It’s easy to see how PowerPoint became an industry standard for presentations. It was one of the first tools to offer easy-to-use, customizable templates—a major plus for nondesigners.
But design-wise, PowerPoint isn’t the most engaging platform or presentation software. The templates encourage endless bullet points, which can feel tedious after multiple slides, and the styles are often dull, with muted colors and little animation. Fall back on PowerPoint’s stock templates too often and your business presentations will lack the impact you desire.
To create a powerful, dynamic presentation, you need software with more capabilities.
What Makes a Great Presentation Software?
PowerPoint deserves credit for being straightforward and easy to use. Almost anyone, regardless of skill level, can quickly learn how to use the software and pull together a presentation.
But accessibility is just one factor you need in presentation software. To consistently create presentations that grab audiences’ attention, you’ll need software with greater functionality. An ideal program lets you easily create and display visually stunning presentations across devices at a cost that fits your budget.
Here are the main factors to consider when looking for great presentation software:
- Design library: It should offer a large number of templates, images, and other media to create your presentation.
- Features: Rather than just including standard slides, software should offer alternative formats to share presentation content and engage audiences.
- Shareability: For easy collaboration, users should be able to share presentations with other users and allow simultaneous editing.
- Simplicity: Most users aren’t design experts, so software should be simple enough for any person to use, regardless of their background.
- Cost: Find software that fits your budget so you can consistently create presentations.
- Compatibility: Most people and organizations use multiple devices, so choose software that’s compatible across devices in creating and displaying presentations.
It’s unlikely that you’ll find software that checks all of those boxes, but aim to match as many of the factors as possible. Find a software with greater assets than PowerPoint and you’ll have tools at hand to create captivating presentations.
The 9 Best PowerPoint Presentation Software Alternatives
Design is subjective, so it follows that presentation software varies widely. Every program is geared toward unique visual goals, so individuals and organizations have many options to choose from when picking a program.
To get started, we’re highlighting nine alternatives to PowerPoint and breaking them down by several factors, so you have a framework to assess each one and pick the program that works for your needs.
Let’s dive in.
Prezi is about as different from PowerPoint as you can get. Rather than offering a slide-by-slide presentation, it’s more of a visual and interactive mind map, wherein you interact with different elements on a virtual canvas.
Convert your PowerPoint presentation slides into a dynamic user experience, or create a brand-new “prezi” from scratch.
- Design library: Prezi offers roughly 100 templates for building presentations.
- Features: Beyond sequential slides, as with PowerPoint, Prezi lets you create frames that can zoom in and out from one another. This movement is perfect for showing how ideas relate to each other.
- Shareability: Up to 10 people can work on a Prezi at once.
- Simplicity: Prezi has an uncluttered interface with a drag-and-drop editor that’s easy to use.
- Cost: Prezi has a free basic plan and several premium plans ranging from $7 to $59 per month.
- Compatibility: Prezi is compatible with both PC and Mac desktops, as well as iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.
All in all, Prezi is worth using for its features. The ability to show how ideas relate to one another using Prezi’s frames and zoom feature is far more engaging than PowerPoint’s typical bullet-point slides.
Across industries, video has been shown to grab attention and engage better than most media. Videos have been known to increase people’s understanding of a product or service by drastic margins.
Vyond puts the power of video into the hands of everyone, everywhere. The platform provides anyone, no matter what their production skill level is, with the tools they need to create powerful, dynamic media. With features that go beyond moving text and images, you can build character-driven stories or compelling data visualizations that engage audiences and deliver results.
- Design library: Vyond offers three different video styles with thousands of templates, stock characters, props, and more to choose from.
- Features: Rather than communicate info through slides, Vyond lets you share your content through an animated story. Create characters and make them move in minutes to engage audiences.
- Shareability: Vyond’s platform lets multiple people edit videos simultaneously.
- Simplicity: Vyond has a very clear interface with few tabs, so it’s easy to navigate. The drag-and-drop editing features are basic enough for any user, regardless of their experience level.
- Cost: Starting at $39p/mo (plans with GIF export capabilities start at $89 p/mo)
- Compatibility: If hitting pause isn’t available during your presentation, video can present timing challenges. If this is the case, you can still make a better presentation by adding short video clips or GIFs into your PowerPoint.
Vyond is worth investing in because of its novel animation features. With its platform, you can create a dynamic video in the same amount of time it takes to create a PowerPoint presentation—but the result, an animated clip with characters, props, and more, is far more engaging than a collection of slides. If you’re not looking to create a full video select Vyond plans make it possible to create quick GIFs to use in other presentation platforms (including PowerPoint). You can start from a template and have something more engaging than a PowerPoint slide in a few minutes.
3. Zoho Show
As a PowerPoint alternative, Zoho Show is also a slide-creation platform, but with an interface that’s more basic, clean, and simple than PowerPoint’s.
Offering a free version, Zoho is perfect for any beginner with minimal design skills who needs to create a simple slide presentation but doesn’t want to pay for PowerPoint.
- Design library: Zoho Show offers 17 prebuilt themes, as well as a wide gallery of animation and slide transition effects.
- Features: Zoho Show allows you to present content through slides, just like PowerPoint.
- Shareability: Multiple people can view and edit presentations in real time.
- Simplicity: Zoho Show is very easy to use, with minimal features laid out clearly in just a few tabs, so all users, no matter what their experience level is, can use the platform.
- Cost: Zoho Show is free for teams of up to 25 users. For larger teams, they offer premium plans ranging from $4 to $6 per user.
- Compatibility: Zoho Show works on all desktops and Android devices.
Zoho Show’s biggest advantage is its simplicity, potentially at no cost. If you’re a small team with little design experience, Zoho is a great alternative to PowerPoint.
4. Google Slides
Out of all the software options on this list, Google Slides is most like PowerPoint. It is formatted similarly and lets you upload and edit PowerPoint files on the platform.
There are a few key advantages that G Slides has over PowerPoint, though: It’s free and online, so you can easily collaborate with just a browser.
- Design library: Google Slides has roughly 20 themes for people to use as templates.
- Features: Google Slides lets you create slide presentations, just like PowerPoint.
- Shareability: Presentations can be shared with people and edited simultaneously.
- Simplicity: The task bar is a bit cluttered, with a few small, unclear icons, but overall the software is straightforward enough for most people to use.
- Cost: Google Slides is free.
- Compatibility: Google Slides is available for desktops and iOs and Android devices.
Google Slides is similar to PowerPoint, but it’s still a strong–and free–alternative that allows users to collaborate through just a browser rather than requiring downloaded software.
Just as PCs are often loaded with PowerPoint, Macs come with Keynote, Apple’s presentation software.
Like PowerPoint, Keynote is designed for creating slides, but it comes with the key advantages of visually stunning templates and a simple, clear interface.
- Design library: Keynote offers 30 themes with clean, beautiful designs.
- Features: Keynote lets users create slides, but it’s slightly more engaging than PowerPoint, being driven more by images and less by bullet points.
- Shareability: Keynote allows you to collaborate on presentations with anyone, anywhere.
- Simplicity: Keynote is slightly easier to use than PowerPoint because the task bar is less cluttered and the icons have clear images and labels.
- Cost: Keynote is free to download for Macs.
- Compatibility: Keynote works on Macs, iPads, and iPhones.
If you’re an Apple user, Keynote is a strong alternative to PowerPoint, letting you engage audiences more with visuals than with endless bullet-pointing.
6. Haiku Deck
If you’re all about visuals, Haiku Deck is one of the most image-oriented presentation programs out there. It’s designed to create slides, just like PowerPoint, but the templates encourage little text, so users can enjoy the stunning visuals in the background.
As a plus, Haiku Deck has a pretty extensive library of free templates and images, so you don’t need much to start building a beautiful presentation.
- Design library: Haiku Deck offers thousands of templates and over 40 million free Creative Commons images.
- Features: Haiku Deck is designed to create image-based slides, unlike the primarily text-based slides of PowerPoint.
- Shareability: Simultaneous editing isn’t supported in Haiku Deck, but presentations can be shared with users to view and edit at different times.
- Simplicity: Haiku Deck has minimal features with an uncluttered sidebar, so it’s easy for anyone, regardless of skill level, to learn how to use the platform.
- Cost: Haiku Deck ranges from $8 to $30 per month, depending on which account you choose.
If you’re trying to engage audiences more with visuals, and your presentation doesn’t need to load a ton of textual content, Haiku Deck may be the solution for you. By highlighting stunning photographs and graphics, Haiku Deck presentations will quickly captivate your audience’s attention.
Sometimes, when giving a presentation, you need to show more than your PowerPoint—you also might need to display other files, like a video or a document.
Rather than having a clunky presentation where you keep switching to different formats, the software SlideDog allows you to gather all of your files into a single presentation.
Assembling your media together, SlideDog allows you to create a varied, dynamic presentation.
- Design library: SlideDog doesn’t have a design library; instead, you’re expected to provide and upload media for your presentation.
- Features: SlideDog allows you to combine multiple types of media—PowerPoints, Prezis, videos, web pages, and more—into a single presentation.
- Shareability: SlideDog allows you to share your presentation with your audience in real time.
- Simplicity: The SlideDog interface is simple, so it’s easy to set up a playlist. But users have reported occasional technical issues with a presentation when trying to switch between different media.
- Cost: SlideDog is free to download.
- Compatibility: SlideDog is available for PC desktops, but not Macs.
SlideDog is a bit limited by being only PC-friendly. For Windows users, though, it offers a unique opportunity to grab audiences’ attention with so many different media in a single presentation.
For a sales presentation to a client, a PowerPoint looks a tad dull. You want the person to get excited about your business, but it’s tough to stir them up with the software’s generic, bland design.
CustomShow is an enterprise presentation software that’s specifically geared toward sales and marketing teams.
It’s equipped with extensive editing tools to nail down every visual detail, so users can create a branded, professional look for their presentations.
- Design library: CustomShow offers presentation templates.
- Features: CustomShow is designed for creating slides that are easily customizable by adding extra media—videos, brand assets, animations, and more. The software is also useful in sales through tracking the ROI of your presentation and integrating with Salesforce.
- Shareability: CustomShow presentations can be shared with multiple people.
- Simplicity: CustomShow is meant to create elaborate, branded presentations, so it has more features to learn than most basic presentation software.
- Cost: Varies; users have to speak with a CustomShow representative to set a price.
- Compatibility: CustomShow works on Macs and PCs.
For sales and marketing presentations, CustomShow is a notch above PowerPoint. With more customization features for branding and the ability to track presentation ROI with clients, CustomShow allows users to meet their sales-driven presentation goals better than PowerPoint’s more standard software.
PowerPoint’s templates can feel restrictive—there are very clear designated spaces for text and images. Try to rearrange different elements and your presentations suddenly feel misaligned.
Visme is an alternative software that is much more flexible for customizing templates and adding different visual elements.
The platform is simple enough to use, even for those without design experience. At the same time, it’s equipped with complex features and hundreds of templates to create high-quality, visually stunning presentations.
- Design library: Visme offers hundreds of presentation templates and millions of icons, images, and fonts.
- Features: Visme is designed to create slides, but it allows full control over adding media and links to customize presentations to make them more interactive and engaging.
- Shareability: Presentations can be shared with multiple people, and different permissions can be set.
- Simplicity: Visme is geared toward nondesigners, but there are a number of tools in the software, allowing users to take full advantage of the platform.
- Cost: Visme is free.
- Compatibility: Visme presentations can be created on any device with a browser.
Visme’s interface is a bit more advanced than a lot of the software on this list, but if you have the time to learn about the platform, it’s a powerful, free tool for creating captivating slide presentations.
Create a Powerful Presentation by Trying New Tools
When most of your colleagues are using PowerPoint, it’s easy to feel like you should hop on the bandwagon and use the software, too. But your presentation is far more likely to have an impact on your audience if you explore other software. Alternative presentation software and even apps on your phone can offer unique visual features and compelling videos that engage people beyond the typical bullet-point slides everyone is used to watching.
Understand the software pros and cons in this guide so you can try a new program for creating presentations—one that fits your organization’s need and delights your audience with novel, engaging features.
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