Edited by Georgia Pavlou
October 9, 2019
PowerPoint Alternatives to Make Your Presentations Rock
The first PowerPoint software release by Macintosh dates back to 1987 – Bill Gates bought it in July of the same year and it ended up being one of the most important acquisitions Microsoft has ever made. Over 3 decades later, it is still the most widespread tool for making presentations – but that doesn't mean it's also the best. Today there are many alternatives to PowerPoint for creating stunning presentations. Investigating PowerPoint alternatives is an eye-opener, for there are so many ways to address a single presentation.
This article groups similar programs together. Decide which group fits your presentation style best and you have narrowed down your options. Most PowerPoint alternatives are available with a free trial or a free starter version. In many areas, these alternatives will meet your presentation needs better than PowerPoint.
But before we dive into the article, there are 4 things you need to know from the '100 Things Every Designer Should Know About People'. Use them as reminders to help you connect with your audience with more than just pretty visuals. No matter which software you choose, their application is universal.
Sustained attention: If you think your audience is constantly paying attention, or that you can maintain their attention for more than 10 minutes, you're wrong. Make sure to include something awesome in your slides at each 10-minute mark.
Create a storyline: Stories grab people's attention and help them process information naturally. So make your material relatable even if you are presenting data. Data doesn't have to be boring!
The mind wanders: Web-surfing is a type of mind wandering activity. That's why people love surfing the internet. Our minds wander a lot more than we think; at least 30% of the time. So think of ways to direct the thoughts of your audience with the right cues.
People consume information better in bite-sized chunks: This is a good one. Break down your presentation in a way that makes it easy to digest. Tighten your sections, and make sure the information unfolds in a logical order.
Alternatives to PowerPoint
Let's admit, PowerPoint can get messy. Sometimes a blank canvas with too many options may act to your detriment. If you are looking for tools other than PowerPoint to spruce up your presentations, check out the following list.
These programs are better than PowerPoint if you are looking for an all-in-one branding solution; they have 10 million users combined.
Renderforest helps you make promo videos, logos, slideshows, even websites for your brand. You can use the free slideshow templates on their website and upload your images and digital assets.
Genially claims to be the tool that brings content to life by helping users create interactive presentations with animations. It is a versatile tool to create all kinds of branding materials like dossiers, infographics, and video presentations. You can also upload third-party content to your presentations. Both programs are suitable for teachers, marketers, journalists, and even designers.
If you are looking for an all-in-one solution to make your brand stand out, these are great options. There are however other substitutes to PowerPoint that specialize only on presentations.
These programs help you create non-linear presentations. Imagine your presentation is a mind map you can navigate with pan and zoom. Although research suggests it makes presentations more engaging, these programs may well be the Marmite of presentation software. Some love them, others don't. Prezi has both a desktop and an online version. With the input of a designer, you can make the best out of Prezi, otherwise you could get lost in the details.
Focusky is a cloud-based HTML-5 presentation tool with a zoom feature similar to Prezi. Their user-friendly interface lets you create animated presentations quickly. You can add multimedia content, charts, graphs, and even record a narration.
Such programs can be challenging and take longer to master than their linear counterparts. Some users also report motion sickness from the pan and zoom effect. You can start with the free public version of Prezi, but your presentations will be visible to anyone on the platform. If you are sharing sensitive information, it's best to go with a paid version.
Use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate your presentations with one of these tools. Slidebean has 100+ business presentation templates and features winning pitch decks. The templates can be modified easily using AI to suit your content. You can edit your slides using content blocks, but customization is limited by default compared to other non-AI software.
Slidebean allows you to switch between different graphic templates and nail the design once your content is in place. Sharing and viewing is very easy.
Beautiful.ai uses AI to create matching slides for your content. You also get access to millions of images and icons to enhance your presentations. Some of the top companies in the world endorse the software. You can start with a free basic plan or try their Pro plan free for 14 days.
No more wasting time editing every single textbox in your presentations, these programs let you focus on the essence.
Powtoon and Vyond are great tools for creating videos with animated characters.
Powtoon is ideal for preparing onboarding and training video presentations.Their templates are great for marketers and sales teams. You can create pitches, concept videos, product demos, and much more to enhance your team's performance. It also features analytics reports for improving your presentations. Leading Fortune 500 companies and top-ranked universities use Powtoon. They offer a range of pricing plans but you can start free.
Vyond creates professional, animated videos, for training and marketing campaigns. Templates are customizable and you can add built-in content. Collaboration is easy for teams.
Although these products are higher on the price bracket, they are cost-effective solutions if you plan to produce a lot of animated content.
For sales or marketing presentations these are strong PowerPoint competitors. Flowvella is a cloud-based presentation app for mobile and the web. It is also a powerful iPad Kiosk app your sales team can use at a tradeshow.
Flowvella features professional templates for pitch decks, sales presentations, product guides, portfolios, and much more. Combined with different elements (i.e. PDFs, galleries) your presentation transforms into an interactive app. The app runs on SSL protection and you can share the presentation's URL online on any device. It also delivers analytics reports you can use for user insights. Flowvella is a native application for Mac, iPad, and iPhone – you can start free and upgrade later.
CustomShow is a cloud-based application that has been around for years. It has a strong Fortune 1000 client base. The interface looks nothing like PowerPoint, and it allows you to create branded presentations to view on any Windows or Mac browser. It supports real-time collaboration and you can also download your presentation for offline viewing. Getting a free demo is not as straightforward but you can request one on their site.
Template-based software is a popular replacement for PowerPoint, especially if you enjoy working with templates and feel limited by the choices in PowerPoint. If you want to create sleek presentations using professionally designed templates this is your match. These cloud competitors are also great for collaboration.
Canva lets you create different kinds of sales collateral, graphics elements, and infographics. It's a photoshop alternative for non-designers who want to create social media graphics and different marketing materials that are design-focused. Getting used to the interface may take some time however, as well as searching and editing templates. For animations, the free version is limited – Canva Animator is a feature you can only get with the Pro version. The free version comes with 1GB media storage and with paid images.
Visme’s interface has a clean feel and may be a better choice than Canva if you are looking to create a lot of infographics. Some also prefer their template styles to Canva. You can also set branding guidelines and collaborate with your team on the cloud. Visme has a free individual plan with limited storage, or paid individual plans; business and education plans are also available.
Emaze is a free HTML-5 presentation software with paid plans for teams and individuals. They offer hundreds of professional templates as well as 3D interactive templates. You can import a PowerPoint presentation into an Emaze template to completely transform it. Audience insight analytics are also available.
Zoho Show lets you create, collaborate and broadcast presentations easily (a unique feature for remote teams). Presentations can be viewed anywhere on their apps for iOS and Android. It has an attractive free version with many users but you need to pay for add-ons and extra storage.
Blank-canvas programs like Google Slides are the closest thing to PowerPoint. Google Slides comes free with a Google account and it's convenient to use if you're already using their other programs. It also comes in a mobile app making editing and viewing very accessible. Templates and animations are more limited compared to PowerPoint but the real-time collaboration tool is what sets it apart.
Keynote is essentially Apple's presentation software and part of the iWork office suite. A basic, clean presentation tool, with design-centered templates and typography. Projects can be exported to present on other programs and it is also available on Windows devices via iCloud. It has collaboration and animation features.
Slides is a full open-source HTLM-5 platform. A blank-canvas presentation tool better suited for creatives and developers. It has a built-in grid (like designer software) but is limited in readymade graphics. You can create a library with your branding assets and your team can use them to keep presentations consistent. Presentations are public in the free plan but there are other paid options which are not public. The platform also integrates with Google Analytics.
If you prefer the freedom of a blank-canvas when crafting your presentations, but want to try something other than PowerPoint, pick one of these.
A presentation tool for designers that uses smart block technology. Ludus allows you to embed anything in your presentations from sketch files to 3D models. There is a free trial version only, and a variety of affordable plans for individuals and teams.
Choosing the right program can make your presentations stand out. With many factors at play, making engaging presentations can be challenging. Even if your content is top notch and you know your information inside out, you need the right visual aids for an effective presentation. Try out free PowerPoint alternatives and never miss a chance to wow your audience.
A presentation can be as simple as a photo slideshow. Add your photos and mix them up with beautiful transitions, filters, and a matching soundtrack. Turn your photo albums into eye-catching slideshows and share your emotions with Movavi Slideshow Maker.
Movavi Slideshow Maker
An easy-to-use, yet efficient slideshow making program
- Create a slideshow with music in 3 simple steps
- Join slides with dynamic transitions
- Add stylish animated titles
- Adjust color, enhance picture quality