19 presentation tools to make your next pitch beautiful

12 August 2015

Powerpoint, Keynote, Haiku Deck if you’re feeling saucy… when it comes to presentations and pitching it often feels as though you’re limited to a few safe choices, meaning that it’s a struggle to engage your audience at conferences or in the board room.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Even good old Powerpoint can be beautiful, but there’s plenty of other choices out there that will let you sear some eyeballs in your next meeting. I’ve put together some of the most interesting options here.

Liveplan

The full monty for entrepreneurs. Liveplan handholds you all the way through creating a business strategy, to pitching and on into revenue forecasts, progress reporting, hiring and more.

Liveplan Guidance

Prezi

I’ve been a fan of Prezi for many years. Take your regular presentation and add it to an animated timeline, with online content integration and video to provide you with a slick look that can go from minimalist to retina-scorching in seconds.

Here’s a lovely video showing what it’s capable of:

Curator

Curator is fantastic for project meetings as well as regular presentations, letting you share and collaborate across multiple devices, with updates occurring in realtime. Ideal if you want to really get an audience involved.

Curator Poster

Powtoon

As the name suggests, it’s time for same animation. Powtoon let’s you great some neat little cartoon slides in moments through a very simple interface. The templates are basic, but it’s easy to see how creative you could get with this surprisingly powerful tool.

Powtoon

Bunkr

A great app that allows you to pull in content from around the web, including articles, video and code, and add them to a selection of templates or blank sides. Fast and easy to use, it’s a great way to make sharable decks that contain deeper content.

Bunkr Poster

Visme

Visme works on the same principal as infographic design programs like Piktochart and Canva, but translates them to a powerpoint-like slideshow. Just drag and drop elements onto a set of slick templates to create professional slides and graphics.

Google Slides

Obvious but sorely under-used, Google Slides is an ultra-sharable version of powerpoint, that allows you to both share and collaborate with anyone on your next presentation.

Emaze

Hundreds of customisable templates for everything from three minute pitches to annual financial reports. Emaze gives you access to an infographic generator to produce video content that’s jam-packed with facts and figures.

Emaze Overview

Projeqt

A great tool for really dynamic multimedia presentations. Projeqt pulls in live feeds from anywhere online, allowing you to show off live Tweet feeds, video, LinkedIn chatter, RSS feeds, check-ins and more, and add them to ‘layered’ slides. Fantastic for conference presentations where you want the audience to join in.

Videoscribe

A unique take on hand-drawn presentations. Just choose from the set of graphics, add some text, music, a voiceover or whatever else takes your fancy, and watch as Videoscribe brings them to life.

Flowvella

Clean, clear presentation software that allows you to sync online content and share easily. What more do you want? OK, have mobile optimisation, language sets (including Chinese and Japanese), presentation templates, linking and navigation features, embedded or streaming video and more.

Flowvella is a grown-up presentation tool built for modern business.

Flowvella Overview

Clearside

Analytics! Clearslide is more than just a presentation toolkit, it also allows mobile presentation, and has email analytics to allow better followup communications for sales people.

Animoto

A simple video editor designed for presentations. Simply drop in images, text and video to create a timeline, add music or voiceover and you’re ready to roll.

It may not have quite the same finesse, but it will save you hours of fussing in Premiere when you’re on the train to a conference.

Slidedog

Slidedog is a useful aggregator program, allowing you to drag and drop in content from all over the web. Add video, prezi files, graphs and more. It also allows you to share with an audience across multiple devices, both locally or across the web for a more interactive experience – perfect for webinars.

SlideDog Overview

Oomfo

Don’t be fooled by the odd-looking character on the homepage, Oomfo is powered by fusioncharts, and allows you to quickly create a huge variety of single and multi-series charts and add them quickly to your presentations.

Oomfo Charts

Sway

Microsoft’s excellent addition to the presentation arena comes in the form of Sway. This tool has more in common with desktop publishing than traditional slide tools, allowing you to make feature-rich article-style presentations and reports.

Check out this short presentation on the L.A. Art & Film Institute to get an idea of how powerful Sway actually is.

Sway Overview

Slidebean

Designed to make creating presentations quicker, Slidebean automatically turns your rough outline into a polished deck.

Lots of perfectly decent templates are included, making this ideal for those quick reports you need for a meeting, although possibly not as suitable for the AGM.

Slidebean Overview

Pitchenvy

Let’s finish with a little added inspiration.

Ever wonder how buffer got its initial funding?

Well to be honest it was by having a useful product and excellent content, but I’m sure their excellent pitch played a big part too. It’s just one of the many fantastic pitch decks on display at PitchEnvy. Check it out next time you need to put together a killer pitch.

Pitchenvy Overview