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Best Presentation Software in 2021: Slideshows & Interactive Tools

Best Presentation Software...

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Best Presentation Software in 2021: Slideshows & Interactive Tools

The ultimate list of the best presentation software apps, including tools for slideshows, interactive, and animated presentations. Free software covered!

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John McTale

Editor-in-chief

May 18, 2021

 

 

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Unless you are a design pro, making a presentation is never something you truly look forward to, is it? Every template you come across looks so… templated. Formulaic and boring. And this isn’t even the biggest problem.

Most kinds of presentation software are based on a technology engineered in the 80s: slideshows. And modern-day audiences prefer an entirely different form of consuming content: scroll-based web pages or short animated clips. How are static slides supposed to win their attention?


If you’re in need of effective presentation software, don’t freak out just yet. You’ve come to the right place. There are good presentation apps out there and you’ll find them all summarized here.


The best presentation software in 2021:

  1. Storydoc presentation maker
  2. Slidebean
  3. Ludus
  4. Visme
  5. Canva
  6. Zoho Show
  7. PowToon
  8. Prezi

 

1. Storydoc presentation maker

 

We’re a bunch of content geeks crazy about effective storytelling and Storydoc is our beloved brainchild. So, of course, we’re going to kick off the list with our product—because we want you to love it too.


Storydoc is a professional presentation software tool created to meet the needs of contemporary business. Instead of switching between static slides, it lets you scroll down and uncover mesmerizing, animated content. All that to help you get your leads engaged and, in the end, close more deals.

Here's a presentation transformed with our online presentation software:

Before

After

Slide decks are a relic of the past. With Storydoc, you’ll get interactive content you never thought you’d have. Wow your audience, make a lasting impression, and close more deals. Ready in a flash.

What’s best about it

In a word: results. Storydoc presentations have helped businesses across various industries instantly boost their key metrics. Yes, the decks made in our app are beautiful, but that’s not the point in itself. We’re in the business of maximizing your conversion rates and we’re serious about it.

 

Who it’s for

We created Storydoc primarily with sales and marketing teams in mind. As presentation software for business, Storydoc is best suited for sales presentations, proposals, pitch decks, and company collateral.


Pricing

Storydoc’s pricing is tailored to individual needs of each of our customers. We’ll need to get in touch to provide you with accurate pricing information depending on your use case. To learn more and leave your contact details, visit our pricing page.

 

slidebean

 

Marketed as an interactive presentation software powered by no magic at all but Artificial Intelligence, Slidebean does give off a sense of riding on the cutting edge of content creation. You can write an outline for your presentation in their no-code editor, and the tool will automatically format your slides, according to a set of predefined best practices.

I took Slidebean for a test drive and was genuinely impressed by how accurate it was at understanding my intentions. Their claim about letting you make a presentation “in minutes instead of hours” stretches it a bit yet it’s true that Slidebean is one of the quickest presentation software tools out there.

Despite the AI-engineered experience you maintain a healthy degree of control: you can have the tool rearrange the slides you don’t like or use fill-in-the-blank templates if you’re in more of a DIY mood.

The only downside lies in the very basics: the slide designs feel a bit dated and somewhat crowded for a piece of presentation software based on the technology of the future. While you’ll be able to create a presentation easily, it might not impress your audience as much as you’d like.

 

What’s best about it

It takes the tedious away and is very fast. If you’re not in a mood to tinker around with formatting and just want your presentation to “look right,” Slidebean will take care of that.

 

Who it’s for

According to their website: startups, sales, business, marketing, and academia. Hard not to agree with their list with the only caveat that their decks are probably too flashy for research purposes.

 

Pricing

Free to play around with, you only pay when you want to export your presentations. Starting at $96 per year for a Starter plan (not much in it), to $228 per year for a Premium plan (a very solid package), to $1,788 per year for a “Founder’s Edition” that comes with full hands-on support, office hours with their experts, and their financial modelling feature. Billed annually.

(50% discount for verified .edu accounts.)

 

3. Ludus

ludus

 

Unlike Slidebean above, the Ludus team have made “magic,” specifically, one of their main selling points and, upon diving into their presentation-making tool, you begin to understand why.

It’s an insanely advanced product for creators and designers. Its full list of features constitutes, wait for it, 64 items (and it’s actually carefully hidden so as not to overwhelm some less-savvy customers).

A very interactive presentation software tool, Ludus really makes sure sky's the limit for you. You can create your own templates, copy and paste any kind of content saved in other formats (SVG, Figma, Illustrator, you name it), add video, GIPHY files, animations. Sound like a lot of work? It is so, but if you’re a designer, you’ll have tons of fun with it.

 

What’s best about it

Hands-down, third-party integrations. You can take your content from any source, then mix and match for a desired effect.

 

Who it’s for

Professional visual content creators, no doubt about it. Although they claim, “simple and easy or highly creative, there’s a way for everybody,” you clearly won’t make the most of Ludus’ capabilities if you’re only into basics.

 

Pricing

All plans offer the full set of features, you pay for the number of team members using the tool. Starting at $14.99 per month per user and getting cheaper the more users you bring in. You can save 20% by switching to annual billing.

 

4. Visme

visme

 

Visme, the first freemium presentation software item on our list is a very good tool for creating presentations from scratch. With no advanced algorithm involved and few hi-tech gimmicks, this template-based presentation app will work great for individual users.

Visme offers hundreds of templates and themes so no matter your unique needs, you’ll find one you like. If you want to pack your presentation with graphics, charts, and other kinds of supporting media, you’ll find it all inside the app. Want to stick to basics? Visme will let you put together a clean, uncluttered presentation as well.

To our liking, their templates are slightly too far on the “art for the art’s sake” side of the spectrum, with features that are out there but don’t bring real value to the message you’re trying to deliver.

 

What’s best about it

The variety of templates you can fill out. Yes, it might take some time to find the perfect one for you, but you’ll surely have plenty of options to choose from.

 

Who it’s for

Perhaps the best choice for individual users who want to make a free presentation that isn’t generic. For business purposes, there are better presentation software apps on the market: you want to keep a razor-sharp image for your business content so it’s best not to rely on a fairly basic tool.

 

Pricing

Free plan available, with up to 5 projects, JPG downloads and a limited (but still very wide) selection of templates. Paid plans start at $25 a month. If you choose to subscribe for a year, you can save 4 months’ worth of fees.

 

All the tools above?

Yeah, you can make pretty things with them. But Storydoc gives you much more than nice-looking presentations.

We deliver real results. 

Transform your static presentation with Storydoc and close more deals, improve engagement metrics, and increase your customer base. Like these teams did:

 

5. Canva

canva

 

More than just presentation software, Canva is an online design empire loaded with thousands of templates for business content such as resumes, portfolios, business cards, and, you guessed it, presentations.

A nice bonus to their presentation themes is a gallery of over a million stock images you can plug into your presentation. In terms of functionalities, Canva doesn’t offer much more than traditional software such as PowerPoint, but their designs are super neat, elegant, and very much contemporarily-looking.

 

What’s best about it

Templates created by real design pros. Some of the themes you can find on Canva have that unique polished look hard to find elsewhere.

 

Who it’s for

Canva presentations are a great pick for creative fields such as photography, fashion, or advertising. This also means, you’ll be better off using Canva if you have a knack for graphic design.

 

zoho show

 

A part of a powerful software suite of 60+ products, Zoho Show presentation app deserves a separate mention on our list. In short, it could be described as Google Slides on steroids.

The tool offers real-time collaboration and full integration with other formats, including the said Google Slides and PowerPoint. What gives Zoho an edge are really solid customization options including animations, video, and interactive charts and graphics (note, however, that animated elements won’t work when you send Zoho deck in PDF). Plus, Zoho comes with very convenient Android and iOS apps: easier to use than its Google counterpart.

 

What’s best about it

They said it and they were right: “Minimalist and contextual UI.” Zoho is fun to use even for a presentation newbie. With the same amount of effort, you can create slideshows that look way more professional than those made with GSuite or Microsoft products.

 

Who it’s for

Anyone, really! Especially those who need a presentation for personal use will appreciate the free access for individuals. If your business is using other Zoho tools and you haven’t tried their presentation software yet, give it a go, too.

 

Pricing

Free plan for a single user available. $5 per user per month with a Standard plan, $8 per user per month with Premium.

 

powtoon

 

The only presentation software tool on our list dedicated solely to creating videos. PowToon offers video templates that are extremely easy to fill out and customize so you can create video presentations in minutes. You can add voiceover, customize the templates, and add extra animations. The premise of this presentation app is commendable and if you need to have an explainer video about your brand or product now, it should be your go-to tool. The problem is, videos created with PowToon give out an amateurish vibe, nothing like content you’d get from a professional video editor or a presentation deck that is truly on brand.

 

What’s best about it

Probably the most affordable tool to create product videos available online.

 

Who it’s for

Brand managers, internal communications teams, or HR. If you need a video that will make or break your project or campaign, reach out to an agency (and be prepared to pay at least 10x more).

 

Pricing

Starting at $89 a month. You can save a lot if you go for annual billing: from $228 to $1,188 a year.

 

prezi

 

Last but not least, a dinosaur in the presentation-making business (but a very lively one), Prezi. They burst onto the scene in 2009, offering one of the first ever alternatives to traditional slide decks. Their USP is a particular kind of movement across consecutive slides, giving an impression of seamlessly flowing through content. And, while that caused a sensation in the early 2010s, today it looks much more like a gimmick than means to any effective end. Prezi’s templates and animations they feature are, no doubt, unique. Perhaps paradoxically, though, this is exactly what makes it really hard to focus on the content.

 

On the flip side, Prezi went into overdrive adjusting their product to contemporary realities, substantially improving their “Prezi Video” solutions, enabling users to appear on live video alongside their content while presenting to their audience.

 

What’s best about it

It’s still very unique. Also, you can get quite a lot out of the free plan, so if you just need to make a few presentations, you’re in luck.

 

Who it’s for

Prezi is a good freemium choice for educators, as well as students, not ideal for business use, as the templates are too wacky: there are more interesting paid options to choose from.

 

Pricing

Up to 5 public projects at a time for free. Starting at just $3 a month for unlimited visual content, ending at $59 a month for a full-blown Premium plan that comes with an analytics panel.

 

And that’s a wrap…

 

Before you go, some food for thought about picking the presentation software app ideal for you:

  • There are free presentation apps way more advanced (and easier to use) than the standard choices, PowerPoint, and Google Slides.
  • That said, the only solutions free tools offer are slide-based decks. Those are fine for an in-person presentation, not so much if you need to send over your content to other people and expect them to actually read it.
  • If your presentation’s purpose is, ultimately, to make you money, you better spend some on it first. The best paid-for presentation makers offer a very high level of interactivity so you can grab your customers’ attention and make your message unforgettable.

 

That’s all from me today. Hope you enjoyed the read. Now go crush that deck!

 

John McTale

Hi, I'm John, Editor-in-chief at Storydoc. As a content marketer and digital writer specializing in B2B SaaS, my main goal is to provide you with up-to-date tips for effective business storytelling and equip you with all the right tools to enable your sales efforts.