by Deeksha Malik
Published on 16 December 2016
Great presentations aren't only for people who wear black turtlenecks. If you want your presentations to be engaging, memorable and audience-centric, you need to find the best presentation tools for the job. And believe it or not this isn't always PowerPoint.
In this article, we'll explain how to choose the right presentation software for your small business, looking at what these applications do, what features you should look for, and some examples of popular solutions.
A presentation software is used to display information or ideas through videos, motion slides, infographics or simply text. The tool can string together text, pictures, clip art, sound, animation, and videos to present information that is engaging and interactive.
Whether it's a sales pitch, loan proposal, investor meet, corporate training, project update, it's essential that you keep your presentations lively and engaging.
In a recent survey by Prezi, almost half of respondents admitted to doing something else other than listening during a co-worker's presentation. 28 percent confessed they were busy sending a text message while others were checking emails (27 percent) and falling asleep (17 percent).
This shows that how important it is to present information clearly and effectively to grab your audience's attention.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to find out if your business is ready to implement a presentation software:
Do you often feel that lackluster sales presentations are the reason why some key deals have gone to your competitors? The best presentation tools can help you design impressive sales pitches that hit home the value of your product or service in an engaging and convincing way.
Are you in a business where you need to showcase your work through electronic portfolios? For example, if you are an artist, designer or photographer, your web portfolio is key to attract clients and increase your marketability. A presentation software can help you showcase your work by designing slides using multiple graphics and visual images.
Do you frequently need to create, design and publish product brochures and newsletters? With presentation software, you can also create professional looking marketing collateral, brochures, and newsletters for traditional printing or online publishing.
Is the complexity of your products and services acting as a roadblock to marketing them? Do your sales team struggle to demonstrate these complex offerings to customers? A presentation software can also help you present product demos to customers or potential clients in a very clear way.
Do you often face challenges when you have to present and teach new procedures and share information with employees? With the right presentation software, you can share a lot of information with a wider audience at one time.
Does your HR department find it hard to conduct training for new or existing employees? Presentation software can also be used as a training tool to create worksheets and eLearning tutorials.
Do you often need to host an online meeting with attendees spread across multiple locations? It's easy to present and share your slides online with a presentation software. You can also link these slides to your business website as well as your social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
The challenge with finding the best presentation tools is not the lack of choice, but the abundance of such solutions in the market. Each has its own unique features, which makes it even tougher to choose the right one for your business. To make the process a bit easier, I've outlined few questions that will help you in selecting the right tool.
Will you choose on-premise software or go for a cloud-based solution? Cloud deployment allows centralized control and remote management of presentations. Users can create, edit and work on the same presentation from multiple locations.
Will you be able to integrate it with other existing solutions in your company? The best presentation tools support integration with applications such as ticketing, helpdesk, CRM, RMM (remote monitoring and management), and ITSM tools your organization already use. For example, ScreenConnect's integration with RMM tool LabTech allows IT professionals to remotely access and repair LabTech devices as well as conduct online meetings. Similarly, ClearSlide's integration with Salesforce provides insights on buyer engagement and productivity of sales team across communication channels.
Does it have mobile apps for iOS and Android devices? Mobile apps can extend the functionality of the presentation software beyond the desktop. For example, Prezi's mobile app Prezi Viewer allows users to access their presentations on mobile devices, and also share them through emails, messages or social media apps. Users can also connect their mobile devices to present on large screens using digital projectors.
What are the pricing options? Presentation software is available in different types of licensing depending if it's on premise or in the cloud. If you choose on premise software then the one-time license model applies, where users make an upfront, one-time payment for the purchase of the licenses and own them forever.
Cloud-based software is subscription-based, with companies normally paying per user on a monthly basis. Users can be added and removed as required, and there are normally different tiers according to usage needs. In a freemium-based model, businesses can use limited features of the software free of charge, with the option to upgrade to full functionality.
Once you answered all the questions above, you'll want to explore key features of a presentation. Here's what to look out for when you're doing your research into presentation software options:
Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software used mostly by small and medium-sized organizations, freelancers, and those in public administration. The solution facilitates teamwork and collaboration by allowing the team members to create, edit and work on the same presentation from multiple locations. Users can insert videos, sound, and images to the presentation, as well as directly import them from Google and Flickr. The app has an offline mode, allowing users to work on presentations without internet access.
ScreenConnect is a remote support software that enables remote monitoring and control of devices from multiple locations using the internet. The tool allows technicians to take control of an unattended computer or server from a remote location. Its remote meeting functionality allows users to create meetings and also share their desktops with participants. Meetings can also be recorded for training purposes or later use. The solution also offers mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Slidebean is a cloud-based presentation software mostly suitable for startups, small businesses, consultants, teachers, and students. Its online collaboration functionality allows multiple users to work on the same presentation from different locations. The tool offers dozens of pre-built templates, colors, fonts as well as an image gallery. Users can also export the presentations in PPT and PDF formats.
As George Washington Carver said: "When you can do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world." The best presentation tools allow you to create memorable experiences that are impactful and inspiring.
We hope the information we've provided will help you choose the best presentation software for your business. Go check out our comprehensive list of presentation software, or compare some of the best presentation tools based on their features, integrations, mobile support, online presence, and pricing.
If you've have already bought a presentation solution, we'd love to hear your experiences. Go ahead and leave a review on GetApp and let others know about its strengths and weaknesses.