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List of 19 Presentation Software and Tools (Create, Produce, Present)

software tools to create or produce a presentationTo sell a product or service, you need a way to connect.  Having a quality presentation can do the job, but how do you find the software tools to create or produce a presentation?  Where do you start?
  • Looking for software and tools to create or produce a presentation?
  • Possibly in need of software to do the presentation offline or online?
  • On a budget?  Need free presentation tools?

Here is my list of presentation software and tools. (Don't limit their use to just presentations, though!)

- This list does not include online meeting managment tools ... those go on another list-

Jing  (free) Screen capture recorder, 5 minute limit. Upgrade available.

Wink  (free) Screen capture recorder. Output is flash so size is limited.

Snagit  (price) Multiple uses including screen capture / recorder with editing. Output is AVI.

Camtasia  (price) Top of the line screen capture / recorder / suite for creating tailor made video presentations (integrates wth MS {Powerpoint}).

Camstudio  (free) Screen capture / recorder. Output is flash.

Articulate Presenter (price) Powerful program takes powerpoints to another level. If you already know MS Powerpoint, this integrates with it.

Animoto  (free) With upgrade available. Takes photos / slides and gives them pizazz in a Hollywood style of presentation. Automated after you upload photos and music. Variable outputs.

Presentation Tool - Windows Movie Maker  (free) Similar visual to Camtasia. More limited but does allow for a variety of media to be inserted into a presentation including a variety of video, audio, graphics. Variable outputs.

Microsoft Photo Story 3  Bring your digital photos to life with Photo Story 3 for Windows.  Experience your photos in amazing new ways.

conveyConvey  (free)  Upload, read, watch and listen to content from business experts which includes:  Articles, Webinars, Videos, E-books, Reports, White Papers, Podcasts.  You have control to make it fully accessible for download or available for embedding on another site.  Convey offer you the choice to provide it free or charge a fee.  (Adding to your online income.)

SlideShare  Upload and share your PowerPoint presentations and Word documents on SlideShare. Share publicly or privately. Add audio to make a webinar.  This is not a production tool, simply a means to present.  FREE.

SlideRocket  SlideRocket appears powerful with lots of options to take a presentation to the next level.  Other than minor testing, I am not familiar enough with it.  They offer a demo though!  For online presentatons.

Audacity  No presentation can be produced without good audio and audacity is the one I use.  FREE and powerful software.  (I love Audacity)

Brain Betty  I know the name is silly but Brain Betty provides FREE tools, templates, audio, music and more to help you create a PowerPoint presentation.

Microsoft PowerPoint  Can't leave this off the list.

Impress  The FREE option from to Microsoft's PowerPoint and some say it is even better.

Wildform Get everything you need to create great multimedia presentations and e-learning projects. Converts PowerPoint to Flash and many tools to take your presentation to the next level.

WikiHow  WikiHow can get you started if you feel stumped.

Screenr  Instant screencasts for Twitter. (Can be used beyond Twitter)  Now you can create screencasts for your followers as easily as you tweet. Just click the record button and you'll have your ready-to-tweet screencast in seconds. (added 12/1/09)  Online Presentations...On Demand.  Create, Share, and Track multimedia presentations with ease.  Brainshark helps business people and organizations communicate faster and more cost-effectively than ever before (added 12/1/09)

Prezi  This online presentation software can give your presentation a bit of WOW.  You can use Prezi by importing media such as PowerPoint slides, images, videos, YouTube videos, PDFs, etc.  (added 8-01-2012)

Watch what Prezi can do:


Roxio Pro 2010  Roxio of course has been in the software market many years and has good reviews.  They say there have been over 350 million copies shipped worldwide.  (added 01/13/10)

I am finding Camtasia to be a top contender for creating presentations and videos (with screen capture). It does have a price tag but with the excellent options and power it is well worth every penny. The others have a great potential for filling needs when doing small projects.

You may not want to invest the money if used rarely for smaller projects. Jing, Camtasia and Snagit are all Techsmith products. Techsmith provides tutorials to get you over the humps.

If your budget is low, go with Jing (limit of 5 minutes each screen capture but first class).

If your budget is low and you want to learn the software quickly, add narration, and keep it simple, go with Wink

If you value your time and need to have power, go with Camtasia.

If you want to keep it simple and low cost, use Impress and upload to Convey or SlideShare.  As long as you have the internet connection, you can present to a group in a conference room or online. 

Another option other than Convey or Slideshare for your Powerpoint is My.BrainShark.

I gave you the full menu since each person has their own budget and knowledge base. The latest MS Powerpoint has plenty of options as well. The issue, of course, is HQ if you are using it for conferences or streaming online, etc. This lead me to Powerpoint / Camtasia / Articulate / Animoto if you intend to show it on a screen. They have been successful for me in rooms up to 100+ (if the screen size is very large, I have not tested these as of yet).

Once you go to "flash" output from smaller / cheaper recorders, there is degradation of quality. Camtasia and Articulate Presenter have output options (as does Animoto).   In my original search for options, I came across a few more resources but did not follow up so no testimonial or testing done: Netbriefings (for very large groups)  ConnectLive (for larger events, including live)

I hope this streamlines your search. (or at least eliminates what not to look for)  :) smile  Keep me posted if you find something!

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Thank you. 
I have just added two more to the list for you. 
Posted @ Monday, December 21, 2009 3:55 PM by Carola Smail
Great list Mike, thank you. I have used JingPro a fair amount, it's only $15 per year and gives you an undbranded player and allows you to record in MPEG4. I will check out some of the others, though I think I am at the point of paying the money and getting Camtasia.  
One final point, and we've had a lot of experience with this, a good online presentation/video can really improve your lead generation results and fancier doesn't automatically mean better performance. We learned this the hard way, after our simple PowerPoint based presentation performed very well, we decided to have a slick flash based presentation made...and, our lead volume dropped by 30% needless to say we put the simple PowerPoint based presentation back up.
Posted @ Monday, December 21, 2009 4:37 PM by Matt Gethins
Your comment is very appreciated and the added testimonial could prove to be priceless for many. is my next stop for test as it combines Audio to PowerPoint online.  
Keep me posted! 
Posted @ Monday, December 21, 2009 5:09 PM by Michael Hartzell
Excellent post, Michael. I loved this article!
Posted @ Tuesday, January 26, 2010 9:38 AM by JULIE HUANG
So glad. What a great way to start the day. Good words. Makes my day. I look forward to your presentation! :) 
Posted @ Tuesday, January 26, 2010 10:26 AM by Michael Hartzell
Great post! Your site provides a wealth of info. Thanks!
Posted @ Monday, February 01, 2010 2:07 PM by Art Jones
Art, Glad to be of assistance. Many hours of research seemed wasted if I did not share it. If there is anything specific I might be missing? Lots of stuff in the storeroom I can share. Keep me posted. 
Posted @ Monday, February 01, 2010 3:28 PM by Michael Hartzell
Nice article seem interesting and informative,here i like to share more interesting news that i have found in my recent research to create online presentation in few minutes. We currently using this software & found more cheap and user friendly as well
Posted @ Monday, August 30, 2010 2:09 AM by Susan
Thank you Susan for sharing another resource. I appreciate your feedback. 
Posted @ Monday, August 30, 2010 10:45 AM by Michael Hartzell
Hi, thanks, your list provides exactly what i was looking for, i'm still unsure of the product, but i have all the information needed, regards
Posted @ Tuesday, June 19, 2012 5:39 PM by Eti Tamir
iSpring Pro is a less expensive alternative to Articulate Presenter (three-four times). And it support PowerPoint features even better. 
Posted @ Thursday, November 15, 2012 5:31 AM by Katya
Thank you Katya, 
Good tip. 
Appreciate it. 
Posted @ Thursday, November 15, 2012 11:27 AM by Michael Hartzell
I am very pleased to send to you about PresentationTube, at 
PresentationTube provides a video presentation recorder and video sharing network to help teachers, students, and business professionals record, upload and share online video presentations in a new way. The recorder synchronizes a variety of visual aids, including presenter's audio and video footage, PowerPoint slides, drawings, handwritten words, and web content. PresentationTube helps presenters to involve the audience via scrollable slide thumbnails and discussions, with unlimited video storage and delivery.
Posted @ Monday, March 18, 2013 2:57 PM by Alaa Sadik
Thank you for the addition. Presentation Tube is already making great progress I see. Excellent.  
Posted @ Monday, March 18, 2013 3:04 PM by Michael Hartzell
Thank you Mike for tell more about presentation software.
Posted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 5:44 AM by Emmanuel
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