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Updated Nov 20, 2023

Beyond PowerPoint: Presentation Tools for Small Businesses

Natalie Hamingson
Natalie Hamingson, Business Strategy Insider and Senior Writer
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This guide was reviewed by a Business News Daily editor to ensure it provides comprehensive and accurate information to aid your buying decision.

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PowerPoint can be an effective tool for communicating key ideas and engaging your audience during a business presentation. But it’s also easy to get caught in a stale routine when using the program, which dates back to 1990. Using the same old format to display basic points on simple slides over and over won’t hold viewers’ attention for too long. 

If you’re stuck in a rut with PowerPoint, it might be time to branch out. There are tons of modern presentation tools out there that break with conventional methods. For instance, many programs today allow you to create moving images and emphasize key points in captivating new ways. If you’re looking to shake things up and connect with your audience in a fun and engaging way, it may be time to try one of these alternative solutions.

Presentation tools for small businesses

Taking advantage of the best presentation tools is a critical component of learning how to give a presentation that impresses colleagues and clients. Read ahead for a list of PowerPoint alternatives that can take your slideshows to the next level.  

Visme

Visme is a cloud-based presentation tool that allows you to create highly visual presentations to engage viewers and communicate your ideas. It features an intuitive, drag-and-drop design method for creating presentations. The business version of the software helps facilitate brand consistency and company-wide image storage. 

When you or your employees create a presentation in Visme, it can feature colors, logos and images that are on brand for your organization. This promotes consistency across all employee presentations and helps reinforce your visual brand. Visme further offers a built-in analytics system, so you can see when your clients have viewed and finished your presentation.

Visme has multiple pricing options, with individual plans that start free of charge and expand to $12.25 per month and $24.75 per month. However, you have to contact Visme’s sales team for business pricing. 

Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck is a platform that prioritizes simplicity. Business owners can create straightforward but elegant presentations with high-quality images. The spartan template approach keeps content concise, so your audience can connect with the presentation rather than getting lost in text-heavy slides. 

What separates Haiku Deck from traditional presentation tools is its library of images and array of fonts. The software makes it easy to craft simple yet visually powerful presentations that are accessible on any device. You can even create a presentation right from your smartphone or tablet. [Learn how to use your iPhone or iPad for a presentation.]

Haiku Deck sells a Pro plan for $9.99 per month when billed annually or $19.99 when billed month to month. Premium plans begin at $29.99 per month, billed annually.

Pitcherific

Pitcherific is designed to make your client, investor or business partner pitches stand out from the pack. The platform encompasses tools for building and practicing your presentation, all rolled into one solution. The template-based program helpfully guides you through the presentation creation process. Instead of drafting a few boilerplate slides, Pitcherific prompts you to write out specific parts of your pitch.

The outline for an elevator pitch, for example, includes a hook, problem, solution and closing. There are various templates for different kinds of pitches, so you can get guidance on many types of speeches and presentations. Pitcherific also recommends a character count for each section and has a time clock, allowing you to track how long your speech or presentation is so you stay within the desired range.

Pitcherific’s pricing for entrepreneurs and what it calls “project makers” starts at $19 monthly and includes discounts if you select annual billing. Pitcherific offers a seven-day free trial in case you’re curious to see how the platform works without digging into your wallet.

Canva

Canva is an online platform that provides templates for a wide range of business-related publications, like resumes, newsletters, business cards, media kits, brochures and infographics. You can also use it to construct presentations.

There are hundreds of design layouts and templates to start with, and you can upload your own images or choose from more than 1 million of Canva’s stock images to customize the slides. As you build your presentation, you can adjust text and fonts, add filters to images and drag and drop different elements for professional designs. You can also upload and save your company logo for repeated use.

Canva offers a free version equipped with its basic features. The more advanced Canva Pro is priced at $119 per year for one person while Canva for Teams starts at $149.90 per year for the first five users. A free trial is available for the paid packages.

SlideCamp

SlideCamp provides slide templates and allows you to store all company presentations in a sales deck library. With SlideCamp’s templates, you can adjust color schemes, add company logos, import charts and data, build infographics and organize presentations into sections. This is a great solution for maintaining consistency across multiple presentations from your organization.

After you set up your branding details, employees will be able to work with predesigned slides to craft professional presentations that match your standards easily. Presentation outlines can also be prefilled with recurring information, such as sales figures.

There are a few plans available, ranging from $99 per month to $499 per year, depending on the number of users you want to have access to SlideCamp. There is a demo version as well, so you can try out the service to see if it’s right for your business.

Powtoon

Who says presentations have to consist of just static text? Powtoon is an animated presentation and video platform that’s ideal for creating short informational videos and presentations about your brand or product.

Explainer videos are an important part of a brand’s marketing, and Powtoon is an affordable tool for creating animated videos and presentations to educate consumers and clients about your business. You can easily edit presentations and videos, add voice-overs and build a professional marketing experience for your customers.

Powtoon’s plans range from $15 to $125 per month, depending on your needs and the size of your business.

Prezi

Prezi is another template-based solution that you can use to create persuasive and engaging presentations with unique movement between slides and key points. Prezi maps out your whole presentation based on an overall track that you establish. When you switch slides, it doesn’t simply advance to the next one — it takes the viewer through the track to the point that needs to be made. This allows your audience to visualize the progression of your presentation.

Additional tools allow the presenter to leave notes only visible to them and add voiceover narration.

Prezi personal plans begin at $9 per month. Prezi Premium for Business Professionals costs $59 per month.

TipTip
Make your presentation pop with special features like voiceover narration. Some tools, like Prezi, even let you appear on screen alongside your graphics.

VideoScribe

VideoScribe is a whiteboard video presentation platform that allows small businesses to customize video presentations to fit their needs. These videos, which feature a whiteboard and hand that “draws” different objects and slides in the presentation, are ideal for quick explainers and marketing videos on your business or product. 

You can place objects, insert text and even draw your own objects or text with VideoScribe’s platform easily. There are also templates for making YouTube videos, infographics and more.

VideoScribe is available for either $42 per user per month or, if paid annually, $15 per user, per month (a huge savings). If you want to extend VideoScribe access to a larger team, you’ll have to contact the vendor for custom pricing. 

The advantages of using presentation tools

Whether you stick with PowerPoint or opt for a more recent product, presentation tools primarily can help add the edge necessary for your business to truly get noticed. After all, when it comes to pitches and meetings, it’s essential to tell a good story. Visual aids can bring your business’ narrative to life while keeping your audience actively engaged throughout your presentation. Customized presentations can also reinforce your visual brand while keeping your slides clean and organized.

It’s best practice to send your presentation to attendees following a meeting. This way, everyone in the room can digest your message more on their own time afterward. Presentation tools usually allow you to convert your presentation into a small downloadable file format for easy sending. There’s no need to waste time printing paper copies.

Presentations can also serve many purposes outside of face-to-face meetings, which is another reason this kind of software comes in handy. With presentation libraries built into these platforms, team members can easily access and repurpose the content they need. This can be helpful, for instance, if a potential client sends an email asking about custom pricing options. You can send the client a sales deck you generate from your presentation library easily.

Did You Know?Did you know
The content you create in your presentations can help you answer stakeholder questions in a pinch.

Creating the best presentations possible

Presentation tools are an effective way to streamline investor, business partner and client meetings. Eye-catching visual aids and clean branded content show that your company has what it takes to deliver for your customers. It’s never a bad time to look beyond PowerPoint for a presentation program that can level up your slideshows for the modern age.

Matt D’Angelo contributed to this article.

Natalie Hamingson
Natalie Hamingson, Business Strategy Insider and Senior Writer
Natalie Hamingson has spent more than 15 years researching and studying print and digital communications with a recent focus on business operations. She has hands-on experience with a range of software tools, from Salesforce to Buffer, and has also worked with data entry systems and accounting administration. Hamingson is adept at managing contact and financial data, conveying high-level concepts to a variety of clients and targeting different audiences through various mediums (email campaigns, longform writing, etc.). With a bachelor's degree from UCLA in communications studies, she excels at helping small business owners by providing counsel on website and social media content, marketing strategies, product descriptions and tools for accounting, payroll and sales.
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