There are many tools that can be used for giving a presentation. With so many to choose from, how do you know which is the best? More than that, how do you know which is the best for you personally. The one that will take your public speaking skills to the next level.
If only there was somewhere that had the pros, cons and more all in one place so that it would be easier for you to compare them. Do not worry! We’ve got you covered. Below you will find the pros, cons along with an explanation of the main elements found in a presentation technology tools and what makes them so valuable. The presentation software that will be discussed in this article are Canva, Visme, PowerPoint, Google Slides, Beautiful.ai and SlideDog.
What Are The Main Elements Found In Presentation Technology Tools?
The main elements found in presentation software are as follows:
- Slides that contain a combination of text, video, images, animations, sounds, and links
- Slide Master which allows the style that you have chosen to be set, saved, and used throughout your presentation. The style includes the font, font size, background, and other styling options
- Animated effects so that the various selected elements for each slide will appear after a certain designated amount of time or when you manually indicate that you are ready to change by clicking your mouse or pressing a key
- It allows for smooth transitions from one slide to the next. This can be done in many forms, whether it’s one slide dissolving into the next or the current slide moving out by means of another way that you choose to show the next slide
- Another amazing thing that presentation software provides is Slide Notes. This allows the presenter to see any notes that they have created on their personal display, while the audience just sees the slide from a projector or on another screen
Why Is Presentation Software So Valuable?
Presentation software is so valuable because it makes communicating messages to others very simple. It gives you the opportunity to break down large amounts of information into smaller, more digestible portions for your audience. Presentation software benefits audio learners as well as visual learners at the same time because both can absorb the information that is being provided by hearing it as well as seeing it.
It is also valuable because you do not need to have graphic design experience to create powerful and interactive slides to keep your audience captivated. There are thousands of customizable templates for you to choose from, so you do not have to start from scratch for each new presentation.
- It is free and you have the option to pay for an upgraded version if you would like added features
- User-friendly interface
- Quick and easy to use even if you do not have a web design background
- Automatically saves all of your designs
- Multiple high-quality templates and fonts for you to choose from to create the perfect, aesthetically pleasing design
- Choose designs that can be formatted to fit the layout of Facebook, Pinterest, etc. You also have the ability to create animations, videos as well as GIFs
- When compared to PowerPoint, Canva provides more sophisticated designs without being complicated to use
- You have the ability to work with your business team on Canva so that they can also be able to access the designs to make the necessary edits and changes
- Does not work offline or without an internet connection
- Does not have local file storage which means that if Canva’s website happens to be down, you will need to wait for it to be restored before you can make any changes
- Because Canva is so popular, you may feel that your design isn’t not as unique as you would like it to be
- You may have fallen in love with a particular font, image, or another feature but realize that they only way to be able to use it is by paying for it
- Mobile optimization. Canva’s mobile app does not have the same amount of features that you would receive if you were using it on a desktop, or a laptop. It may also be a little more challenging for you to access different elements while using the app on a mobile device
- You do not own any of the designs that you create on Canva. So, if Canva shuts down then you might lose your designs
For new businesses or businesses that are just starting to market and promote themselves this is an amazing tool to use. One of the best. If you are not sure whether the free version or the paid Pro version best suites your needs, take a look at a YouTube video by Jerry Potter entitled “Canva Free vs. Canva Paid.”
Visme: Pros and Cons
- Web based but it was designed to also run offline
- Helps keep your information organized as you collaborate with your team
- The provided editing features are easy to use
- Very helpful customer service team
- Time effective
- The paid version is also cost effective and flexible depending on your particular needs
- Great for creating social media infographics and post very quickly
- Easy user interface
- You are provided with a broad range of fonts, icons, images, backgrounds, and templates for presenters to use.
- Your design can be published on other sites, downloaded in various formats, and or shared on social media.
- Drag and drop design
- Web based only meaning there is no desktop or mobile app
- Few photo editing options
- Takes just a little bit longer than Canva to figure out but only because Visme has more functions
Best for small businesses and marketers and content creators who want aesthetically pleasing designs without having or with limited graphic design experience. For more information about Visme, watch the “Visme the Ultimate Presentation and Design Tool” below:
PowerPoint: Pros and Cons
- User friendly
- Very easy to create attractive designs using the standard templates and themes offered
- Easy to make modifications
- Easy to master the basics and with good preparation you can appear to be very organized
- Easy to change from one slide to the next. You just simply have to click your mouse, press a key, or use a clicker
- Depending on the organization of the slides and the way it is presented the overall theme of your message can be lost and your audience can end up distracted or worse, confused.
- Because PowerPoint is linear in nature, you really do not have much of choice other than to reduce complex topics into a set of bullet points. This could minimize the complexity of the issue you are presenting
- You need to have the basic equipment that you need to present. This includes a computer and basic projection equipment in order to present your material
PowerPoint has been used and trusted for many years by over 500 million people. It has proven to be very useful if used correctly. It is simple to use. For more details about how to use PowerPoint to create an amazing presentation, feel free to read the “The 3-Step Strategy For Powerful PowerPoint Presentations” article on Forbes.com
Google Slides: Pros and Cons
- Completely free to use so you don’t have to pay anything to anyone for the use of this presentation application
- You can use real-time collaboration to create slides and work along with others at the same time, within the same presentation document
- Since it is a web-based application you do not need to download this software. All you need is a web browser and a steady internet connection
- The slides save automatically and can save them to the cloud. If you have a web browser and internet connection, then you can access your files and or presentation documents from anywhere
- You can share your files easily, even if they are heavy
- You can use google slides on several different platforms. Even if you switch from Microsoft to Mac, it will not be an issue. An added bonus is that you do not have to stress about importing and exporting your data from one format to another. This consistency is great because your presentation will look and behave the same way on every computer
- Google Slides also has an offline mode which is helpful if you cannot connect to the internet
- You need a google account
- You are limited when it comes to theme choices. Google slides does not offer as many available theme choices as other programs. If you want more themes you will have to buy them
- In comparison with other presentation applications, Google Slides has fewer transition and animation options and lacks some advanced features
Google Slides is built for collaboration and comes highly recommended by Forbes as one of “The 7 Best Software Tools For Entrepreneurs”.
Beautiful.ai: Pros and Cons
- Over 70+ smart slide templates
- As you add content your slide automatically adapts
- Easy to use
- Easy collaboration
- Mobile optimization could be improved
- Limits on where, how much, and what type of content you can add to each slide
- You cannot edit a Beautiful.ai presentation after export
Launched in 2018, many enjoy using the Beautiful.ai software. One highlight is that it automatically edits your presentation based on the best design principles that have been provided and recommended by professionals. This makes your presentation more attractive and appealing to your audience.
- With SlideDog you can blend PowerPoints, PDFs, websites, Prezis, videos and more together in an organized and quick way, without having to wait for a video to load or buffer.
- Drag and drop design
- SlideDog also has its own app for iOS and Android which conveniently allows presenters to remote control SlideDog from their mobile devices. At the same time the audience can use the same app to view a live stream of the slides and answer polls
- User friendly
- Easy to use interface
- It is freemium, however the paid version offers more advanced features
- Works very well and easily with various platforms such as PowerPoint, Word, etc.
- Offline presenting
- It is limited to two devices per license
Perfect for small or medium sized businesses. The cost for the SlideDog Pro Annual is $99.00 and includes updates as well as priority support.
With a variety of presentation software to choose from you have a lot of options. They all have incredible features to offer. This is great because that means there is one or maybe even a couple that will really suite your needs and your design goals. Hopefully this review narrowed down your choices and now you are in your way to creating the design of your dreams and captivating your audience.
For more resources related to presentations, please review the articles, "Best Tvs for Presentations", "Which Laptops are Best for Powerpoint Presentations?" and "Presentation Equipment Checklist"