in-One Program
You don’t have to access multiple apps to communicate, organize meetings, and collaborate with other team members. Samepage does this for you. With this integrative program, you can do everything within the confines of the software.
1. Sub-Par Video Qualities
Samepage video content is not as high def as you would expect, compared to other presentation software programs. However, it’s good enough to use for a small presentation.
2. Limited Features
While Samepage is an all-in-one program, its presentation software does lack some features. For one, it has no offline editing option. It does not have 3D objects, audio content, animations, and transitions. While it makes good presentations, it will not be as ‘animated’ as you wish it would be.
Xtensio is a presentation program that allows you to create and share impactful projects. It comes with sections where you can format your folio into horizontal slides. Here, you can modify the background color and images as you deem fit.
The Canvases feature, on the other hand, helps you adjust the layout. You can change the number of columns, and insert a user persona as you wish. Modules, which serve as content containers, give you the freedom to edit the color scheme and modules as necessary.
Xtensio has a free plan that is limited to only 2 folios. If you need to make 10, then you have to sign up for the Pro plan that costs $15 per month. For an unlimited number of folios, you need to pay for the $25-a-month Business plan.
1. Easy to Use Program
Xtensio is one of the presentation programs that are undoubtedly easy to use. Even non-professionals can create slide shows well with this software.
2. Shareable Publications
You don’t have to send your presentation as an attachment to share your work. Xtensio allows you to send a link of your project through e-mail or text. The recipient just needs to access the link to take a look at your slide show.
Limited Diagrams Available
If your slide show needs to make use of different diagrams, then you might need to look beyond Xtensio. This is one of the program’s drawbacks, as it does not have diagrams such as a radar chart for comparison.
Frequently Asked Questions
A presentation is a good way to grab (and maintain) your audience’s attention.
Humans have a short attention span. According to a study, the average attention span is only 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds in the year 2000.
As such, you are going to need a presentation software for these benefits:
a. Better audience engagement
As a presenter, you want your audience’s eyes on you. You don’t want them texting or chatting with their seatmates. The best way to do so is to make use of presentations, which are designed better than just simple text.
Presentations are crafted with much thought and consideration. It comes with audio, video, and other content that can surely catch the eye of the people around you.
b. Enhanced collaboration and sharing
Paper lectures and flyers are not that interesting. To make matters worse, it would cost you some money to have them reproduced. This would not be a problem with presentations. You can upload your slide show or send a link to interested audience members.
As for a team, a presentation ensures collaboration. Users can add useful data that can further improve the quality of the slide show.
There are many things you need to consider when looking for a presentation software.
First, you should work on a software that fits your budget. While there are many free programs out there, they usually have limited features.
Then again, the lower-priced plans have some glaring limitations as well. As such, you may need to pay a certain price to unlock all the features that you need.
b. Ease of Use
You should also consider ease of use. If you are a newbie or non-professional, you should opt for a software that is easy to use – or one that is guided by several tutorials.
Can you do projects both offline and online? Most programs only offer the latter, so if you don’t always have an internet connection, you need to choose a program that can do both.
d. Device Use
While it’s best to make a presentation using a PC, there may be times when you need to edit it through your mobile device. A good presentation software allows you to access your project through any device, wherever you might be.
Some projects have sensitive content that should not be shared with the public. With that being said, you can’t upload them in a free account where password protection is not offered. If this is the case, you need to pay for a program that promises the utmost privacy and security for your presentations.
f. Program Specialization
You also need to check the program’s specialization. Is it more for businesses, or educational institutions? To wit: if you are working for a church or a ministry, you should pick MediaShout as the software is specifically designed for worship.
g. Content Embedding
While many software programs offer a lot of images and videos, you may need to upload your own media. Check to see if the program allows you to embed images, GIFs, videos, audio, and other forms of media. After all, these add-ons can make your presentation more interesting to your viewers.
The available templates should be taken into consideration as well, especially if you are not a pro-designer. It’s not only about leaning towards a software with the most number of templates. You need to see the quality of these templates as well. Check to see if the quality is compromised when the project is opened with another presentation software.
You may need to work with some teammates to complete a certain presentation. If this is the case, then you need a software that comes with collaborative features.
Presentations can help boost sales, as well as improve the internal structure of your business.
a. Improves Customer Engagement
You can write all of your product’s strong suits in 20 papers, yet this will not guarantee you a sale. You won’t expect your clients to spend a lot of time reading through white paper. It’s boring, even if it’s filled with helpful information.
This where a presentation comes in. It is more engaging and is often sparse with text. A slide show focuses on images, videos, and other media that people find captivating. It allows you to highlight your product’s features, without going into unnecessary detail. A good presentation, made with a reliable software, can help transform potential customers into surefire buyers.
b. Versatile and Flexible
A hard copy brochure is just that – you can’t edit or update it whenever necessary. However, a presentation allows you to make changes as you deem fit. You can edit your slide show to make it ‘more fitting’ of a certain business. As with most sales pitches, you need to change your tone according to the industry.
Do you find your workmates bored with every white paper meeting? You cannot expect everyone to read and finish your text-heavy paper. If you want to keep them tuned in with what you have to say, then you need to shift to a presentation approach. Not only is it economical, but it is also highly beneficial.
For one, this allows you to focus on the more important aspects of the meeting. Better yet, you don’t have to print several copies to give away.
All you just need to do is use a projector and you can get started with the meeting.
Presentation software allows users to share information creatively and engagingly. There are 12 programs presented in this article, each with its own pros and cons.
Apart from reading through its benefits and disadvantages, there are many other things you need to consider before signing up for a presentation software plan. They include your budget, program accessibility and ease of use, security, and collaboration options, to name a few.
Since presentation software can help promote engagement, it proves to be a good program for all kinds of professionals who want to keep their audience interested.