Being able to create an amazing presentation is a valuable skill. Whether you’re a student or a business owner, if you can draw people’s attention and credibly relay information, you’ll have a much easier time getting ahead. However, gone are the days where presentations were largely done on poster boards.

Presentations are largely made with online tools, which can make your life a lot simpler if you know which ones to use. To get started, below are some of the best online tools to help you create amazing presentations.

Business speaker giving presentation
photo credit: Decoded_conf / Flickr

What to Look for in a Presentation Tool

But first, it’s important to know what to look for in a presentation tool. There are hundreds of options out there to choose from, but not all of them are created equal. To start, look at how easy the program is to use. You’ll want something that matches up with your own experience level so that you can get started on your presentation without too much of a learning curve.

Next, look for tools that allow you to collaborate. Chances are you will need to work on this presentation with others, whether it’s having them create sections or simply because you want feedback. The best online tools for presentations will make it easy to share and work on projects with others.

After that, see how many options the tool comes with. For example, some online tools come with pre-made templates that you can use for your presentation. If so, how many does it offer? What sort of advanced features comes with that tool? Some tools are more advanced than others, so you should pick one that matches what you need.

Businesswoman giving conference presentation
photo credit: EU PVSEC / Flickr

Finally, consider the cost. Is the tool free to use? Do you have to pay monthly? Do advanced features cost more? It’s always important to consider the cost for any tool you want to use, so make sure the investment is worth your money.

#1 – Google Slides

The first presentation tool to consider is Google Slides. Google Slides is a great alternative to programs like PowerPoint, especially if you already have a Google account. Google Slides is free to use and comes as a default program for any Google user. One of the great things about Google Slides is that it makes it easy to collaborate with others and work on the same document simultaneously. Google Slides could use a few more options when it comes to design, but if you want a free tool that lets you collaborate on your presentation, this is a good place to start.

#2 – Keynote

If you’re an Apple user, a great presentation tool is Keynote. Keynote can take a little bit of time to learn, but it offers some great features once you do. It operates on the cloud, allowing for real-time collaboration, although at least one user must be on an Apply device. Inside Keynote is a decent selection of templates and slide transitions, so you can create great-looking presentations that all feel different from one another.

#3 – Vidyard

Sometimes you need additional tools in addition to your presentation software. For example, if you wanted to include a demonstration video within your slideshow, you can record it using a tool like Google Slides. However, you can use a free screen recorder like Vidyard. With Vidyard you can easily record what’s happening on your screen then upload that video to the presentation software of your choice. So, rather than taking dozens of images of that software you’re explaining, you can do it with one quick video.

#4 – Slidebean

If you don’t have the time or desire to build a presentation yourself, you should look at Slidebean. One of it’s best features is the ability to quickly create presentation slides for you. All you need to do is add in your content and Slidebean will make it into an attractive slide.

Another great feature of Slidebean is that you can track how your presentation is doing. Presentations are often a great way of driving traffic to your website, and with Slidebean you’ll get more information as to how well your presentation is doing that.

#5 – Grammarly

Finally, there’s Grammarly. A big mistake you’ll want to avoid with any presentation is misspelled words or poor grammar. One mistake is all it can take to drop your credibility and have people tune out of the presentation. With Grammarly installed on your computer or web browser, it will detect spelling and grammar mistakes you might have made. This free tool is essential if you want to polish up your presentations before showing them.

Giving presentation in board room
photo credit: Jurvetson / Flickr

Find the Best Tool for You

As we said, there are hundreds of tools out there that can help you with your presentations. The best thing you can do is think about what your own specific needs are, then try out a few different tools. Over time you’ll learn exactly what you need your presentation tool to do and which tools can help you the most.