November 28, 2014

11 Highly Useful Presentation Tools for Sales and Marketing

Computer slide presentations are one of the ways we sell in person. We create the slides, show them to a prospect and then leave them on our machines for the next time we need them.

Why let them go to waste? By hosting them online, we can repurpose them as marketing and soft sales pieces.

Aside from repurposing existing presentations by loading them online, what if you want to create new presentations from scratch that do more — that contain a mix of slides, browser screen shots, product images, and even short video clips?  Today you can easily do that and often for free.  Jing and some of the tools below make it possible to create a more dynamic presentation, complete with audio, animation, and video that you can position on the Web for customers to review at their convenience.

So here are 11 presentation tools for creating outstanding presentations or just repurposing already-existing presentations, for your sales and marketing.  NOTE:  There is a follow-on post with 33 Highly Useful Presentation Tools linked at the end of this post.

1. Slideshare is a well known presentation hosting site. It has great web applications to let you distribute  your presentations to LinkedIn, Facebook, and many other social networks. It is becoming its own social network, in essence. They do not let you build a presentation as many of these others do; you only can host it there. It is simply a presentation portal where your ideas and thoughts can garner traffic and links.

Slideshare

2. Google Presentations - It sometimes feels to me that Google does everything that I need online. It isn’t true, of course, but Google Docs does offer Google Presentations. You can create a presentation from scratch or upload a Powerpoint file to Google and then share it with others. A basic tour is found here.

3. Zoho Show does a lot more than presentation hosting.  Zoho’s tool in this category is excellent and collaborative. If you need to have a chat going while you’re presenting, this is one to look at.

4. Prezi is one of the hottest startups in the presentation world. Takes a new look at presentations, gives you a large canvas to place images, videos, text and then lets you zoom in and out on various parts of your “presentation.” You have to host your presentation at Prezi, but you can embed it into your site or blog once you’ve done that. Their technology appears to be too robust to package up in any current file format. I liked this phrase from their site: “Prezi is zooming sketches on a digital napkin.”

5. authorStream allows you to convert your Powerpoint into video, which then lets you tap into all of the other video type hosting services like Vimeo, YouTube, Viddler, and others. This YouTube Marketing post by Travis Campbell inspired me to investigate the different options you are reading now.  I wondered if I could put my presentations on high traffic video sites without having to do a video.

6. Jing is a screen capture program that lets you capture whatever you have on your desktop (slides, webpage, image) and add audio as you click through. You can then save it to their slide presentation hosting site, Screencast or download it for email, chat or the web.

In the past I have frequently used GoToMeeting.com.  The only problem?  I was unable to save some of the audio from my presentations.  So I used Jing to re-create my presentation, added browser screens in a tour-like fashion, and audio. I was then able to email it to the people who could not join the presentation. The feedback was always terrific.

Jing

7. KinetiCast is a presentation hosting service that’s great for the analytical types who just have to know what happens when a prospect views the presentation. You upload your presentation, then send your prospect a download link which KinetiCast then tracks if the prospect actually visits and what they look at as well as how long they spend. They also let you download your presentation as a video.

8. Empressr has been widely written about and it is one of the market leaders. You can create your presentation, add video, audio, photos, then host it there for free and share it with others. They call it the world’s first free online storytelling tool.

9. 280Slides is a browser-based tool that requires no download. If you do not have presentation software, this is one of the most intuitive tools I’ve seen for free. You simply work right from your browser to create slides, insert video, photos, and audio and save in different formats. It also lets you publish it direct to Slideshare, which I found pretty neat.

280Slides

10. Myplick lets you upload your presentation and then add audio to it. It is a slide hosting service, smaller and less well known than Slideshare, but because it helps you place audio into the presentation, I include it here. They give you various options for including your audio into a presentation allowing you to upload a video with the sound you want.

11. vcasmo allows you to put video and presentations together, which is pretty interesting. Your video goes on the left side and slides on the right. As you talk through your presentation, you are demonstrating your service or product by video. It looks and feels like an in-person presentation with their format.

* * * * *

These tools can help you create presentations from scratch or enliven existing presentations with audio and screenshots. If you’ve ever given a presentation via PowerPoint or some other software tool, you can give that work a new life and post your presentations online.  Or just create a new whiz-bang presentation with all the bells and whistles.

Give some of these a try and let us know which ones work for you. Tell us about others you may like.

If you need just a few more, click over to our 33 Highly Useful Presentation Tools followup post.

34 Comments ▼

TJ McCue - Product Editor


TJ McCue TJ McCue served as Technology/Product Review Editor for Small Business Trends for many years and now contributes on 3D technologies. He is currently traveling the USA on the 3DRV roadtrip and writes at the Refine Digital blog.

34 Reactions

  1. TJ: What an extensive list! I am familiar with Slideshare, Google presentations and Zoho show. I have to check out the rest of the list, #4 – 11. The online presentation format has developed a lot since I started to use PowerPoint in the 90’s.

    Do you know about any good site for learning the tricks and tips for doing a good presentation? I know that the Toastmasters are good at public speaking and presentation. I wondered if you know about other organizations and sites that are specialized in this area?

  2. Hi Martin
    Thanks for the kind comments. The only presentation site that has made an impact on me is at Guy Kawasaki’s Change the World.
    http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2005/12/the_102030_rule.html
    It is one of the best summaries of how to present.

    He also quotes a great site called Presentation Zen that I like, too.
    http://www.presentationzen.com/

  3. Hi TJ,

    That was a good post by Guy Kawasaki. 10 slides, 20 minutes long, font size 30.

    Maybe I should use this slide in my first course on social media next month? ;)

    http://laughingsquid.com/accurate-pie-chart/

    Found at Garr Reynolds’s Posterous site.

  4. TJ, I agree with Martin – what an extensive list. I had only heard of a couple and you have saved us a lot of time by compiling the list. Thanks.

    I have used Turbo Demo for screen capture and audio presentation, so I am interested in looking at Jing in particular.

  5. TJ — This ones a real keeper! Super helpful. I plan to check out the sites I wasn’t aware of and share them with my audience. Thanks!

  6. You should add to the list http://www.faculte.com/. Is a great tool for presentations and not only.

  7. Love Slideshare, but I’ll have to go out and try some of the others to see how they work. Thanks for the info TJ!

  8. @Susan, thanks — I’ll check out Turbo Demo. I think you’ll like Jing.

    @Cristian, faculte looks pretty cool. Thank you for sending it.

    @Denise, always glad to be of service! Hope your readers like it.

  9. Impressive list. I’ve never used any of these so I’ll have to check them out. Jing seems very helpful to guide employees visually on how something needs done online. Cool stuff!

  10. Kudos (again ) TJ

    This is the best list + pithy description I’ve read for those who want to move prospect closer to buying by using the right tools. I am going to share it with my clients who are pitching to VCs and angel investors.

    Also re Martin Lindeskog’s question I suggest the blogs of Bert Decker and Nick Morgan (and their books) as they are experienced at speaking and astute at sharing their insights.

    As a former journalist, turned public speaker I’ve learned some lessons too
    http://sayitbetter.typepad.com/say_it_better/speaker/

  11. Kare,

    I have to check out the books and site of Bert Decker and Nick Morgan. I like your Say It Better blog! :)

  12. Great information no matter what industry or profession we are presenting for or to. This is something that I will pass on to many. Thanks for putting it all together.

  13. Thanks Amanda and Kare for the kind comments. I’ve found a couple of these through VC/Angel investor friends of mine. But you can never know of too many cool tools!!

  14. Nice summation of the latest tools. I’ve used both Slideshare and 280 Slides and appreciate their integration. I’ve dabbled with Jing but look forward to checking out the rest. I find Slideshare really inspirational for ideas/examples to show those using Powerpoint as a word processor how to add oomph to their message. Most seem to get stuck on the bulleted list and don’t think of the slide deck as a visual story to support their message. Since we can read faster than one can present, an audience tends to read the slides rather than hear the presenter.

    I recommend checking out presentations by David Armano and Tara Hunt on Slideshare for inspiration – they do a great job.

    As mentioned below, http://www.presentationzen.com is one of the best for learning how to create impactful presentations.

  15. Hi Patrick, thanks for the thoughts and kind comments. Much appreciated. If there are tools you really like, let me know. I’m always collecting tools like this for future posts!

  16. I’d just like to add another option for sharing presentations – eCorpTV.com. You can convert PowerPoint presentations to flash files and upload them to this site which is dedicated to business video. You can then email the link or embed the presentation video on your website.

  17. Excellent Tools! Thanks for sharing, Sales presentations can make or break deals, it’s important to make presentations the best, and is critical to make the most out of it for your company’s success.

  18. You should check out also SlideBoom.com, an amazing tool for sharing rich PowerPoint presentations with transitions, animations, sounds and video.

  19. Thanks for sharing the presentation tools, will pass this information to the sales team.

  20. I think our iPhone Projector kit should be in this list. Link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hM-3MlConWs

    The ability to present a video presentation in a visually stunning and attractive way, combined with the innovativeness of this unique use of the iPhone creates a marketing/sales edge that should pay major dividends. What do you think?

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