Best Presentations Software in 2018

Software from this category is used for creating presentations and sharing them with your clients and co-workers. With much of the work being segmented and divided amongst people, presentations are often the best way of communicating data to a wide range of audiences. This subcategory offers solutions that enable you to create visual presentations, create charts and infographics, share diagrams and mind maps that will help your audience understand data better.  Read the full software guide...


Presentations Software Guide

What is Presentations Software?

Presentation software provides the tools to create a presentation, which is basically a sequence of texts and images containing information on a certain topic. The purpose of creating the presentation could be to tell a story, convey a message, or help illustrate the points of a speech.

The software typically features the ability to add and format texts, insert and edit images, and display the content to an audience. Most products in this category also help turn your presentations into PDFs and web pages, so you can easily share them with your clients and coworkers. You can even create a self-running presentation by encoding the slides as a movie file. This means the slides will advance automatically without anyone having to manually control them. More advanced products include the functionality for content management and advanced customization and may even help create sophisticated presentations with audio/video sequences.


Types of Presentation Software

Presentation software products can be categorized based on their area of focus, target market, and the method they use for creating and displaying the presentation content. Here are the main types of presentation software.

  • Design focused – This type of software has a strong focus on the design-side of a presentation. Most products offer a wide variety of typefaces, color options, and a library of high-quality images and GIFs. Some products also offer customization capabilities, animation functions, and video import capabilities. Design-focused presentation software usually comes with a range of pre-designed templates, which help even non-designers to create unique, high-quality presentations within minutes.
  • Nonlinear – As opposed to the conventional way of presenting information through sequential slides, these products allow you to create non-linear presentations that put all the text, images, or videos in a vast canvas, from where anyone can view the entire presentation or zoom in on a specific area of the canvas. This allows you to access any point in the slide deck instantly without having to unavoidably flip through an entire sequence of slides.
  • Interactive – Products focused on creating interactive presentations often include features that help presenters interact with their audience in real-time. For instance, some programs offer a feedback loop that allows even your remote viewers to ask questions and participate in surveys and live votes.
  • Video presentation – These products are more suitable for creating video presentations. The basic video presentation software will simply help embed videos into a presentation, while more advanced solutions also help you edit videos. Some products even allow you to store videos on your mobile device so you can play them offline.
  • Church presentation – These programs are specially designed to create church presentations. They often come with a database of Bible verses and worship song lyrics. You can quickly search for any song and import it to your presentation simply by typing the lyrics. Other key functionalities include the ability to save a list of verses for future use, preset verse sequence, add videos and images to presentations, tag verse types, and manage songwriter information.
  • Startup pitch deck – This type of presentation software is ideal for creating slideshows that provide an overview of a startup’s business plan. While any presentation software can be used to create pitch decks, some products are specially designed for this purpose. This type of software usually comes with a library of pitch deck templates and may even allow you to track the viewer’s activity on your presentation. For instance, you can find out how many slides an investor viewed and how much time they spent on reading each slide.

How to Choose Presentation Software for Your Business

You should start by defining your needs. This will help understand what type of presentation software to look for. For instance, if you use presentations for webinars and virtual conferences, look for interactive presentation software that allows for creating a unique URL address from where attendees can ask questions to the presenter in real time.

If, however, you want to create presentations through team collaboration, you need a product that offers real-time cloud collaboration so that everyone in your team has access to the latest version of your presentation.

Once you’ve decided on the software type, the next step is to choose the features within that category. For instance, most video presentation solutions allow you to import videos to a presentation. But some companies, such as an eLearning company, may need an advanced product that can also edit videos. Similarly, when choosing a design-focused product, you may want to check how many themes and templates the software offers, whether it allows you to create your own templates and to lock down your brand colors and fonts, and what type of stock images are available. For instance, some vendors offer commercial commons images for free, while others charge a flat fee per business-quality image.

More advanced products automatically re-optimize an image when you change its size or shape. You may also want to check if the software allows you to create pie charts, bar graphs, and Venn diagrams.

Presenters looking to break the confines of sequential slides often choose nonlinear presentation software, which allows them to display any part of a presentation at any point in time during a speech, such as, when someone from the audience asks a question that can be best answered with a quick jump to another slide.

An interactive canvas also helps foster team collaboration. For instance, multiple users can share their ideas on the canvas in real-time, which also helps eliminate the need for version control.

For small businesses, it is also important to consider the ease of use. You don’t want a product that only expert designers can handle or presents a steep learning curve to your team. At the same time, you don’t want to trade-off design flexibility for the ease of use.

Other important things to look for include a product’s app integration capability and analytics and tracking capability. For instance, sales presentation software often allows you to track how your sales team is utilizing a presentation, how many customers viewed or downloaded it and from which location.


Benefits of Presentation Software

Using software applications for creating presentations has long been the de facto standard across industries, thanks to the benefits they provide. Some of the major benefits are as follows.

  • Helps add visual impact to presentations – Presentation software helps add images, videos, charts, and graphs to your presentation, which helps create a greater visual impact.
  • Makes team collaboration easier – Presentation software allows teams to work together on the design and delivery of a presentation. For instance, team members can view and edit the latest version of a presentation, share live feedback, and interact with each other in real time. This could be quite useful, especially for a distributed team
  • Makes it convenient to share presentations – Using presentation software, you can turn presentations into PDFs and email them directly to clients. Some programs also allow you to share presentations online through a shared link.
  • Helps communicate with the remote audience – Presentation software enables the presenter to ask for live feedback from remote viewers. Audience members can ask questions, take surveys, and participate in live voting.

In essence, presentation software makes it easier for anyone to create presentations for their audience.


Common Features of Presentations

API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
Calendar Management Manage and update calendars for scheduling or consolidation of events across teams, departments or business functions.
Chat Live text chat with customers, website visitors, mobile contacts and others.
Data Export Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.
Data Import Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.
Data Visualization Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.
Document Comparison Compare and contrast different versions of documents and browse revision histories to consolidate collaborative changes.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
History/Version Control Track revision history, file versions and other changing data, commonly used in collaborative applications.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.
Scheduling Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.

Latest User Reviews of Presentations

Canva
Lily Phillips, Web Designer - Amazon
"Design Software"

The design templates make things remarkably easy and fast to put initial graphics tog...

Canva
Edward McCallister, Co CEO - E*TRADE
"Canva improves the user experience."

I like Canva because this platform in particular is the one that gives me the way to ...

Canva
Robert Lees, Graphic Designer - Self-employed
"Great design tool"

The finest thing about Canva is the big number of design templates you have readily a...

Google Slides
Nick Amaral, District Staff Development Coordinator - Ramapo Indian Hills High School District
"Collaborative Presentations Done Right"

This is my go-to when it comes to creating and sharing presentations. Since Google Sl...


Back to top