7 Best Tools for Designing Impressive Slide Deck Presentations

Want to create slide deck presentations that people naturally want to talk about?

Some presentations are better than others. Some have breathtakingly beautiful designs. Some have actionable takeaways that you just can’t resist. Some share practical, helpful advice. But the best presentations include all of these elements and more.

A memorable presentation is one that stands out from other presentations on the same topic. In this article, I'll cover some insanely easy-to-use, mind-blowing tools for creating stunning presentations. But first, let’s dissect what makes a good presentation.

A good presentation is one that:

  • Is tailored to the audience. Too often, presenters don’t take the time to really understand why the audience is coming to the presentation. Do they have a good understanding of the topic or is this likely their first exposure to most of your material? What expectations do they have about your topic?
  • Is authentic. As a presenter, be comfortable with yourself. Know your strengths and leverage them during the presentation.
  • Is broken down into understandable segments with helpful, actionable advice. Break your topic down into the benefits, obstacles and practical steps that you want to teach.
  • Shares only one idea per slide and keeps things as minimalistic as possible. It’s better to feel more relaxed and less rushed; keeping things simple and minimal will help you achieve a more relaxed presentation.
  • Tells a story with a purpose. People remember stories! Make sure your story has a plot, characters, drama and a big idea. Give special attention to your main character and antagonist. Use concepts and vocabulary that will intensify the drama, leading to a strong solution. Use dramatic effects such as changes in volume, pace, contrasts and dramatic pauses. And make your story believable.
  • Solves a real problem for the listener. Your presentation should illustrate how your solution will work in the real world.
  • Uses compelling visual images. Don’t neglect the visuals! Your slides are what the audience will be looking at, so make sure they are something they enjoy viewing.
Exclusive Bonus: Download the pdf of the 7 Best Tools for Designing Impressive Slide Deck Presentations to reference in the future and/or share with colleagues in your school.

Now that you have the basics down, it’s time to get busy creating your spell-binding presentation. Here are some of my favorite tools that will make the process of designing your presentation fun and create unforgettable presentations

              1. Adobe Spark Video

Adobe Spark is a free video storytelling app that uniquely uses keyframes for designing your presentation. It offers a unique, simplified narration-based animation model. It’s easy to use – just read your line into your device and then choose a visual to create a complete, narrated video.

              1. Google Slides

Do you use Google Drive? If so, you may want to consider switching from MS PowerPoint to Google Slides. Google Slides is a great, free solution, especially if you’re already using Google Docs to share notes and Google Forms to collect information. Google Slides is a great tool for collaborators. It is also an easy, lightweight and straightforward tool that makes putting presentations together very enjoyable. If you want to work offline, you can download the Chrome browser you can view, edits and run Google Slides when offline. It makes web publishing easy and sharable.

              1. Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck is a great presentation tool that you can use to create stunning presentations on any device. You can download your slides directly into Slideshare or as a PowerPoint. Haiku Deck is simple and fun to use, inspiring your creativity. I really like the built-in fonts, layouts, and free images. 4.Powtoon Powtoon is a free tool that creates animated videos and presentations. Animated presentations are highly attractive for your audience. Afterall, who doesn’t love animation? It’s really easy to use – just drag and drop! It contains themes of animated cartoon characters, props and transitions, which you can just drag and drop onto your slide. If you’re looking for a unique, eye-catching and fun presentation, Powtoon might just do the trick!

              1. Prezi

Create an effective, engaging and memorable presentation with Prezi. Prezi is presentation software that helps you connect more powerfully with your audience. Unlike slides, Prezi’s open, zoomable canvas lets you show the relationships between the big picture and fine details, taking viewers on a compelling, informative journey they are likely never to forget.

              1. Microsoft Office – PowerPoint

PowerPoint is, of course, a powerful presentation software program that I would be remiss if I did not include in this list. It is a part of Microsoft (MS) Office Suite that includes Word, Excel and other MS products. PowerPoint is the gold standard against which other presentation software is often measured. It is very flexible, while, at the same time, offers powerful features, such as background music and animations. PowerPoint allows a presenter to record the slide show with narration and a pointer. Slides can be customized and can be broadcast to specific users using a link and Windows Live.

              1. SlideRocket

SlideRocket is a tremendous tool for schools. SlideRocket builds interactive conversations. It is highly intuitive and portable. You can start by importing a PowerPoint, making it very attractive if you don’t want to start your presentation from scratch. SlideRocket makes it easy to store all documents, images, and videos all in one place, making your content easy to access. It is highly collaborative and has built-in sharing and tracking tools so you can engage your audience and build better presentations. SlideRocket integrates with ClearSlide, a sales engagement platform with lots of built-in customer relationship management (CRM) features. No matter your topic or design ideas, there are some amazing presentation creation tools available. These tools make building a presentation so easy; the hardest part might be choosing which tool to use!

Exclusive Bonus: Download the pdf of the 7 Best Tools for Designing Impressive Slide Deck Presentations to reference in the future and/or share with colleagues in your school.

Do you have a favorite presentation design tool I missed? Have you used one of these and want to share how it worked for you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

About the author 

Brendan Schneider

Hey, I’m Brendan, and this is my blog. After 28 years working in private, independent schools in mostly admissions, enrollment, marketing, communications, and fundraising roles, I decided to make SchneiderB Media my full-time job, where I help schools get more inquiries through my Fractional Digital Marketer program. I also started the MarCom Society, a membership created expressly to help, support, and train marketing and communications professionals at schools.

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