Presentation software broadly refers to software programs that help display cohesive information in the form of a slide show. They come handy whenever someone has to deliver a presentation. An excellent presentation software largely has three parts for the three primary functions. These include an editor for the input of formatted or unformatted data, a method for inserting and appreciating tabular information and finally a slide-show utility to display the required content. Slide presentation software may be regarded as the major enabler of a functionally specific way to represent textual, graphical or tabular data on slides, with a distinct style of its own in contrast with traditional presentation media.
Top Best 8 Presentation Software in 2020
- Prezi Next
- LibreOffice Impress
- Apple Keynote
- Flow Vella
- WPS Office Presentation
There is hardly any professional on earth who hasn’t used any presentation software in his or her lifetime. Presentations are commonplace. Be it product descriptions, some form of public speaking, or even hosting a webinar explaining profit margins and revenue figures and whatnot, chances are high that informative slides roll along with the presentation. The best presentation tools aim to make a visible difference in how they are delivered. This is especially more pronounced during these trying times. With social distancing norms in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of the corporate work, teaching, and the like are being done online from the safety of homes.
What makes up a great Presentation Software
When it comes to the best presentation tools, there are cool presentation software as well as common ones. The digital world has come a long way since the first presentation programs were invented. Of course, Microsoft Powerpoint, developed in 1987 is the most widely used presentation software in the world, but it’s not without its flaws and complexities, which is why alternatives have sprung up left, right, and centre.
But what exactly are the ingredients needed to cook up a successful presentation software? Looking out for the best ppt software makes us want flexible and efficient programs. From academic instruction delivery to board meetings and Church sermons, slide-shows today are deployed in almost anything. So the best presentation software should compulsorily contain the following :
1. Ready to use templates
The presentation programs should feature ready to use templates for maximum productivity. Readymade designs are so much better than plain bland options in so many ways.
2. Collaborations and easy sharing
Gone are the days of working as lone wolves. Productive people generally work in groups and often remotely nowadays. A cool presentation software offers easy options for collaborations and sharing of work.
3. Media support
Text-based slides hardly cut it anymore. Presentation programs need support for easy narration recording and also support for video insertion to make the session more fruitful.
4. Graphics options
What if you are short on time and need to create a presentation for that quick meeting? You certainly can’t scavenge the whole internet for graphics, animations, and other such stuff to make your presentation look good. Interactive presentation software should have in-house options for quirky animations and custom graphics to save your time and efforts while not losing out on the eye-candy.
5. Convenience Features
Best presentation tools must have extra convenience features like a full-fledged presenter tool for ease of usage. Data analytics, live polling, etc. are nice to have, as well.
How to determine the best presentation software for your needs
In today’s world, we are almost always spoilt for choice. There are umpteen options available for almost everything we look for. It’s no different when choosing the best presentation programs for your needs. So how do you choose what is best for you? Do you simply go for the “conventional” or are you okay with diving deep to look beyond the obvious to pinpoint the exact slide-show presentation software for your needs?
Let’s find out.
Assuming you want to opt for a certain slide presentation software for your next project, familiarity might play the central role in your decision making. If you are already familiar with a certain ppt software (read: MS Powerpoint), you might genuinely find yourself at crossroads when deciding the ideal presentation interactive presentation software.
You might need the most features for your animated presentations even if you have to opt for something which you have never used before.
How open will you be to trying out something new? What is the learning curve of the one you chose over the one you already know? Is it worth the extra effort to learn the Powerpoint alternatives you have in mind?
2. Ease of usage
What good is a feature-packed cool presentation software if you find the UI overwhelming or the software as a whole difficult to use? After all, productivity is what we all aim for. Ease of usage is a real criterion to determine whether a particular slide-show presentation software you have shortlisted is suited to you. This is often subjective, though and not everything is for everyone.
To make the most of the presentation software, you need to choose carefully. There are many presentation software examples that might be the looker but not the doer when it comes to your exact needs. And some of us have had this experience the hard way!
Of course, this is a huge consideration when weighing up the best presentation tools as per your needs. There are paid programs like Microsoft Powerpoint (as a part of Microsoft Office Suite) as well as umpteen free alternatives like, say, LibreOffice Impress which, if spent proper time on, would produce equally good if not better presentations. In many scenarios, the budget often becomes the deciding factor when choosing the best interactive presentation software for your needs.
Not everyone works on the same platform. Not everybody can work on the same platform as well. My preferred choice of the platform might be Linux, and yours might be MS Windows. Some may even opt for cloud-based slide presentation software which helps with collaborative efforts.
The choice of platforms might trump every other consideration out there.
5. Required features
Most of the popular interactive presentation software nowadays is feature-packed. Even so, they may differ slightly. The implementation of the features you require the most might not be identical.
Presentation Software examples: The best Powerpoint alternatives
As things stand, there are a plethora of presentation programs and software available today which offer solid replacements to MS Powerpoint. Although Powerpoint is still the numero uno option for the masses, many still look for Powerpoint alternatives due to its various shortcomings like no cross-platform compatibility, the questionable performance of the online version, and of course the high license fees.
Read on to know about the most popular Presentation Software examples.
1. Prezi Next
Prezi Next is one of the best Powerpoint alternatives you can find. The best thing about Prezi is, it’s feature-packed with a large graphics and animation library but at the same time relatively easy to use.
The best thing about Prezi is probably it’s the ease of use. With a slick and straightforward UI, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how to make eye-catchy presentations. It has a large collection of custom templates, gifs, videos, emojis, and even a voiceover feature, although you have to pay for that.
Talking of cost, Prezi Next has a free version that is made for just the barebone functions. The paid plans start at USD 7 for individuals, while the versions aimed at teams are more expensive.
Visme is a good Prezi alternative. You can create good looking, interactive, and animated presentations using Visme. Like Pr works on the web, which in turn helps bypass local system architecture limitations.
This presentation software also features a large selection of graphics, icons, and even royalty-free pictures to take your presentation to the next level.
Visme has both free and paid options. The paid version starts at USD 14 per user per month. There are other plans as well, letting you choose one which is most practical for you.
Ludus is yet another good Powerpoint alternative and in turn a Prezi alternative as well. Ludus is highly customizable and has almost every feature under the sun to make gorgeous presentations. It’s especially for the artistically inclined users who stop at nothing to make their presentations look like works of art.
Although this interactive presentation software is highly customizable, you don’t need to be a Photoshop expert in utilizing all of that. The user-friendly beginners’ tutorial makes sure you don’t go in blind – it contains a neatly organized collection of guides for the most common tasks expected from such a suite.
Ludus, unfortunately, doesn’t have a free version although there is a 30-day free trial period for new users. After that, it would set you back by USD 14.99/ month, which is billed annually.
The paid version features a remote control, advanced sharing, and collaboration, password protecting presentations, and also embedding on websites such as Notion and Medium.
4. LibreOffice Impress
This is part of the LibreOffice Office Suite pre-installed on most Linux Distros these days. But even Windows and macOS users can take advantage of this brilliant presentation software. Thus this is truly cross-platform while being locally installable.
The main highlight of this is, it’s completely open-source and thus, effectively free irrespective of the platform you install it on.
Powerpoint users would feel almost at home while using LibreOffice Impress as the UI is (intentionally?) made similar to Powerpoint, with some minor changes here and there.
As for features, it has everything you need to create beautifully animated presentations. It features the best presentation tools, like an extensive collection of graphic images, gifs, and more. There are also video and audio embedding options that work just like in Powerpoint.
Thus it’s a truly free Powerpoint alternative. If you are someone who loves using open-source rather than closed-source software, this is definitely for you.
5. Apple Keynote
It should be clear from the name which fruit.. erm.. tech company has developed it. This is a great Powerpoint alternative for the Apple ecosystem and comes pre-installed with every Apple device, be it Macbooks running on macOS or iPads on iPad OS or iPhones on iOS.
This presentation software is particularly known for being slick and fast. It also sports a good number of animation options. The typography, as well as beautiful fonts, make it a pleasure to work with.
As such, it is particularly effective when creating interactive presentations. Of course, the Apple-only architecture severely limits its usage on other platforms like Linux, Android, or Windows, but at the very least they have included a web version too. This can be accessed on browsers running on non-Apple systems using your unique Apple ID.
It is free on Apple ecosystems when it comes to the price, as it comes pre-installed. If needed, it can also be uninstalled and installed from the Apple app store on all types of Apple devices.
Do you want to sound like a tech-stud using AI-powered web-based presentation software? Then Slidebean is definitely for you. This offers a whole set of automation options that others don’t provide.
You are presented with two options when you attempt to create your first slide – either start with a preset template or start from scratch. If you choose the latter, the built-in AI features will start suggesting to you what themes and fonts to choose based on your presentation type and format. Although what the AI suggests is more than enough on most occasions, you can always manually customize if that’s your cup of tea.
The tight integration of AI throughout the whole software is impressive, to say the least. AI will guide you every step of your way, and it can even arrange the order of slides for you to bring the best parts to the fore if you’re unsure yourself.
As far as the cost goes, it has both a free and a paid version starting from USD 8 monthly (again billed annually).
Another great unique and interactive presentation software for Apple ecosystem fanboys.
FlowVella has everything you need to be able to call it an all-rounder and more, except for cross-platform integration. Like Apple Keynote, this one runs on Apple OSs only. The silver lining here is like Keynote again, and it retains a web-based version.
FlowVella has custom fonts, beautiful preset templates with good template customization options allowing you to experiment. But what sets it apart is its ‘Kiosk mode’ which converts any presentation if you so wish, to something resembling a portable digital billboard. This way, cross-device compatibility is no more an issue – half of your slides won’t get cut off when you switch from your Macbook to your iPad.
FlowVella offers a free as well as paid version like many others in this list. Prices start from USD 10 monthly and go all the way up to USD 60 annually.
8. WPS Office Presentation
This is similar to LibreOffice in many aspects, other than the fact that it is a Chinese-origin software.
WPS Office, like LibreOffice, is a truly cross-platform office suite as it has apps for Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and most other popular platforms. Also, like LibreOffice, it has a whole office suite consisting of a Writer analogous to MS Word, a Presentation software analogous to Powerpoint, and a Spreadsheet software analogous to MS Excel. It is also truly free to use a platform like LibreOffice.
One thing which we noticed during its testing is that it has very good MS Office inter-compatibility. It means slides made in either software will look and behave very similarly when running on each other. But there are some font issues as many proprietary Microsoft Fonts are not available in WPSOffice, and you have to make do with the Chinese counterparts.
A feature worth mentioning is that WPSOffice has a tab-like UI feature wherein you can open PDFs, PPTs, XLSs, and DOCs in the same instance of the software on individual tabs similar to what you do on most browsers.
There are many other presentation software examples out there in the wild. While some excel at cross-platform compatibility, others provide mouth-watering feature sets to create eye-popping presentations sure to grab some attention.
What one finds the best is often subjective – depending on the requirements, platforms, and individual tastes. While it’s difficult to ascertain the one-size-fits-all program, the presence of several great options surely helps the users’ cause.