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11 Types of Presentation Software in 2022 – The Complete Guide

11 Types of Presentation Software in 2022 – The Complete Guide

Presenting

Leah Nguyen 15 Jun 2022 10 min read

There are hundreds of presentation software options available on the market today and we know it’s hard to venture outside the comforts of PowerPoint. What if the software you’re immigrating to suddenly crashes? What if it does not live up to your expectations?

Luckily we’ve taken care of all the tedious tasks for you (and that means testing over a dozen types of presentation software on the way), to bring you the best free presentation software below. 

Make sure to stick to the end of the article to know who your presentation platform soulmate is!

What is Presentation Software?

Presentation software is any digital platform that helps elaborate and illustrate the presenter’s points through a sequence of visuals like graphics, texts, audio, or videos.

Each bit of presentation software is unique in its own way, but all usually share 3 similar features:

  • A slideshow system to show each idea consecutively.
  • Slide customisation, such as organising different clusters of texts, inserting images, choosing backgrounds or adding animation into the slides.
  • A sharing option for the presenter to share the presentation with their colleagues.

Each bit of presentation software gives you different unique features and we’ve classified them into the 5 types of presentation software below. Let’s dive in!

Interactive Presentation Software

An interactive presentation is one that has elements the audience can interact with, such as polls, quizzes, word clouds, etc. It turns a passive, one-way experience into an authentic conversation with everyone involved. 

  • 64% of people believe that a flexible presentation with two-way interaction is more engaging than a linear presentation (Duarte).
  • 68% of people believe that interactive presentations are more memorable (Duarte).

Ready to boost audience engagement in your presentations? Here are a couple of interactive presentation software options for you to try for free.

#1 – AhaSlides

We’ve all attended at least one ultra awkward presentation where we’ve secretly thought to ourselves – anywhere but this.

Where are the buzzing sounds of enthusiastic discussions, the “Ooh” and “Aah” and the laughter from the audience to dissolve this awkwardness? 

That’s where having an interactive presentation software such as AhaSlides comes in handy. It engages the crowd with its free feature-rich and action-packed content. You can add polls, fun quizzes, word clouds, and Q&A sessions to hype up your audience and have them interact with you in meaningful ways.

People enjoying an interactive presentation on AhaSlides

Pros:

  • A library of pre-made templates that’s ready to use to save you time and effort.
  • The post-event report is useful for anyone who wants to see how the interaction went.
  • You can import PowerPoint presentations, Google Slides, and embed YouTube videos for a more seamless experience.
  • The customer service is super responsive.

Cons:

  • When you import PowerPoint slides, the animation is lost.
  • There’s not much flexibility in slide animations and text arrangements.

💰 Pricing

  • AhaSlides is free with unlimited features and unlimited access that allows you to host up to 7 people.
  • Essential plan: $4.95/month (pay annually), host up to 50 live participants.
  • Plus plan: $10.95/month (pay annually), host up to 200 live participants.
  • Pro plan: $15.95/month (pay annually), host up to 10,000 live participants.
  • One-time plans and education plans are available.

✌️ Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

👤 Perfect for

  • Educators, trainers, public speakers.
  • Small and large businesses.
  • Individuals who want to host a quiz night.

#2 – Mentimeter

Mentimeter is another interactive presentation software that lets you connect with the audience and eliminates awkward silences through a bundle of polls, quizzes, or open-ended questions in real-time.

a screenshot of Mentimeter interactive presentation

Pros:

  • It’s easy to get started right away.
  • A handful of question types that can be used in any scenario.

Cons:

  • No PowerPoint or Google Slides integration.
  • The free version is strongly limited. You can only create 2 questions in the presentation.

💰 Pricing

  • Mentimeter is free but only allows to create up to 2 questions per presentation and up to 5 quiz slides.
  • Pro plan: $11.99/month (pay annually).
  • Pro plan: $24.99/month (pay annually).
  • Education plan is available.

✌️ Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

👤 Perfect for

  • Educators, trainers, public speakers.
  • Small and large businesses.

Non-Linear Presentation Software

A non-linear presentation is one in which you don’t present the slides in a strict order. Instead, you can jump into any chosen slide within the deck.

This type of presentation software allows the presenter to have more freedom to cater content relevant to their audience, as well as to let their presentation flow naturally. 

#3 – RELAYTO

Organising and visualising content has never been easier with RELAYTO, a document experience platform that transforms your presentation into an immersing interactive website.

Get started by importing your supporting content (text, images, videos, audio) and RELAYTO will piece everything together to form a complete presentation website up to your purposes, whether it’s a pitch or a marketing proposal. 

Pros

  • Its analytics feature, which analyses viewers’ clicks and interactions, provides real-time feedback on which content is engaging to the audience.
  • You don’t have to create your presentation from scratch since you can upload existing presentations in PDF/PowerPoint format and the software will do the work for you.

Cons:

  • The embedded videos have length restrictions.
  • You’ll be put on a waitlist if you want to try RELAYTO’s free plan.
  • It’s pricey for occasional uses.

💰 Pricing

  • RELAYTO is free with a limit of 5 experiences.
  • Solo plan: $80/user/month (pay annually).
  • Lite Team plan: $120/user/month (pay annually).
  • Pro Team plan: $200/user/month (pay annually).

✌️ Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐

👤 Perfect for

  • Small and medium businesses.

#4 – Prezi

Widely known for its mind map structure, Prezi lets you work with an infinite canvas. You can alleviate the boredom of traditional presentations by panning between topics, zooming in on details, and pulling back to reveal context. 

This mechanism helps the audience see the whole picture you’re referring to instead of going through each angle individually, which improves their understanding of the overall topic.

how Prezi looks like with its non-linear feature

Pros

  • Fluid animation and eye-catching presentation design.
  • Can import PowerPoint presentations.
  • Creative and diverse template library.

Cons:

  • Takes time to make creative projects.
  • The platform sometimes freezes when you’re editing online.
  • Can make your audience dizzy with its constant back and forth movements.

💰 Pricing

  • Prezi is free with a limit of 5 projects.
  • Plus plan: $12/month.
  • Premium plan: $16/month.
  • Education plan is available.

✌️ Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐

👤 Perfect for

  • Educators.
  • Small to large businesses.

Visual Presentation Software

Visual presentation focuses on wowing the audience with aesthetically pleasing designs; the kind that look like they came straight from a professional designer’s hard drive.

Here are some pieces of visual presentation software that will bring your presentation up a notch. Get them on the screen and nobody will have a single clue if it’s been designed by an adept professional unless you tell them😉.

#5 – Slides 

Slides is an interesting open-source presentation tool that allows great customisation assets for coders and developers. Its simple, drag-and-drop UI also helps people with no design knowledge to create presentations effortlessly.

Slides can format complex math equations so they appear correctly on the presentation

Pros:

  • Fully open-source format that allows rich customisation options using CSS.
  • The Live Present Mode lets you control what viewers see on different devices.
  • Allows you to display advanced math formulas (super helpful for math teachers).

Cons:

  • Limited templates which can be a hassle if you want to create a quick presentation.
  • If you’re on the free plan you won’t be able to customise much or download the slides to see them offline.
  • The website’s layout makes it hard to keep track of slides. 

💰 Pricing

  • Slides is free with five presentations and a 250MB storage limit.
  • Lite plan: $5/month (pay annually).
  • Pro plan: $10/month (pay annually).
  • Team plan: $20/month (pay annually).

✌️ Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

👤 Perfect for

  • Educators.
  • Developers with HTML, CSS and JavaScript knowledge.

#6 – Ludus

If Sketch and Keynote had a baby in the cloud, it would be Ludus (at least that’s what the website claims). If you are familiar with the designer environment, then Ludus’s versatile functions will get you hooked. Edit and add any kind of content, collaborate with your fellow colleagues and more; the possibilities are endless.

a screenshot of Ludus presentation software

Pros

  • It can integrate with tons of design assets from design tools such as Figma or Adobe XD.
  • The slides can be edited simultaneously with other people.
  • You can copy and paste anything to your slides, like a YouTube video or tabular data from Google Sheets, and it will automatically transform it into a beautiful chart.

Cons:

  • We encountered a lot of bugs, such as an error that occurred when trying to undo, or the presentation’s inability to save, which resulted in some losses of work.
  • Ludus has a learning curve that takes time to get to the top of if you’re not a pro at designing things.

💰 Pricing

  • You can try Ludus for free for 30 days.
  • Ludus personal (1 to 15 people): $14.99.
  • Ludus enterprise (over 16 people): Undisclosed.
  • Ludus education: $4/month (pay annually).

✌️ Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐

👤 Perfect for

  • Designers.
  • Educators.

#7 – Beautiful.ai

Beautiful.ai is a prime example of presentation software that has both the look and the functionality. Worrying that your slides would look mediocre will no longer be a problem because the tool will automatically apply the rule of design to organise your content in a captivating way.

Pros:

  • Clean and modern design templates that let you show the presentation to your audience in a matter of minutes.
  • You can use Beautiful.ai templates on PowerPoint with the Beautiful.ai add-in.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t display well on mobile devices.
  • It has very limited features on the trial plan.

💰 Pricing

  • Beautiful.ai doesn’t have a free plan; however, it lets you try the Pro and Team plan for 14 days.
  • For individuals: $12/month (pay annually).
  • For teams: $40/month (pay annually).

✌️ Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

👤 Perfect for

  • Startup founders going for a pitch.
  • Business teams with constrained time.

Simple Presentation Software

There’s beauty in simplicity, and that’s why many people crave a presentation software that’s simple, intuitive, and goes straight to the point. 

For these bits of simple presentation software, you don’t have to be tech-savvy or have guidelines to make a great presentation in an instant. Check them out below👇

#8 – Zoho Show

Zoho Show is a counterpart to PowerPoint or Google Slides, but with more prominent social-media-like features, such as live chat and commenting features. 

Besides that, Zoho Show has the most extensive list of cross-app integrations. You can add the presentation to your Apple and Android devices, insert illustrations from Humaaans, vector icons from Feather, and more.

Pros

  • Varied professional templates​​ for different industries.
  • The live broadcast feature lets you present on the go.
  • Zoho Show’s add-on market makes inserting various media types into your slides easily.

Cons:

  • You may experience the software’s crashing issue if your internet connection is unstable.
  • Not many templates are available for the education segment.

💰 Pricing

  • Zoho Show is free.

✌️ Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

👤 Perfect for

  • Small and medium businesses.
  • Non-profit organisations.

#9 – Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck minimises your effort in creating presentations with its simple and neat-looking slide decks. If you don’t want flashy animations and would rather just get straight to the point, then this is it!

how haiku deck presentation software looks like

Pros

  • Available on the website and the iOS ecosystem.
  • Enormous template library to choose from.
  • Features are easy to use even for first-timers.

Cons:

  • The free version doesn’t offer much. You can’t add audio or videos unless you pay for their plan. 
  • If you want a fully customisable presentation, Haiku Deck ain’t the one for you.

💰 Pricing

  • Haiku Deck offers a free plan but only allows you to create one presentation, which isn’t downloadable.
  • Pro plan: $9.99/month (pay annually).
  • Premium plan: $29.99/month (pay annually).
  • Education plan is available.

✌️ Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

👤 Perfect for

  • Educators.
  • Students.

Video Presentation Software

Video presentations are what you get when you want to make your presentation game more dynamic. They still involve slides, but revolve very much around animation, which happens between images, text and other graphics. 

Videos offer more advantages than traditional presentations. People will digest the information more easily in a video format compared to when they’re reading text. Plus, you can distribute your videos anytime, anywhere.

#10 – Powtoon

Powtoon makes it easy to create a video presentation without prior video editing knowledge. Editing in Powtoon feels just like editing a traditional presentation, with a slide deck and other elements. There are dozens of animated objects, shapes and props you can bring in to enhance your message.

The interface of Powtoon looks like a PowerPoint presentation, which is easy for users to navigate

Pros

  • Downloadable in multiple formats: MP4, PowerPoint, GIF, etc.
  • Various templates and animation effects to make a quick video.

Cons:

  • You’ll need to subscribe to a paid plan to download the presentation as an MP4 file without the Powtoon trademark.
  • It’s time-consuming to create a video.

💰 Pricing

  • Powtoon offers a free plan with very limited functions.
  • Pro plan: $20/month (pay annually).
  • Pro+ plan: $60/month (pay annually).
  • Agency plan: $100/month (pay annually).

✌️ Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐

👤 Perfect for

  • Educators.
  • Small and medium businesses.

#11 – VideoScribe

Explaining theory and abstract concepts to your customers, your colleagues or your students can be tricky work, but VideoScribe will help lift that burden. 

VideoScribe is a video editing application supporting whiteboard-style animations and presentations. You can place objects, insert text, and even create your own objects to put in the software’s whiteboard canvas and it will generate hand-drawn style animations for you to use in your presentations.

Pros

  • The drag and drop function is easy to get acquainted with, especially for beginners.
  • Can use personal handwriting and drawings besides those available in the icon library.
  • Multiple export options: MP4, GIF, MOV, PNG, and more.

Cons:

  • If you have too many elements in the frame, some won’t show up.
  • There’s not enough available quality SVG images.

💰 Pricing

  • VideoScribe offers a 7-day free trial.
  • Monthly plan: $17.50/month.
  • Annual plan: $96/year.

✌️ Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐

👤 Perfect for

  • Educators.
  • Small and medium businesses.

Comparison Table

Exhausted – yep, there’s a lot of tools out there! Check out the tables below for a quick comparison of what might be best for you.

Best value for money

AhaSlides Slides
– The free plan offers unlimited use of almost all functions.
– The paid plan starts from $4.95.
– The free plan has restricted use of functions.
– The paid plan starts from $5.

Most intuitive and easy to use

Zoho Show Haiku Deck
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best for education use

AhaSlides Powtoon
– Education plan available.
– Interactive classroom activities like quizzes, polls, brainstorming, etc.
– Various education templates available.
– Education plan available.
– Fun animation and cartoon characters to keep the students hooked visually.

Best for professional business

RELAYTO SlideDog
– Oriented towards marketing, sales & communication professionals to create rich experiences for their customers.
– Detailed analytics on the customer journey.
– Consolidate different kinds of content into one presentation.
– Interactive activities such as polls and feedback are available.

Best for creative use

VideoScribe Slides
– Can upload your own hand-drawn images to further illustrate the points made in the presentation, or vector graphics and PNGs for greater customisation. – Great customisation for people who know HTML and CSS.
– Can import different design assets from Adobe XD, Typekit and more.

Use this reference code when you checkout: AHAXMAS21