Presentation software is a technology that helps users create and deliver visual presentations. These programs allow users to create slideshows, which can include text, images, videos, and animations, and can be displayed at a meeting or conference or shared online.
In today's fast-paced business environment, effective communication is essential for success. Presentation software enables businesses to showcase their ideas and products in an engaging and visually appealing way, which can help to capture the attention of potential clients or investors. It also allows businesses to convey information in a clear and concise manner, making it easier for audiences to understand and remember key points.
As we move towards the future of work, the use of presentation software is likely to become even more important for businesses. With the rise of remote work and virtual meetings, it's vital for businesses to be able to present their ideas and products digitally. Additionally, as competition continues to increase across industries, businesses need to find new ways to stand out and make an impact. Presentation software can help them achieve this by creating dynamic and memorable visual presentations that leave a lasting impression on their audience.
Because of its ever growing importance, we’re seeing more and more presentation software companies popping up. So, where do you start in choosing the right software for your business needs?
Consider this your ultimate guide to the different types of presentation softwares.
Traditional presentation software
Traditional software refers to computer applications or programs that are typically used to create and deliver visual presentations. These programs are designed to allow users to create slideshows containing text, images, charts, graphs, and other visual aids. Some examples of traditional presentation software include Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Apple Keynote.
These software programs often feature a linear structure where one slide follows another in a predetermined order. The user can customize each slide with their desired content and then present them live or share them digitally.
While traditional presentation software has been widely used for many years and remains popular, there are alternative options available that offer more advanced features and customization options.
Web-based or SaaS presentation software
Web-based or SaaS (Software as a Service) presentation software refers to programs that are accessed through a web browser and do not need to be installed on a user's device. These programs are hosted on the cloud and can be accessed from any internet-connected device.
Web-based or SaaS presentation software typically offers more flexibility and convenience than traditional presentation software like PowerPoint. They often include a wide range of customizable templates, as well as interactive features such as animations, videos, and audio. They also allow for easy collaboration between team members, as changes and updates can be made in real-time and accessed from any device.
Some popular examples of web-based or SaaS presentation software include Visme, Canva, and Beautiful.ai. These programs have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their ease of use, accessibility, and collaborative features, making them a preferred choice for many businesses and individuals.
Examples of SaaS presentation software
Visme’s PowerPoint-alternative presentation software helps users design slide decks, infographics, interactive charts and other visual content. The easy-to-use cloud-based tool allows users to move elements around the workspace, and new content can be added by dragging and dropping it into place. Visme users can build presentations from scratch by starting with a blank canvas, or they can customize a variety of templates. The presentation software also features a collection of thousands of icons, images and data visualizations, and users can even choose to boost engagement by adding elements like video, audio and GIF files.
- Canva Presentations
Canva offers much more than an alternative to PowerPoint. Users can rely on the visual design platform to create social media graphics, posters, invitations, business cards and all sorts of other documents along with presentations. Canva features thousands of professional templates, images and other content elements, as well as features to help teams collaborate with ease. The software tool’s drag-and-drop interface makes it simple for non-designers to customize templates and even edit photos with little experience.
We’re biased, but our presentation software is one of the best to help you work faster and smarter. By choosing advanced presentation software like Beautiful.ai, users are handing over the bulk of the design work to artificial intelligence. With powerful features like DesignerBot and Smart Slides, Beautiful.ai automates a lot of the presentation design process for you so you can create something brilliant in half the time. The design guardrails ensure teams stay on-brand, while allowing them to collaborate in the same deck at the same time.
AI presentation software
AI presentation software is a type of presentation software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help users create and design presentations. AI presentation software typically includes features such as automated design suggestions, layout recommendations and image recognition to streamline the presentation creation process.
Many AI presentation softwares will leverage generative AI to create fully customizable slides and decks from a text single prompt making the design process ridiculously fast. Other capabilities include image generation baked into the software, and content assistance to rewrite or adjust text.
Examples of AI presentation software include Beautiful.ai, Tome, and Slidesgo. These programs use AI technology to automate and streamline the presentation creation process, making it faster and more efficient for users to develop engaging and visually appealing presentations.
Examples of AI presentation software
With the recent buzz around AI, you’ve likely heard of Tome. Tome is a presentation app that generates your presentation for you with the help of AI. Simply type in a prompt and get a basic presentation to work with, edit, and customize in return. Tome also offers a few select templates for users to choose from if they don’t want to enter a prompt, which acts as a good jumping off point to get the bones of a presentation. While Tome leans heavily on technology and AI, users will still need some design skills to customize their decks once it’s generated.
Slidesgo is a Spanish-based company that provides high-quality presentation templates for individuals and businesses. The company offers a wide variety of templates, including business plans, marketing presentations, and educational materials. Slidesgo's templates are available for both Google Slides and PowerPoint, and can be easily customized to suit the user's needs. The company is known for its modern and creative designs, which help users create engaging and visually appealing presentations.
Beautiful.ai’s new DesignerBot makes it easier than ever for non-designers to create a new presentation from scratch, regardless of the content. Users can opt to create a new deck with DesignerBot by entering a short description (or prompt) based on what they need. Teams have the liberty to add as many keywords as they see fit to generate a fully built, totally customized presentation draft populated with appropriate text, layouts, photos, icons and design. Then, our powerful Smart Slides technology can be used to quickly edit slides by adding or removing content and automatically adapting, resizing and laying out the slides, all while maintaining corporate brand guidelines. With Beautiful.ai, businesses can generate entire decks in one click while Smart Slides and Team controls work together to preserve the integrity of the brand. It’s truly an automated zero-to-finish experience.
Video presentation software
Video presentation software is a type of software that allows users to create and deliver video presentations. These presentations can include a combination of video footage, images, text, and audio. Video presentation software typically includes features such as editing tools, visual effects, and transitions to help users create engaging and professional-looking presentations.
Examples of video presentation software include Powtoon and Lumen5. These programs allow users to record or import videos and then edit them with a variety of tools and effects. Video presentation software also enables users to add voice overs, music, and sound effects to their presentations.
Video presentation software is often used for business presentations, educational materials, and marketing campaigns. The use of video presentations has become increasingly popular in recent years due to the rise of remote work and virtual events, as well as the growing trend of online video content consumption. Video presentation software provides an effective way for users to communicate their ideas and messages in an engaging and dynamic way.
Examples of video presentation software
Powtoon— a British company that got their name by combining “PowerPoint” and “cartoon”— launched in 2012 as a more animated approach to otherwise stale presentations. They offer a wide variety of visual communication features like videos, doodles, presentations, animations, and screen recordings. However they’re most known for their ability to turn slides into video animations in an effort to make them more engaging and interactive for audiences.
Lumen5 is a Canadian-based technology company that provides an AI-powered video creation platform for businesses and individuals. The platform allows users to easily create engaging video content from articles, blog posts, or other written content without requiring any previous experience or special training. Lumen5's platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to automatically generate video content, including images, animations, and text overlays.
Nonlinear presentation software
A nonlinear presentation is a type of presentation where the viewer can navigate the content in a non-sequential order, rather than proceeding from one slide to the next in a linear fashion. In a nonlinear presentation, the content is organized using hyperlinks or other interactive elements that allow the viewer to jump back and forth between different parts of the presentation, depending on their interests and needs.
Nonlinear presentations are often used when presenting complex or interconnected information, or when the audience may have varying levels of interest or expertise in different areas. They can be created using specialized software, such as Prezi, or by manually creating hyperlinks within traditional presentation software like Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides.
Nonlinear presentations can be more engaging and interactive than traditional linear presentations, as they allow the viewer to take control of their own learning experience and explore the content in a way that suits them best. They can be particularly effective for educational and training purposes, as well as for sales and marketing presentations.
Examples of traditional presentation software
Prezi’s presentation software is a true alternative to PowerPoint. Rather than design standard slide decks, Prezi users create animated, non-sequential presentations that highlight topics and uncover subtopics with an engaging zoom feature. The PowerPoint-alternative software is an enticing alternative for creating visual presentations, but it’s probably better suited for experienced presentation designers thanks to its unique design. Still, Prezi is a perfect choice for presenters seeking a more creative way to capture an audience's attention.
Comparisons and considerations
Key differences between presentation software types
The key differences between presentation software types are accessibility and technology. While most businesses are well versed in Microsoft and Google, other web-based (SaaS) softwares offer newer technologies and more flexible features. Each platform comes with its own pros and cons, and will vary based on the use case of the business.
Factors to consider when choosing presentation software
When choosing the right presentation software for your business, you first have to define what your goal is. Is it collaboration for your teams, design guardrails, leveraging AI to work faster, or accessibility and the ability to work in the cloud? Do you prefer linear or non-sequential presentations? What is your budget? These all play a major role in deciding which solution is the best fit for your workflow.
For more on presentation softwares, check out our recommendations for the top 2023 PowerPoint alternatives.