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33 Highly Useful Presentation Tools

presentation tools 2

UPDATE: For an updated list of presentation tools, please visit “62 Highly Useful Presentation Tools for Sales and Marketing [1].”

After the terrific market response to 11 Highly Useful Presentation Tools for Sales and Marketing [2], we knew that a follow-on post was mandatory to help readers sell and market successfully online (and off). Here is a list of 33 more presentation tools we hope you’ll find helpful.

SlideRocket is a presentation creation and management service that I didn’t include in 11 Presentation Tools and I wish I had. They offer useful tools to build presentations and cool analytics tools. The service starts at free and goes up to $20/user/month.

Sliderocket

PhotoPeach [3] is a photo site with a twist. It allows you to import your photos from Facebook or Picasa (no others at this time) and create a slide show, adding words, audio, and music. You can host it there or embed it in your site or blog. Free.

Amazon Slideshow Widget is for those who have an Amazon presence at all, this widget is a way to display Amazon products on your store or alongside your profile.  You can choose images out of the entire Amazon catalog.

Adam is unlike any multimedia presentation tool I’ve seen on the web. I’m sure that expensive programs do this, but I’ve not seen it. The exciting piece of this is you can a “hotspot” to a PDF or Image file. Essentially, when someone scrolls over a particular area of a document, a popup (of sorts) opens and you can embed a video, text, music, or hyperlink. Free. Click on the “View Samples” link.

Blow Up is a downloadable tool that works with Flickr. It is totally free. It imports/loads your photosets into a fullscreen display. You can deeplink into the photos you want and run it on your own site or blog.
VoiceThread [4] is a collaborative, multimedia slide show web-based service (holding all sorts of documents like most of these other services).  Ranges from Free to $30/month. Allows people to leave comments five different ways.

IgniteCAST [5] is a media sharing web service where users can create, upload, view and share structured video clips, interactive presentations, PowerPoint, software demonstrations, surveys, quizzes and more. Free.

Presentation Assistant [6] provides various tools to bring the audience’s attention to a specific spot, and allows you to zoom in and annotate the screen. It also enables you to open documents or programs quickly, and play background musics conveniently during the presentation. You can do a free trial or buy it for $23.95.



MyJugaad.in [7] is the tool if you need to quickly put together a presentation of a bunch of websites, bookmarks, or your blog posts.  MyJugaad.in is a slideshow for webpages, which are sourced either from popular websites such as del.icio.us (for best webpages), digg, google news, flickr, youtube, etc. or from a list provided by you or from your RSS feed(s). This image shows their tour where they explain – just type in a  search term and as the results come in, you can turn it straight into a slideshow.

myjugaad.in

I don’t know how long this little app will remain online, but if you dig in a little bit and want to learn what these two entrepreneurs are doing, read how they built this slideshow web app in six days [8]

WebSlides by Diigo is the same concept as myjugaad, however, theirs only appears to work with your bookmarks and lists from within Diigo. It promises to work from any RSS feed, but I couldn’t get it to work. Once I joined, I could create some bookmarks and then move them into a Diigo List, then the WebSlides widget worked. Here’s my result testing two of my own sites as bookmarks.



FormatPixel is an online publishing application that appears quite robust. It allows you to create ‘page’ based presentations; anything from magazines to fanzines, brochures to catalogues and even portfolios.
Free for one project with less than 512k in size. Next package is about $30/year.

Slidestory allows you to create audio slideshows and podcasts. It is a free tool and you have to download a small application for your desktop. From there, you can drag and drop images, record your presentation, and upload it to the Slidestory host.

Slidesix [9] is another multimedia presentation sharing site, however, they allow you to upload a presentation and record audio, video or embed it directly from their web app. It is a free app and I found that it was quick to load and use. The management console kept things organized and their SlideLabs section had a presentation analytics component.

Prezentit [10] is a web-based slideshow presentation tool that also lets your team simultaneously collaborate with you. Not all of the other services allow that.  The slides become webpages, so you can edit the code manually if you chose.



Webinaria is a screen recording application that is similar to Jing Project. It allows you to create a flash presentation (FLV or AVI files) as you click through a series of screens, web pages, or whatever you are demonstrating online.  Free.

Zentation [11] is a tool for combining video and slides. On one side you’ll have your full motion video and on the other your material in the form of a slide presentation.

Present.io is a service of Drop.io, which is a real-time file sharing and collaboration service. Small file “drops” are free, but then you can select a plan starting at $19/month. Once you drop a file into the Drop.io service, it is immediately accessible publicly or privately. You can present information to everyone in this shared area or simply leave the files in one location. Drop.io tries to convert every file you send into a web-friendly format so that anyone, on any browser, can see it and interact with the file. There are too many features to list here, but it is worth 20 minutes to see if it can work for your company or project.

Animoto [12] is a service to turn photos into hip videos. I do not use the word ‘hip’ lightly. This is another of my favorites from our presentation explorations to find ways for other small biz owners to find new and innovative ways to present and sell. Click on the link right below the featured video (right now it is two small dogs on the screen) that says “Watch the 60-Sec. learn more video”  in small print. They need to make this larger and more obvious, but don’t let that comment deter you.



Animoto

SpotMixer is a web-based video advertising service that makes it easy and affordable for small- to mid-sized businesses to reach new customers with online video ads and TV ads without hiring videographers or ad agencies. This is not a free service, but an affordable one if you want to explore online video advertising.

Vuvox is fun to explain. It takes your slides and puts them into a moving collage (not a video).  You can bring your Flickr, Picasa, an RSS feed into the service and have it display your work. Within it, like other services we’ve mentioned, you can create “hotspots” where you have a popup within your presentation and a link. Some of these services are simply meant to be experienced or seen.

Freepath is a playlist application that helps you mix and play your rich media assets such as video, photos and music together with your traditional desktop files like PowerPoint, PDFs and Word without having to convert files, embed links or import files. They say in their About Us section to “Think of us as an iTunes-like playlist where you can organize, arrange and play all your stuff.” Again, the tour is in order.  There is a free trial and it is only $50/year for a single-user license.



Freepath

As I review all these sites, with some of them, I see a simple place to create or host a presentation. But with some of them (like Vuvox, Animoto, and Freepath to name just a few), what I find happening is marketing ideas I’ve had for years are now taking shape because they have created a way for me to take my ideas to the web in such an easy way that I can’t help but experiment.  You may find yourself thinking and coming up with new ways to reach a customer.

InstantPresenter [13] is in here because it is a new type of web conferencing tool that allows you to have multiple participants, via voice and/or webcams to be part of an online presentation. Has all of the collaborative tools you’d expect from whiteboards to chat. You can upload your slide presentation and have it available from their servers. Free trial, then $39/month.

Spicynodes is an interactive mind mapping sort of tool. With it, you can guide visitors on a tour. Because it is a new way of visually showing and moving people through information, it can be confusing at first, but it may be just what you need to help people understand your service or product. Instead of a traditional navigation menu, you would offer a series of “nodes” or perhaps we could call them waypoints, where as a viewer clicks through this new map, other options display. If you’ve ever seen Google’s new Wonder Wheel search tool, that will help this makes sense. It is a free service and it lets you sign up with your Google, Yahoo, or OpenID account. They have a terrific gallery of examples.



Spicynodes [14]

Sometimes you just have to draw out what you want to say. Gliffy [15] is your tool. Actually, you don’t even need to draw. They have tons of shapes and flowcharts and images you can use to diagram out whatever you’re thinking. Straightforward, with easy-to-use features. I quickly dragged and dropped various images and shapes onto a palette. The new file could be saved in my Gliffy account or exported to a variety of file format.  Free trial and then $5/month.

Creately [16] is a diagramming service that lets you create flowcharts, diagrams, website maps where the links are clickable (as in site navigation, not geographic maps), and ready made templates for many common team projects. You can link diagrams together as well. Currently in beta, free for public diagrams. Private access is about to launch.

Mindmeister [17] is a mind mapping and diagramming tool.  There are those times when you need to create a visual that represents part of what you or your team are thinking and discussing. A whiteboard type of discussion where you are connecting the dots. Mindmeister is great at that, plus you can then share it to the web, with links.



Cooliris is a 3D photo/video wall. It is a browser plug-in, however, it also gives you a specific URL (webpage) where others can view your 3D wall of images. It visually appears to pop off the page. Very engaging. It works with many photo and social networking sites including Flickr, Picasa, and Facebook and pulls your images into the Cooliris wall. Free.

Cooliris

Moonk [18] lets you create a slideshow or video show from your files. If you have wanted to put video on your site, but haven’t wanted the public aspect of YouTube, Moonk might be the answer. You can then integrate or embed this “player” into your website or blog. Free.

Toufee allows you to create flash files (without the programming experience or expensive applications) that can be loaded to YouTube or your site. Free trial and then $60/year.



Viewbook [19], at first glance, is an online portfolio for photographers and photo-oriented businesses. But if you have a visual product or service, it may work for you as a way to build a visually rich website or promotional page. Free trial and $19/month for professional package.

Stupeflix lets you turn your photos, videos, presentations and text into professional looking videos.  It is a fast and full video editor with features you only find in desktop applications. Free for small videos, with Stupeflix brand. Premium options are a low-cost per video.

Skrbl is a whiteboard tool and collaboration service. You can have up to five people join you in a collaborative space and work on the same document drawing out your ideas and uploading pictures, if you need to. Free for single user, $10/month for five users.

Twiddla [20] is an online whiteboard, plus a co-browsing web meeting service. You can mark up web pages, share files, and chat while you work together. They have a free trial, with no signup to get started, and then, it’s still free. After 30 days, they expect you to register. Who wouldn’t register for such a great tool?

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Now, with 44 Highly Useful Presentation Tools (33 today plus 11 last time), we all need to get busy creating professional presentations that help educate our customers and generate new sales. Keep us posted about which tools you use and like. We’ll be busy here at Small Business Trends playing and experimenting with this new batch of presentation tools.

Presentation [21] Image via Shutterstock