I was a kid who liked to play in the rain and get muddy and wet. The outdoors were my playground. My friends and I would jump mud puddles on our bikes or simply run through them if we felt like it. Many youngsters of my generations were the same. But, my parents didn’t always like the aftermath of my rainy day adventures: the drenched socks and shoes, to say nothing of the soaked clothes, I would peel off and leave throughout the house along my path to an awaiting warm shower.

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As a child you were always told to make yourself presentable. You might not even know what your parents meant by that, but you were old enough to know it probably meant scrubbing your face, brushing your teeth, cleaning your ears and putting on clean clothes. Beyond that…who really knows?

Fast forward years later and you have finally caught on to what your parents were chirping about. First impressions are key. Sometimes those impressions can linger on until the end when a decision is needed. Despite what anyone tells you, these same first impressions can be crucial in the business world. You get one shot to make a great first impression.

The same amount of preparation and devotion to your clothes and overall cleanliness that your parents wanted you to aspire to achieve should be the benchmark when choosing a presentation program. It’s in your best interest as a business owner or an account manager to put your client’s business in the best possible light and choosing presentation software that captures that is critical. No one wants to look disheveled – especially as it takes away from any expertise you and your client might have in their respective areas of business. A great presentation program should provide the necessary tools needed to generate and manipulate graphics, and enable users to present their ideas effectively to other people in such a way that doesn’t put the intended recipients to sleep.

We all know that PowerPoint is the tried-and-true presentation tool for many years but I am going to focus on a few of the newer programs. So, with that here are my list of top presentation tools in a very random order because that’s how my mind works:

Prezi Business

For those who enjoy more creative freedom and interactive freedom, Prezi Business offers that in spades. Prezi is one of the more unique presentation tools. Instead of presenting your graphics and text in a slide-to-slide format, you can create highly visual and interactive presentation canvases.

Business users can use a variety of tools build and edit presentations with your colleagues in real-time. In today’s global workplace this is the perfect tool for companies with business teams based around the globe.

Another really creative tool that Prezi Business offers is the option to show your presentation live (in HD) and send a direct link to viewers. The Prezi Business app is available for both Mac and Windows devices. Free demo trials are available.

SlideDog

You will never have to worry about “out kicking your coverage with SlideDog. This is because this presentation software allows you to combine nearly any type of media to create a rich presentation that won’t have your audience yawning and checking their watches.

The creators developed SlideDog as a web-based multimedia presentation tool that has the ability to combine different types of presentations (PowerPoint presentations, graphics, PDF files, Prezi presentations, web pages, pictures, videos and movie clips).

Making your phone work as hard as you do – the presenter can remotely control the show presentations and playlists from a smartphone, the web or another computer, and there’s also the option to share slides in real-time. The intended viewers can even check out the slides from their own devices by clicking a link. SlideDog is available via a FREE download.

Google Slides

So, I mentioned up top that we wouldn’t be talking about PowerPoint, but that doesn’t mean we can’t list a program that takes on the same approach as PowerPoint. Google Slides will be familiar and as easy-to-use for many of you. Google Slides enables user to complete dynamic transitions, images, presentation themes, and other tools that users will like.  In fact, my third grade daughter was snooping over my shoulder as I was writing this blog and blurted out, “we use Google Slides in class!” That should be a big enough endorsement with would-be presenters.

Google Slides offers up Google Drives where you can work in real time with other users, and everything is stored on the web. Just like with other presentation programs, you can include images, charts, graphs, videos, fairly easy. A gem of an option is if you’re proficient with PowerPoint you can slip into Slides and open, save, and convert PowerPoint files. If you have a Google Account, Google Slides is FREE.

I know I have my work cut out for me to make my presentations pop as I continue to research these three programs. It’s never too late to add to your presentations skills. Hopefully, you found this list of presentation software tools relevant to your needs.