Producing great creative work is often just half the task – the next step is communicating the story behind your ideas to others. While most creative roles will see you putting together a presentation at some point, working out what programs to use can be consuming and overwhelming. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of ideation, presentation and deck design platforms, with varying price ranges, to help you find one that’s the right fit. Whether it’s design packages to put together a beautiful deck, or virtual places to collaborate on multimedia slide-making, there will be something here for you.
Good for: Presentations, working with other Apple products Cost: Free
A free programme that comes built-in with all Macs, Keynote is a slideshow presentation tool that syncs with all Apple devices and has a clean, design-driven interface. You can create slideshows using your own images, text and 2D or 3D charts; different themes, fonts, styles, transitions and animation can also be selected. There are thousands of slick templates to choose from, and it also has a touch interface option, allowing you to draw and sketch on presentation slides.
Good for: Presentations, collaborative working Cost: Free
An online-only presentation tool, Slides is part of the Google workspace, so it’s integrated with other Google products like Drive and Sheets, alongside being free to use.
One big draw is that Google Slides allows you to work on a presentation with multiple people. So if you’re working on a group project, everyone can simultaneously edit slides within the same presentation. Designers have also praised the platform interface’s little touches, such as pasted text staying in the same field and the fact that images move smoothly within the crop.
Good for: Presentations, collaborative working (on Microsoft systems) Cost: £5.99 a month when you buy in a bundle with Microsoft 365
The OG presentation graphics package, developed for Microsoft systems. Its stripped-back slide design process keeps things simple, but means functionality is limited when it comes to integrating complex video-audio systems or adding lots of layers to a design. Collaborative working was recently added, but can only be done through Microsoft Office Online, Microsoft Office 365 or OneDrive. A nice perk is that Adobe Stock – a curated collection of thousands of great visual references and royalty-free assets from leading designers – is available within PowerPoint.
Good for: Deck design and layouts, smooth transition to PDF Cost: £19.97 a month with a 7 day free trial available
In terms of design capabilities, it’s hard to beat InDesign: if you’re looking to create a PDF deck that doesn’t compromise on design, it’s a sure winner. Although you won’t be able to work collaboratively and it’s not geared up to be a standalone presentation tool, you can add in elements such as .psd files or movie clips which can be imported into other programmes like PowerPoint. It can also import more formats, such as vector objects, and can be easily and quickly converted to PDF.
Good for: Collaborative ideation Cost: Free and additional packages start £8 per month
Miro styles itself a ‘remote whiteboarding tool’ where teams can come together in a presentation style to discuss ideas. Highly rated for its UX (user experience) ease and aesthetics, the software has tools such as virtual sticky notes, wire framing, dot voting and templates for mindmaps, ideation, workshops and meetings. You can also join the Miroverse, a community templates gallery showcasing the very best boards from the Miro community, as well as their creators’ work.
Good for: Range of templates, ease of use, pitching Cost: Free and additional packages start at £8 per month
A presentation platform with a good range of contemporary design-led templates ready for you to add your own text and imagery to. It’s easy to use for those with limited design skills, but also reliable for presentation experts wanting to create an on-brand deck. The software is set up for collaboration, as team members can leave comments, assign slides, track progress and go to a quick video call all within the app. As the name suggests, most templates are also set up in the flow of pitching, but they are versatile enough to work as a straightforward package for info, images or moodboarding.
Good for: Presentations, multimedia Cost: Free with additional packages from £5 per month
With its dynamic transitions and zooms, Prezi became a strong alternative to its longtime competitor PowerPoint, and is now even able to import existing PowerPoint presentations. It allows for more advanced designs and combines screen shares with graphics and animations. In ‘picture-in-picture’ mode, you can present visually within your charts, ideas and topics. It also supports downloading of files on a desktop app, in case you present in places with poor connectivity.
Good for: Beginners to pros, variety of templates Cost: Free, additional packages from £10.99 a month
The popular, simple graphic design software app has an impressive library of templates, stock images, fonts, shapes and music. It also boasts easy-to-use features, with a drag-and-drop slide creation function. A Pro version is available with a subscription cost, but is smoother to use on desktop and contains more features, such as creating bespoke graphics that are aligned with your visual branding, the ability to download images with transparent backgrounds and a presentation creator. It’s worth noting, though, that you can’t insert video or create more than 30 slides.
Good for: More advanced design, image-heavy decks, working with large files Cost: £10.30 per month, with a 30 day free trial available
Ludus claims to be “like Sketch and Keynote had a baby in the cloud.” This one has a bit more of a learning curve but, in turn, has more possibilities, such as integration with Dropbox, Soundcloud, Sketchfab, Google Drive and even Google Maps. Because it’s cloud-based, you can be working with very large video files without worrying that anything is being slowed down. It’s also possible to collaborate on Ludus, and you can set up multiple workspaces with different permissions so you have control over who can edit your work.
Good for: Animation, video, number of functions Cost: Free, extra packages start from £15 a month
A web-based professional video creation and animation platform aimed at creating engaging presentations. You write a script, record a voiceover and add visuals into templates, ensuring a minimal initial learning curve. Animated characters are a big feature of the platform, which has undergone a recent diversity overhaul. You also add in live footage or mixed media. There are tools to screen cast, as well as one to doodle across the slides and a range of free music available.
Good for: Design, team collaboration Cost: Free with limitations, £9.99 a month for extra functions
A web-based platform to connect everyone involved in the design or creative process, Figma aims to smoothen teams’ delivery of their work. It has a live collaboration design flow that really speeds things up, as team members can check in on files as they are being edited. Templates for presentations are available in abundance, but there are also lots of tutorials and exercises within the platform that help you hone your design skills.
Good for: Speeding things up, modern look Cost: £10 a month, with 14-day free trial available
It’s software with clean, simply designed templates. There aren’t endless bells and whistles, as its main focus is minimising time spent on creating visually slick presentations. As you add content, slides automatically adapt so that you don’t have to spend extra time lining things up or moving text boxes around. There are also collaborative features, and sharing a link with others allows them to view or edit your presentation in real time. Plus, there’s a live chat function that can be helpful in fixing errors and clarifying things on the spot.