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A presentation website is defined as an application built to display information in the form of a slide show. Any presentation tool must have three fundamental functions:
Slide shows often consist of a combination of text, video, images and charts. Their primary function is displaying clear, readable and summarized data to an audience.
Most presentations are shared and presented on a larger screen or through a digital projector. In rare occasions, slide presentations are printed out as a replacement for text documents, but this is a really inefficient way to review data, that Garr Reynolds calls ‘PresDocs’ (Garr Reynolds is the author of Presentation Zen, one of the most important go-to reference for successful presentations).
Related Read: What Makes Up the Best Presentation Templates?
There are literally hundreds of presentation software tools in the market today and keeping track is getting increasingly hard. Most of them have been optimized for a specific purpose or type of user and it’s very likely that THE ideal tool for you is actually one that you’ve never heard of.
PowerPoint is the most used presentation builder in the market today. It is distributed by Microsoft as part of their Office Suite, which is estimated to have over 500 million users worldwide. Microsoft has also revealed that approximately 35 Million presentations are delivered every single day, that’s a staggering 400 presentations per second.
But still, PowerPoint’s popularity has decreased significantly in the past few years. Their boring presentation templates, the large learning curve and complexity as well as the terrible slides many users end up making have started the Death to PowerPoint movement.
Choosing the best presentation tools for you sometimes can be hard, so here you have some suggestions:
Let's go one by one
Slidebean is an AI-based presentation platform that takes an online-based approach to slide design software and is one of the most feature complete and intuitive presentation tools available.
The Artificial Intelligence feature, with just one click, arranges the content from each slide you make! Up until November 2019, our AI button had been pressed over 50,000 times to make beautiful slides even more effortlessly.
If you're not particularly creative, Slidebean offers presentation templates for a whole host of slideshow applications, from sales proposals to conference presentations and pitch decks. These templates are sleek, modern and are easy to manipulate and change, allowing you to customize and alter the template as much as you need.
Slidebean also offers an innovative approach to sharing and showing off slideshows by generating a link to your slides which you can email or link to. This is useful in conferences and meetings where you may have to use someone else's laptop, as Slidebean's slides will automatically scale to the screen size. No more checking your presentation and frantically fixing misaligned text and misplaced graphics. The online format also allows multiple people to work on the same deck at once, which is perfect for team collaborations. Slidebean also monitors activity on slide pages, providing you with all the metrics and analytics your heart desires. You'll be able to find out who's looking at your slides and how long they spend on the presentation, invaluable information that will help you tweak and perfect your presentation. These metrics are particularly useful if you're showing it to prospective clients and using the data to determine who to call and what you should be talking about.
Overall, Slidebean provides an enticing alternative to PowerPoint and offers a host of features that come with being an online presentation website. Some may find the lack of customization options limiting, but unless you're the type of person who obsesses over every font choice and wants to customize everything on a presentation, you most likely won't even notice.
Related read: Best Presentation Software list
Google has made a conscious effort to emulate many of MS Office's tools, and Slides is their alternative to PowerPoint. It offers many of the same features as PowerPoint, such as transitions and the interface will be instantly familiar to any PowerPOint user. While it offers the flexibility and collaboration potential of an online platform, the interface is tricky to use and has many of the limitations of PowerPoint. It's great for whipping up a simple online presentation, but if you're looking for a powerful tool with many options, you'll be sorely disappointed.
SlideDog is a presentation website that takes a rather different approach to presentations, replacing the traditional slideshow with playlists composed of videos, graphics, and text. Users compile playlists by dragging and dropping files onto the platform and arranging them into a coherent presentation. SlideDog offers many of the advantages of the online platform, including real-time collaboration and viewer interaction. Users can add polls and questionnaires to their presentation which can be answered by viewers in real-time, giving you a clear idea of how your presentation is going. You can enable audience chat to add an extra layer of audience participation, great for collaborative meetings and educational presentations. The idea behind SlideDog may take some getting used to, but it offers unparalleled flexibility and interactivity.
The main disadvantage is that you can't create a presentation from scratch, you first have to import a slideshow that you've made on another platform and add all the interactive and visual elements afterward. This means that if you're not creative, you'll still need to find templates or creative inspiration elsewhere.
Prezi is an online presentation website tool that takes an alternative approach to slides and presentations. Instead of having a sequential slideshow, Prezi allows users to zoom into several subtopics, making presentations more engaging and persuasive. It allows presenters to move and adapt their presentation to the audience on the fly by zooming in on subtopics that are interesting at the time. The tool is available online as well as a desktop download, and users can seamlessly move their presentations between the two platforms. As with most online presentation websites, the cloud-based nature of Prezi allows users to collaborate on presentations and allows for presentations on multiple devices. The service also offers analytics and metrics, making it a powerful tool in a sales team's arsenal, and has plenty of templates to kickstart the creative juices.
Prezi uses a subscription-based model with a 30-day free trial, and this may prove costly to some smaller businesses who can't pay for a dedicated presentation website tool.
Another take on the traditional slideshow concept is Moovly, which can be considered more of an animation presentation tool than a traditional PowerPoint replacement. The main draw of Moovly is the smooth integration of animations into presentations and a whole host of templates to get the creative juices flowing. It's online-based, so you get useful features such as real-time collaboration and cloud saving. The software is free to use, but some animation libraries require a premium account to access.
KnowledgeVision allows users to combine video storytelling techniques with online presentations for maximum viewer engagement. The tool has a vast array of integrated tools that can be used to make some of the best presentations around, but this comes at the cost of a pretty steep learning curve which some users may struggle with. If you have the time to learn a completely new way of creating presentations and want all the customization options possible, KnowledgeVision may be worth checking out.
While some presentation websites want to give you as many options as possible, Haiku Deck takes the minimalist approach instead. Haiku Deck is great for simple presentations, and the interface is reminiscent of a simplified PowerPoint app. The main limitation of the tool is that it may be too simple for some, offering limited customization and very basic, stripped-down features. As it's web-based, it follows the traditional subscription model but does offer a 7-day trial for you to see if it's the PowerPoint alternative for you.
SlideRocket, one of the earliest web-based presentation tools, was acquired by ClearSlide some years ago and now goes by that name. It's got a lot of features focused mainly on the metrics and analytics side of things. The tool allows users to import already existing slideshows but also does offer some basic slideshow creation tools. If you're in sales or marketing and need to focus on the tracking and metrics aspect of your presentations, this may be the tool for you. It's complicated for beginners to master, but there is a 30-day free trial for you to start learning the ropes.
Slides is aimed at creatives who want to design their presentation templates from scratch. The presentation website offers CSS and HTML integration, allowing for great content flexibility in your presentations. The user interface is surprisingly user-friendly for such a complex tool, and if you're stuck, it does include a tutorial as well to get you started. The inclusion of animated, interactive charts makes this a great option for teachers giving educational presentations.
Flowvella is available on the Mac App Store as a desktop application. It provides a simple interface (certainly cleaner than Microsoft PowerPoint and somewhat similar to Apple Keynote) and some very nice design templates, which set good grounds so you can start building a nice looking set of slides on top of them. This is by far their biggest strength! If you want to start from scratch, however, you might feel a little lost creating something that looks good.
We found, however, that the oversimplified interface makes some basic options hard to find, like changing the color of a shape. Also, while running as a desktop app it still requires an Internet connection to download some elements, which can lead to a slower performance than a 100% desktop tool.
Update: We also read recently that they launched a tvOS app for the new AppleTV, making them, as far as we know, the first presentation tool to leverage the new platform.
You can find more details here.
The presentation websites market is growing rapidly, and many websites are taking interesting alternative approaches to traditional slideshows. If you're feeling adventurous, give PowerPoint a skip and try out one of these many alternatives for your next presentation.