Best Free Presentation Software: A One-Stop Guide

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well what if we are talking about tens of pictures in a small time span? The result is a message sent across much more vividly and with high accuracy. Visual communication has a lot of advantages as compared to oral or simple textual representation. Presentation software gave us a chance to use visual cues in an informative manner especially in a professional business atmosphere. It can always be used to reach the best understanding while emphasizing oral communication.

Visual representation is also a great aid in the assessment of an association’s portfolio and features. There are some aspects and facts that will be very hard to relay through oral communication, giving room for diagrams and pictures to be used instead of simple text. It should be much simpler to show how a business is faring, and how each department is performing in a company.

Top 9 Presentation Software

Visual representation/communication has an aesthetic appeal to it which makes it more attractive than oral communication to most people allowing them to concentrate more on what is represented and draw a clear picture of it. Visual representation also makes it easier and more efficient to pass on information through different departments. Presentation software is the tool used to make this all happen, a few recommendations shall be made in regards to their different types.

1. Microsoft Powerpoint

presentation software

When someone thinks about doing a presentation, chances are that the first presentation software that popped in their heads was Microsoft’s Powerpoint. One of the reasons of Powerpoint’s popularity is that it has been around for more than 31 years, making it one of the oldest presentation software around. But do not let the age of Powerpoint deter you into thinking that it is getting out of touch, it is constantly kept up to date with a wide range of features.

Pros:

Its popularity is considered a great advantage because that gives it an edge over other presentation software when it comes to usability and tutorials.
Compatibility with Mac OS and Windows
Smooth integration of graphics, animations, graphs and pictures, it can also export presentations to youtube.
It can handle many different text formats.

Cons:

Usually sold in Microsoft Office packages which are expensive, even the standalone program costs more than most presentation software
Its popularity became a double-edged weapon, it may not be as innovative as other presentation software and it has become overused over the time, creating a stereotyped image of a presentation just because it was created in powerpoint.

2. Keynote

presentation software

Pros:

Keynote is considered one of the best presentation software on the Mac OS, for those who are used to using Mac applications it is very easy and simple to use.
Has Templates with standard built-in layouts into its themes.
Excellent handling of graphics and animations.
Stylish, smooth and has a lot of design features thanks to the Adobe programs integration into it.
Ability to save and export Keynote presentations as Youtube videos and Quicktime slide shows.

Cons:

Only available on Mac OS.
Prolonged learning curve if the user isn’t used to Mac applications.
Compatibility issues as presentations cannot be opened on windows and sometimes even older versions of Keynote.
Exporting the presentations to Powerpoint can be messy.
Does not support Visual Basic.

3. Prezi

presentation software

Pros:

Great for story-based presentations as it has non-linear storytelling capabilities.
Integration of multimedia and vectors designed outside smoothly.
Its special design and distributions capabilities help team-based presentations.
Adds motion to the presenter’s message.

Cons:

Heavily dependent on being connected to the internet, any disconnection causes problems to the presentation.
Zoom function can be helpful but can lead to some distorted and pixelated images.
Not the best for designing as the color palette and fonts are limited and shapes cannot be easily controlled.
The learning curve can be a bit long.

4. ClearSlide

presentation software

Pros:

Specialized and customized for companies.

Wide scope of features for marketing and sales purposes.

Ability to upload different file forms such as powerpoint, keynote and pdf.

Incorporation of other platforms such as dropbox and Salesforce which makes it an important
tool in any sales team.

Customization of many features to tailor to different business needs.

Free trial.

Cons:

The software can be pretty sophisticated to use at start

A lot of unimportant or irrelevant features that may take a while for customization

5. SlideDog

presentation software

Pros:

One of the most appealing and creative presentation software thanks to its ability to integrate and combine different multimedia platforms such as powerpoint, pdf, images, videos and graphics.
Remote access to the presentations from any internet-connected device.
Live-streaming of presentations by sharing the slides in real-time.
Has a free version.
30-day money back guarantee.

Cons:

The presentation software itself even with the combination of multimedia may seem a bit dull or basic to some

6. Google Slides

presentation software

When you are dependent on Google’s applications, it only makes sense to make the switch from powerpoint or any other presentation software to Google slides. But there will be collateral damage during this switch.

Pros:

Completely free.
Accessible anywhere on any Google-supporting platform.
Zero installation, the whole presentation software is online and doesn’t require any installation.
Similar and familiar designs to Google Docs and Spreadsheets.
With the advantage of Google’s sharing methods it opens up a Wide scope of quick sharing capabilities.
Real time collaboration second to none thanks to its cloud-based operating system.
Gives the users an ability to simultaneously edit the slides of a presentation without causing any mishaps to the other parties included.
Ability to transform powerpoint presentations into slides.
Ability to integrate slides into websites which is also convenient for live-sharing slides with your viewers.

Cons:

The ease and minimalism of the design is certainly a good point, but professional presentation software users may find Google Slides lacking a bit of punch.

The price of minimalism was gutting the features substantially.
You need to be constantly connected to the internet since cloud-based presentation software requires internet all the time to be able to create and edit the slides.

It may not be much of an issue today but it certainly can hold some users back in certain circumstances.

It is required to have a Google account to be able to use Google Slides, that isn’t much of an issue since you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a Google account to use one of its applications, but it is still a requirement.

Some features that are provided by powerpoint and other professional presentation software are simply absent from Google Slides. Changing the colors or embedding video is limited, only Youtube is supported.

No annotations or 3D effects as well.

Transitions, animations and music adjustments are quite limited.

Loss of some transitions and animations when you try to port the slides into powerpoint.

With limited customization when it comes to text boxes and object alignment.

7. Slidebean

presentation software

With slidebean it seems like all you need to do is just add the content, everything else is just a click away with all the already designed templates for nearly everything you might need like resume, marketing plan; SWOT plan, etc.

Pros

Unlike PowerPoint that has a learning curve to it, Slidebean is really easy to use.
Even with the existing slides, you have a variety of elements you can insert to personalize your slides from images, charts, GIFs; to videos and icons which really helps in creating fun and eye catching slideshows ending the boring presentations with the cheesy transitions between slides.
It’s a web based platform and all your progress and work is saved online so it really saves time and effort when it comes to your hard disk or quick sharing.
Even though it’s a web based platform, Slidebean lets you export to PDF format at only 8$ per month.
Slidebean has been beta testing an amazing option where it allows you to get people insight into your slide deck.
The mobile version.

Cons

It costs a lot to fully enjoy all its features when it comes for example to export to an editable PowerPoint file or to fully enjoy all their decks and templates up to $49 per month.
The curation of the images can be a bit irrelevant to your search sometimes.
Lack of support and nearly unavailable customer support can be an issue to the free users, premium users who are willing to pay on the other hand $49 per month can get a dedicated presentation designer to review their slide-decks.

8. Visme

presentation software

lunching out of the beta version with over 1.3 million users, you can easily see why, once you are taken to the dashboard of Visme after signing up for free. What is really good about Visme is its inclusion of many different tools that can help you create nearly anything with it like banner ads, digital presentations, infographics; social media images, and so many more.

Pros

You can customize nearly everything with its variety of options and wide range of templates, even the free version contains from 15 to 20 templates for infographics alone, also it has a wide coverage with thousands of free images, background types, shapes, vector icons, graphs and charts.
Gives a preview of your slides in the sidebar with options to duplicate, delete or add which makes it really user-friendly.
From images, videos, to animation, audio and embed Third-Party Content like polls, quizzes, and forms are just a click away to be easily added enriching your presentation with minimum effort.
Offers five different formats to view your saved work offline like pdf or a collection of jpg. But the best option is HTML if you have any animations in your file.
Visme has the option to add a password to your presentation with can really come in handy sometimes protecting your work.

Cons

the free version can be limited as you will not even be able to save your work. you need to upgrade to the premium version if you want to enjoy the full ride like to save as HTML or to fully enjoy all the collection of the templates. individual plans start from $15 a month, but the business plan will cost you $90 a month.
The beta version had a lot of bugs and was a bit choppy in some area but their staff is good always trying to develop and get to a better version.
Can be a bit dull compared to other options like canva and slidebean.

9. Canva

presentation software

Pros

One of the cheapest presentation software out there starting from USD12.95 per month or USD9.99 when billed yearly. Cloud based so presentations can been seen on any device with apps for Android users and iPhone users for editing capabilities.
Protected unless shared, with option to share on social media like Twitter and Facebook.
Extremely easy to use that might make newbies feel like professional designers.
Appeals to the artistic crowds with its excellent sticker-looking graphical call-outs collection.

Cons

lacks a lot of options like animations or Analytics and Lead generation for example and even though it’s well protected you can’t add a password to your shared links.
Cannot be download as HTML even in the premium version.
Rarely responsive to customer inputs and reviews.
There is no option for major editing on all the slides which can sometimes double your work time.
offers a huge library of free images, some photos are available for $1, but many users complained there is no efficient way to search for required images without having to scroll down through all of them until you find what you are looking for.

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