Best Presentation Software in 2021 – Free and Paid

When most people think of presentation software, they probably think of Microsoft PowerPoint, which has been the standard in the industry for what seems like forever.

Despite being the more well-known options on the market, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best, so with that in mind, let’s take a look at some PowerPoint alternatives.

There are a lot of different presentation apps available, and with the addition of cloud-based and online presentation software, the market has been opened up in recent years.

Being able to create a unique presentation and utilizing new features are something that is fairly lacking in Microsoft PowerPoint, so we will focus on other presentation apps that can be used for everything from schoolwork, to meetings, to business presentations, to design work.

This article will cover a few of the presentation software I’ve used, it depends what kind of content you want to create and features you want to use, but there should be something for every team on the below list.

The reviews will focus on some of the best features, pros, cons, and pricing of each of these presentation tools.

Is There a Better Presentation Software than PowerPoint?

PowerPoint has been the industry standard for years and years, but that doesn’t mean it is the best, the different options on this list showcase the shortcomings of PowerPoint and show areas for improvement.

So, if you’re looking to create a fairly generic slide deck, stick with PowerPoint, otherwise, review this list and see which fits your needs and style.

Best Presentation Software

  1. Google Slides

Google Slides is a web-based presentation tool that works with your Google account and is part of the G Suite available via Google Drive. It’s one of the best presentation software for real-time collaboration, that’s easy to use, and accessible on mobile devices too.

The fact Google Slides has offline accessibility and is really easy to share with your team or clients, it can be used from everything from sales presentations to school work, allowing multiple people to edit simultaneously.

As with most of its software, Google makes it easy to use its whole alternative office suite from your web browser. Google Slides has tons of presentation templates and slide layouts, so whatever your audience, you’ll find what you need.

Despite being a Google presentation app there is both iOS and Android mobile compatibility, and the fact it is cloud-based gives you that flexible access wherever you need it.

Google Slides Presentation Software

Features

  • Google Slides is cloud-based so can be accessed anywhere
  • Web-based presentation software that works on phones, laptops, and desktops
  • Lots of great looking Google templates that can work for every type of presentation
  • Works on any browser (Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge, and Safari)
  • No software required, just needs a Google account to access Google Slides

The Good

  • Presentations are automatically saved in the cloud, so you won’t lose anything
  • Can use smartphones as the remote control for Google Slides (iOs and Android)
  • Chat, comment, and review features give real-time options for collaboration
  • Easy to download your Google Slides presentation as a PDF to share or upload to Slideshare
  • Most of the templates and functionality are available in the free option
  • Screen sharing via Chromecast and AirPlay
  • Offline editing capability to work from anywhere

The Bad

  • Formatting issues can occur between PowerPoint and Google Slides, this can be frustrating
  • If you’re used to Microsoft you may find some components are missing
  • Offline editing only works on a Google Chrome browser

Pricing

Google Slides has a free option for its software which is very robust in comparison to the majority of presentation software. The number of templates, content and ability to use the web browser make it a great free option.

The paid subscription, however, is only $6 a month, which also has a free trial, so it’s a very reasonable deal as opposed to other options on the market.

  1. Apple Keynote

Apple Keynote will be familiar to Mac and iPhone users as it comes pre-installed on all devices and is a reliable presentation app that is designed to be user friendly and create presentations with ease.

The fact Keynote has real-time collaboration means that your company, team, or friends can work on projects together wherever you are. Keynote has a big design library, with templates, slide layouts, and free images.

Keynote Live allows users and multiple people to watch the Keynote presentation at the same time and slides will play in real-time as you flick through them.

One of the nice additions that Keynote presentations offer is the use of Apple Pencil which gives design heavy users a great option for showcasing their content portfolio or utilizing their skills to make great-looking presentations.

Apple Keynote Presentation Software

Features

  • Voice-Over Narration gives Apple Keynote slides a different feel and fresher looking content
  • There’s a huge variety of slide templates for a wide audience, so regardless of your type of presentation you can create a good deck
  • PowerPoint compatibility, Keynote is able to work well with Microsoft Office software, exporting, editing and saving PowerPoint files
  • Keynote cloud-based version, allows this Apple software to be accessed anywhere

The Good

  • Apple provides great animation and transition effects that make presentations look professional
  • Apple Pencil gives users the opportunity to include their own drawings in their Keynote presentations
  • Clean integration with Apple devices and a range of neat templates
  • Keynote live allows presenters to control content remotely on a phone or internet-enabled device
  • Presenter view is robust and similar to PowerPoint
  • Real-time collaboration makes working together on content easy
  • Chat capability allows users to communicate effectively

The Bad

  • Apple Pencil / Drawing feature is still in its infancy, so isn’t quite up to scratch
  • Converting to and from PowerPoint can be a little glitchy
  • The cloud-based version of Keynote is only available through an Apple iCloud account

Pricing

Apple provides Keynote free for all of its devices and their users, from Macs to iPhones, to iPads. It is unavailable if you’re not on an Apple device, this inaccessibility makes it hard to crown best presentation software.

  1. Slidebean

Slidebean is a web-based AI-powered online presentation tool, that tests thousands of different layouts and configurations in a matter of seconds to give you the best design possible. It is a nice thing to see in a presentation app, and with the huge selection of templates, it makes it really easy to use.

Slidebean offer a Pitch Deck creation service, where a group of designers can work on your presentation and create a clean looking end result for you.

The fill-in-the-blank templates give a huge range of users the ability to make great-looking presentations in next to no time, created by industry experts and designers.

Slidebean takes notes from a lot of the different presentation apps such as Google Slides, Keynote, and PowerPoint to make something fresh.

Slidebean Presentation Software

Features

  • Slidebean has an algorithm that automatically formats your slides, giving you the best layout for each of your elements
  • The gallery of templates is vast and has a lot of different styles and designs available
  • A wide range of examples from recognizable companies are available to showcase how bigger organizations utilize the tools and presentation software
  • Embedding in a website with HTML script is easy, and sharing on Social Media is fairly simple too

The Good

  • Sophisticated and detailed presentations can be made with relative ease
  • Cloud-based presentation tool so can be used anywhere that has internet access
  • PowerPoint files are simple to import and edit
  • Range of tools to create a professional-looking presentation
  • Tracking functionalities and viewer insights help review the reach and success of your content
  • Premium fonts and color palettes give a professional sheen

The Bad

  • Founder’s edition seems very expensive for the majority of users
  • Less viable for smaller organizations or companies
  • Users may experience issues importing different file types

Pricing

There are four different plans for Slidebean, Free, Starter, Premium, Founder’s Edition, each at very different price points.

Free – $0 (free templates, AI-powered editor, access all media galleries)

Starter – $8 per month (15+ starter templates, share presentations, control privacy, export to PDF & HTML)

Premium – $19 per month (120+ premium templates, track analytics, white labeled, priority support)

Founder’s Edition – $149 per month (everything in premium, free expert advice, investor finder, and more)

  1. Slides.com

Slides goes for the simplistic approach to presentation software and focusing on the creative audience, it has a load of different designs and options to make beautiful looking presentations easily. On top of this, it is also sold as ‘the best tool for developers’ and states it is the only presentation app that has a fully open-source format

This is another web-based option that makes it much more accessible than the traditional options such as Apple Keynote presentations and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Slides lets users access the slides via mobiles so whether you have iOS or Android, you can use your phone as an editor, but also a remote control to do your slideshow presentation.

This user-friendly presentation app helps you create presentations effortlessly and share them with each other with ease, it utilizes a simple drag and drop style so there’s no learning curve.

Slides Presentation Software

Features

  • Open source means it’s great for developers
  • Easy collaboration so remote teams can work together effortlessly
  • Auto-Animate tool allows for animations to be made with ease
  • Can be white-labeled and used for company teams
  • Able to be integrated and embedded in websites

The Good

  • Drag and Drop makes it easy to use
  • Cloud-based presentation software
  • Phone can be used as a remote control
  • Comments, feedback, and notifications make working together easier
  • Easy to export to PDF or PPT for offline usage

The Bad

  • Lower-tier plans have limits on collaborators
  • Lite version is very limited
  • No discounts offered (outside of pay annual saving)

Pricing

Slides.com has three formal paid plans, Lite, Pro, and Team, and a quote based plan that is called Enterprise.

Lite – $5 / month (unlimited private decks, 1GB storage, offline presenting, export to PDF)

Pro – $10 / month (unlimited private decks, unlimited storage, offline presenting, export to PDF, custom CSS, Google Analytics, share privately)

Team – $20 / month (unlimited private decks, unlimited storage, custom branding, theme editor, priority support, shared media library)

Enterprise – Quote based plan (speak to the Slides.com reps to find out more)

  1. LibreOffice Impress

LibreOffice is a free web-based, open-source office suite, with Impress being its presentation software, that is incredibly versatile and easy to use due to the different editing and viewing modes.

The modes are as follows: Normal (standard presentation format), Outline (for broadly organizing and formatting text content), Notes (for viewing and editing notes on the slides), Handout (for making collateral and printouts), and Slide Sorter (gives a thumbnail view of your slides to aid in sorting).

On top of this, Impress has an array of drawing and diagramming tools which can add rich media and content to your presentations and help you make the best presentation with ease.

LibreOffice Impress has a lot of varied templates available in its repository to give your presentations a bit more flavor and visual appeal.

Libre Office Presentation Software

Features

  • Regularly updated with a large community of developers tinkering with the software
  • Supports lots of different file types, including PowerPoint, Word, and others
  • Has a lot of different third-party plugins, from grammar tools, language packs, mind mapping tools, and more
  • Has the ability to change the interface in a number of ways

The Good

  • Easy to collaborate with other users using different office suites
  • Users can edit, open, and save PowerPoint files
  • Can be self-hosted on a local server to edit documents and presentations (similar to G Docs, and Office Online
  • Impress remote control app works on Android and iOS to control your presentations from your mobile devices
  • No advanced features shielded by a paywall
  • Preloaded with blank slide deck templates and access to stock images

The Bad

  • Limited amount of templates so need to download more
  • Instant collaboration isn’t available
  • No integrated cloud storage
  • Lacks some of the more advanced features from the paid options

Pricing

Impress is an open-source presentation software from the LibreOffice suite, so is free of charge.

  1. Prezi

Prezi leans more to being a design focused alternative to PowerPoint and works really well for users wanting a more organic presenter view. Prezi presentations really shine with their ability to have slides alongside you when you are presenting, whether this is a chart, stock images, or a brand kit. Feature-heavy Prezi presentations have become really popular in recent years.

Prezi has a really unique feel, and it makes it in the running for the best presentation software. Prezi creates and organizes your slide deck into one flowing design, similar to a mind map or brainstorm.

The ability to present over video is a great option for Social Media and presentations posted on YouTube, giving a new angle to the presentation software as opposed to PowerPoint copies. The ability to upload and convert a PowerPoint presentation into a Prezi allows users to make the best presentation they can in minutes.

Prezi Presentation Software

Features

  • Prezi is user-friendly and easy to use, learn and master
  • Control every element of your presentations with Prezi’s innovative editor
  • Native desktop apps for Windows and Mac
  • Mobile apps for Android and iOS
  • Drag and drop for easy use
  • Online and offline presentations

The Good

  • Able to integrate with a wide variety of apps from Zoom, to Microsoft Teams, YouTube, LinkedIn, Slack, and more
  • Dynamic transitions make Prezi flow like one large content map as opposed to different slides, like most presentations
  • Free trial available for Prezi
  • Much more scope for creativity than the more generic PowerPoint clones
  • Import and convert PowerPoint presentations into Prezis
  • Mobiles can act as remote controls

The Bad

  • Web-based and desktop versions don’t work on Internet Explorer
  • The lower tier plans have limited features and Prezi is geared towards converting users into premium plans
  • Can be over complicated for people who want to make a simple slide deck

Pricing

Prezi has both a free option and a free trial for users to enjoy, the paid plans vary from country to country but they range from around $5 to $59 / month.

  1. Zoho Show

Zoho Show markets itself as collaborative presentation software, that allows you to create visually engaging presentations, anytime, anywhere.

With its minimalist and simple design, users can easily understand how to use the software to make their presentations, the clutter-free UI shows relevant options depending on what you’re doing.

With a wide variety of templates, Zoho Show gives you an excellent starting point to make the best presentation with relative ease. As alluded to before, this software is geared towards collaborative presentations and makes it simple to work on projects together.

The fact this web-based tool gives you the ability to publish straight to Social Media or other places makes it really versatile for developing and sharing your presentations.

Zoho Show Presentation Software

Features

  • The clutter-free interface that only shows you what you need depending on what part of your presentations you’re working on
  • Extensive range of tools that make your work easier
  • Ability to import PowerPoint files without formatting issues
  • Different in-house editing tools give users a lot of freedom
  • Image optimizer tools give a professional sheen to your projects
  • Chrome extension makes Zoho Show optimized and quicker

The Good

  • Lots of high-quality themes to pick from to help customize your work
  • Charts look really dynamic and visually appealing
  • Table formatting is robust and easy to organize
  • Collaboration tools are up there with the other best presentation software
  • Live streaming can be done through Chromecast, Apple TV, or Android TV
  • Design elements such as transitions, themes, and animations are contemporary and dynamic
  • Secure sharing links let non-Zoho users view presentations whether on email, Social Media Posts, or messages

The Bad

  • Although the templates are nice, there is a very limited number
  • Slow internet can crash the software
  • The free version is only available for personal use
  • Rates are per person, not per company

Pricing

Zoho Show’s pricing is really simple, there are three plans, Free, Standard and premium, ranging from $5-$8 per month/user.

  1. Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck offers a quick and easy solution to creating visually stunning and simple presentations on iPhone, iPad, and the web. Haiku Deck removes a lot of the clutter of other presentation software and focuses on what you need.

There are a ton of high-quality styles, fonts, layouts, image filters, and more to save you from having to hire a graphic designer or fork out for expensive designs on the competitors.

One of the nice parts is that Haiku Deck has royalty-free images that you can access with ease, avoiding any all rights reserved images and just giving you premium stock royalty-free images to bolster your projects.

The program is designed to be very user friendly and gives easy to follow best practices to give you a leg-up and create professional-looking presentations. The embedded AI helps presentations level-up and look amazing.

Haiku Deck Presentation Software

Features

  • The high level of customization gives a huge scope for your work
  • Clean layout and design makes it simple to master
  • Design optimized so anyone can make presentations that look impressive
  • 40 million-plus images in the gallery give users an incredibly large set of resources to bolster their presentations

The Good

  • The free trial gives potential buyers a good preview
  • Massive array of professional designs
  • Presentations can be downloaded to be used as audio narration or put into PPT
  • Easy to share slides via Facebook, email, and Twitter
  • Gives the option to record audio tracks
  • Charts and graphs look really professional when used
  • Cloud-based software means everything is saved automatically and available anywhere

The Bad

  • Only works on Apple devices (iOS devices, iPads, iPhones) and on web, so limited market
  • The free version is fairly limited and you can only create one set of slides
  • Doesn’t work on Windows or Android

Pricing

Haiku Deck has fairly simple pricing with two major paid plans, Pro and Premium, and a free version. There are also special offers for students, education, and nonprofits.

Pro Plan – $9.99 a month when billed annually ($19.99 when billed month-month) – unlimited slides creation, privacy control, custom branding, YouTube search and embed and more.

Premium Plan – $29.99 a month when billed annually – in-depth analytics and lead tracking, priority support, presentation view notifications, live web playback.

  1. Microsoft Sway

Microsoft Sway angles itself a little differently to the other options on the list, stating it’s great for making newsletters, documentation, and presentations.

At first, I thought it was odd for Microsoft to have two options in this space, with PowerPoint being the main program; It seems Sway is positioned a little differently, aiming for presenter-less documents and presentations.

In fact, due to the tight-knit integration with PowerPoint allows you to edit your presentation in a number of ways. A nice thing about Sway is that as some of the newer software, it leans to simplicity and removes a lot of clutter.

Sway automatically optimizes for whatever screen size or the device they are going to watch on, with the ability to be co-edited and easily shared, it’s very user friendly.

Microsoft Sway Presentation Software

Features

  • Office 365 gives you the flexibility to turn other documents and work into a Sway
  • Dynamic adaptation to any screen size or device
  • Smart tools like ‘Start from a Topic’ help create more fitting content
  • UI is simple and easy to use
  • Flows much better than other software with the design flowing left to right

The Good

  • Side scroll makes slides flow more
  • Remix tool applies a random design instantly
  • Highly customizable layout
  • Easy to review through Storyline tool
  • Light application and quickly processes

The Bad

  • Designs are fairly limited
  • Granular layout controls are missing
  • Storage is not available via the cloud

Pricing

Bundled with Office 365 at $6.99 a month.

  1. CustomShow

CustomShow is a presentation software aimed at B2B sales and marketing departments, focusing on rich media interactive experiences to keep your audience’s attention. It steers away from the traditional text-heavy options and gives a fun way to create presentations.

The majority of the branding, website, and design focuses on these segments and is clearly pushing for these niches as opposed to being one of the broad presentation tools. With this in mind, there are a lot of different areas CustomShow focuses on.

CustomShow gives users the ability to create master slides which can then be edited for individual team member’s needs and for different clients, giving a real wow-factor and personalization to each presentation, as opposed to Microsoft Office, Keynote, or Google Slides.

Custom Show Presentation Software

Features

  • Great editing tools that can make visually stunning presentations with ease
  • UI is very well designed and has a short learning curve
  • Meetings can be held in a number of different ways, both online and offline
  • Keeps your brand looking uniform with advanced features and slide builder

The Good

  • Integration with SalesForce gives easy presentation and response tracking
  • Can share presentations with multiple users simultaneously
  • Excellent customization options
  • Able to stream video or animations via iPad, Windows, Mac, or the web
  • Media such as brand assets, files, third party videos, and animations can be added

The Bad

  • The performance can worsen when large size images/videos are imported into slides
  • The library has no search function
  • The free version is fairly limited

Pricing

CustomShow has a free version available but it does not have the type of functionality that the premium version does. There are no prices listed on the website, users have to schedule a demo of the presentation tools.

Once you’ve scheduled a demo the sales reps will get in touch to give you more information, including the price and answer any questions.

  1. SlideDog

SlideDog gives its users the option to use all of their files in one presentation. SlideDog makes a playlist of all of your elements, so they will play in their original format and not be downgraded, converted, or lose their quality. Once the playlist loads all the media plays like one seamless file.

SlideDog allows for live sharing, which is great for hosting presentations for a lot of people in different places or working remotely, this can be done with your phone or on a laptop or desktop.

This presentation software allows you to drag and drop lots of various files into the playlist and makes disjointed presentations and files become one smooth product.

Slidedog Presentation Software

Features

  • Interactive features such as live chat, polls, and audience feedback make SlideDog great for larger groups and remote working
  • Designed by presenters to create user-friendly and dynamic software
  • Able to handle multiple file types from other software, PowerPoint files, PDFs, videos, etc…
  • Clean user interface making it easy to work with
  • Flexible to suit your needs
  • Custom notes can be made on the smartphone presentation app for the presenter’s eyes only

The Good

  • Has drag and drop, so is easy to use and master
  • Ability to embed other media, webpages, live chats, and polls
  • Supports a ton of file formats
  • Dual Screen Mode allows users to use two screens to control the slideshow
  • Chatroom gives the option to discuss the presentation instantly

The Bad

  • The live audience is capped at 100 users
  • Only compatible with Windows
  • There are no templates or design library so users have to use their own files
  • Background images cannot be changed in the free version

Pricing

SlideDog has simple pricing, the presentation software has a free version, Pro, and Enterprise.

Pro – $99 / Year (Removes the watermark, presenter view, custom background, live poll, sharing and quiz and the remote control)

Enterprise – Quote based option, for larger organizations (has all of the content in the pro mode)

What is the Best Presentation Software in 2020?

Across this article we have looked at just a few of the PowerPoint alternatives available on the market, to help you and your staff find the best tools to create presentations.

In short, the best presentation software in 2020, is whatever one fits your presentation needs.

One of the best ways to select the presentation tool for you is to think about your budget, why you are using the software if you need access on mobile devices and the customization options.

In addition, knowing if you want a web-based option can always help you pick your presentation software.

Hopefully, this article helped you decide which presentation tool is best for your company and can help you make the best presentations next time you’re making one.

What is the Best Free Presentation Software?

There’s a lot of good options for the best presentation software available for free, and it depends what you are looking for, but PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Keynote are all very popular presentation apps due to their wide availability and easy accessibility.

Mark Quadros is a Content Marketer for SaaS and Online-business. He also runs 'The Real Mark', a blog about travel, remote work, and online marketing.Affiliate Disclosure.

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