PowerPoint was first launched way back in 1987, and ever since it has become the standard presentation tool for professionals the world over.

However, over the last few years it seems to have accrued as many detractors as fans, and now many more presentation platforms have found their way to the marketplace, ready to take on the might of Microsoft and make the lives of business people that little bit easier.

You can jump into using a number of these platforms by uploading existing PowerPoint files, or you can start with a blank canvas to create presentations that will engage and enthrall your audience.

Here are five of my favourite presentation tools available today that I’d love to share with you.

1. Prezi

Cost: Free, with premium options available up to $795 per year.

Prezi is by far the most exciting presentation tool on the market today. While it’s compatible with PowerPoint files, the best way to get the most out of its rich feature set is to create a brand new presentation.

Starting with a blank canvas or a template, you can build out a presentation that looks amazing, thanks to the very nifty transformation tools and transitions.

Its versatility and user friendliness ensures Prezi stands apart from many of the other presentation tools available on the market today. Plus, it works across a multitude of devices. Prezi is visual storytelling at its finest.

2. ClearSlide

Cost: A range of options are available, priced between $35 and $125 per user per month, billed annually.

As a SaaS-based sales engagement platform, ClearSlide is specifically aimed towards users at the business-end of pitching for contracts. Sales and marketing professionals can use this integrated suite of tools to share content and sales materials via email or webcam with a ‘Live Pitch’.

The screen share functionality allows the pitcher to present remotely, without the need for cumbersome software installation. There’s also clever instant messaging and drawing tools for annotating slides, giving the presenter and the customer clear lines of communication throughout the presentation.

3. Google Slides

Cost: Free

If you’re a Google fan, then Google Drive is probably part of your daily life. And nestled within Drive is the very handy Google Slides; all the functionality of PowerPoint, but with the advantage of being cloud-based.

Whether you start with a blank presentation, choose one of Google’s templates, or import an existing PowerPoint presentation, you’ll find an easy to use a platform, tailor-made for collaborative editing. You can embed YouTube videos and tap into hundreds of free-to-use open source fonts.

4. Zoho Show

Cost: Free

If you can use PowerPoint, then you can use Zoho Show. Its master slides, templates, customization options, and the ability to embed images, videos, and even live tweets marks it out as the perfect alternative to Microsoft’s presentation tool.

Among its many features, it also offers collaborative editing, flowchart building, and the ability to maintain formatting accuracy when you import an existing file.

5. Knovio

Cost: There is a limited free version, with a number of premium versions beyond this, including Knovio Pro ($15 per month) and Knovio Gold ($25 per month).

Knovio, an iOS app, makes creating compelling on-demand video content easier than ever before. Using the built-in recording functionality of your iPad or iPhone, you can add your own commentary and narration to slides and images.

Adding value to your presentations via rich media makes explaining an idea, pitching a solution, documenting a step-by-step instruction, or teaching a course more engaging and effective.
Try these presentation tools and you might just find the alternative to PowerPoint you’ve been craving. Let us know which one works best for you, or if you have any other presentation recommendations.

Get more tips, advice, and news directly to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.