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

Posted by Michael Hartzell on Sat, Mar 21, 2009
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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