At some point or another, most of us need to create a slideshow. Maybe you're running a small business, and now you need to give a sales presentation. Or maybe you're a student and your assignment is to create a slideshow. Either way, you probably don't have much to spend on a presentation software tool.
If you need a tool to help you create presentations, but you're on a limited budget, you may think you're out of luck. Fortunately, there are quite a few good free presentation tools for you to consider.
In this post, we'll share 15 free presentation tools. We'll describe each and point out key features. We'll also explain what to look for when choosing your online presentation software. Finally, we'll share resources you can use with some online presentation software.
But first, get killer presentation tips and professional strategies in our free eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. Download it now, before diving into this article.
What to Look for in Free Online Presentation Software
Just because your software, doesn't mean you don't need a good software presentation tool to work with. Luckily, many free online presentation tools have all the features you need to create a top-notch presentation.
Here are some things to look for when selecting online presentation software:
- Ease-of-use. You don't want to spend hours and hours learning how to use the presentation tool. Good online presentation software should be easy to learn and have plenty of training resources available.
- Import/export features. Your presentation software tool should be compatible with popular file formats. Also, keep in mind that at some point you may want to export your presentation into another tool.
- Real-time collaboration. Teamwork has become increasingly important in today's professional environment. With the right web-based tool, you and a teammate can work together on a presentation project.
- Cloud access and storage. It used to be that when you were away from your computer, you couldn't work on your project until you came back. With a cloud-based tool, that's no longer a problem. Access your work anywhere there's an Internet connection.
- Audio/video capabilities. Multi-media has become the norm for slideshows. If you want your presentation to really stand out, consider adding an audio or video component.
- Good technical support. What are you going to do if something goes wrong while you're creating your presentation? Look for an online presentation software with good support resources such as third-party tutorials, a strong online help, or help resource.
When choosing an online presentation software tool keep in mind your future needs. If you're running a business that's likely to grow, consider starting with the free version of a presentation software tool with a premium version that's got features you may need as your business grows.
If you're new to creating slideshows and your budget is limited, think about design. Whether you're a business owner or a student, you want your presentation to look professional so that you make a good impression.
If you're not a designer yourself, you may struggle to create an attractive, eye-catching design for your presentation. Thankfully, templates are available for many presentation tools at a fraction of what it would cost to hire a professional designer.
For a low monthly payment, you get a professionally designed template for your PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Keynote presentations on Envato Elements.
The unlimited downloads that Elements offers lets you download as many presentation templates (and other design assets) as you'd like. Not only can you access all these presentation templates, but you get access to photos, videos, fonts, and many other resources that could be helpful to you.
The presentation templates that Elements offers include a variety of features:
- modern and engaging designs
- completely customizable slides
- gallery and portfolio slides
- free fonts and icons
Take advantage of this offer on Envato Elements today!
Have a look at some of the best-selling PowerPoint presentation templates below:
- 35 Best Infographic PowerPoint Presentation Templates: With Great PPT Data Slides 2022Sean Hodge07 Nov 2021
Free (2020) Online Presentation Software Tools—Well-Known Tools
Now that you know what to look for in free presentation software, let's examine some of the most popular options. Here's a look at the free versions of some of the most popular online presentation tools:
1. PowerPoint Online
Many people don't realize that there's a free version of PowerPoint available. This can be an especially great option for students who may have a one-time or infrequent need to create a presentation and can't afford to buy a Microsoft Office subscription.
Note: It's important to note that this software tool isn't intended for business use.
Microsoft products are widely used. Because these tools are so popular, many people are familiar with the software layout and commands. That helps make PowerPoint Online easy to learn to use. Plus, you can upgrade to the premium PowerPoint tool if you need more features.
The online presentation software, PowerPoint Online, includes many (but not all) of the features of its premium counterpart. Format text, use animations, and include other graphic elements. Since it's web-based, there are also collaboration features and cloud storage.
There are some limitations, though. For example, you can't use PowerPoint Online unless you've got Internet access. Some views aren't available. You're limited to built-in themes, although you can import a presentation with a third-party theme. And you can only insert audio and video files through YouTube. There are other differences as well.
PowerPoint provides many help documents and articles to its users. The tool also includes online help in the form of the Tell Me tool. Plus, you can find lots of third-party articles and resources on PowerPoint, such as this Tuts+ tutorial:
2. Google Slides
Next up on our list of free presentation tools in Google Slides. Even though it's free, Google Slides' features rival those of premium presentation software tools. It's real-time collaboration tools make it ideal for times. Google Slides is also a great option if you intend to publish your presentation online. Plus, even though Google Slides is a cloud-based tool, you can change the settings to use it while you're offline. If you're considering using Google Slides, this article explains how it compares to more expensive tools:
- Should Google Slides Replace PowerPoint in Your Workflow?Laura Spencer01 Jun 2017
- PowerPoint vs. Keynote vs. Google Slides: What Is the Best Presentation Software?Laura Spencer01 Mar 2019
Google's office suite is increasing in popularity. And you can upgrade to a premium version of the office suite if your needs grow. Google Slides is also easy to learn. Google has helpful online documentation as well as Help documentation within each office tool, including Google Slides. Plus, there are a lot of third-party resources you can access, such as our tutorial on how to use Google Slides:
When you sign up for a free Google account, you get access to all the Google Drive tools--including Google Slides.
Make sure that your Google Slides presentation stands out by using a professional template such as those offered by Envato Elements or Graphic River. For a peek at some of the best Google Slides presentation themes, look at:
- 25 Best Google Slides Presentation Themes (Premium Templates to Download in 2022)Sean Hodge05 Sep 2021
Keynote is another one of the many free online presentation tools available. If you've purchased a Mac computer lately, it probably came with Apple's Keynotes software already loaded. It's also available to download for free for iOs devices from the iTunes App Store. PC users can now view or edit Keynote presentations online with the iCloud website.
If you've got a Mac, you'll probably find Keynote easy to use. It's well-integrated with the Mac platform, which makes it easy to add images and multimedia into your presentation. A recent upgrade added better collaboration features to Keynote.
Coming from Apple, Keynote is well-documented. There's good technical support and other resources from both Apple and third parties. To learn more about Apple Keynote, read this Tuts+ article:
- What Is Apple Keynote Software? +How to Start Using It to Make PresentationsSven Lenaerts15 May 2019
Produce a professional slideshow quickly and easily through a third part template such as those available through Envato Elements or Graphic River. Here's a look at some popular Keynote presentation templates:
4. Prezi Basic
Prezi is a popular free online presentation tool known for its graphic interface and its non-linear approach to presentations. The zooming tool is impressive. Plus, there are tutorials and other aids to help you learn how to use it. Its popularity is growing, which means there's also a growing number of third-party resources available.
Try Prezi for free by using either the basic version or by signing up for Prezi basic, or for a free trial of one of the other versions.
5. LinkedIn SlideShare
LinkedIn SlideShare isn't a presentation authoring software tool, but rather a free presentation sharing software tool. But if you need to get your slideshow in front of a large professional audience, then this online presentation software is worth knowing about. Currently, there are millions of users on SlideShare, many of whom are business professionals.
SlideShare is easy to use and there's some help available within the tool. Since SlideShare is growing in popularity, there are also a growing number of third-party resources and tutorials. To learn more about SlideShare, study:
Best Free (2020) Online Software Presentation Tools—Other Tools
While the free online presentation software tools below may not be quite as well-known as some of the presentation software listed above, many of these packages have features that compare with their better-known counterparts.
Many of these tools are limited in features at the free level, but let you upgrade to a more premium version if your needs change. Some free tools may display ads or require that your presentation include their logo or company name on it.
Let's take a closer look:
6. Zoho Show
Zoho Show is part of a popular office productivity suite. According to the website, the free version of this office suite is available for teams of up to 5 users. The free version also offers some nice extra features for teams such as secure file collaboration and in-app chat.
Zoho Office Suite offers quite a bit of support, with a knowledge base, articles, and more.
FlowVella (formerly Flowboard) was designed to work online with mobile devices. But there's also version available for the Mac. Easily incorporate multi-media and other online content into your presentation. The newest version also includes drag and drop. Presentations are also easily shared through URL links.
FlowVella is a strong presentation tool choice with company support and help. Currently, there aren't a lot of third-party resources. The free version limits you to four public flows (presentations). The presentation size is limited to ten slides.
8. LibreOffice Impress
Impress is part of LibreOffice (based on OpenOffice), which is free and open source software. As such, there's no premium version available. This might not be a problem for you because Impress compares favorably to many pricier alternatives.
When LibreOffice 5.3 was released in 2017, LibreOffice also made LibreOffice online available. To use it you'll need to install it on your own server.
As might be expected for open source software, LibreOffice has a sizeable community. This means that there are several third-party resources and tutorials available.
A promising new best free presentation software tool is Ludus. It's designed with creativity and the web in mind. So, you can easily integrate content from other web services like YouTube, Vimeo, DropBox, GIPHY, and more. It's also got some nice design tools including the ability to upload fonts, blend colors, use overlays, and more.
Because Ludus is so new, there aren't a lot of third-party resources, such as articles and tutorials. But the main site includes helpful videos that illustrate how to use some of the main features that should help new users get up to speed.
You can get a free trial of any of their versions. With the free trial version of the Solo level, one user can create unlimited presentations for free with access to all the features. When the trial ends, you'll need to decide if you want to buy one of the premium versions.
Next up on our list of best free presentation software is PowToon. PowToon gives you the option to create an animated video instead of a more static, slide-based presentation. Even at the free, basic level you get access to some nice features. Free users get up to 100 MB of storage and can create a video of up to three minutes. With the free version, your video will have the PowToon branding.
The PowToon site includes help articles and tutorials to help you learn to use this tool quickly. Plus, there are plenty of third-party tutorials available.
11. Speaker Deck
Speaker Deck is a free tool owned by GitHub. While it's not a presentation authoring tool, upload your presentations as a PDF file and it'll convert them to slideshow format. You can then share your presentation through the Speaker Deck site or embed it into another website.
The Visme website includes many resources such as tutorials and a helpful knowledge base.
Visme is a multi-faceted online presentation software. Not only can you create presentations, but you can also make infographics, charts, and social graphics. Add video or audio or animate an object in your presentation to make it more interesting. With the free version of Visme, create up to five projects and you also get 100 MB of storage. You can download your project as a .jpg file.
13. WPS Presentation
WPS Presentation is part of a free office suite that also includes Writer and Spreadsheets. If you choose this option, you'll find it to be very comparable to more popular office productivity software such as MS Office. Even with the free version you get 1G of cloud-based storages. You can also use it on up to three devices (one desktop device and two mobile devices).
The WPS Office site includes a searchable online help, a useful blog, and other helpful resources.
Like SlideShare, authorSTREAM allows you to share uploaded presentations online with a wider audience. With the free version, the size of the presentation your upload and online storage is limited to 100 MB. Also, with the free version you can convert a single PowerPoint presentation to video. Some support is available through the company, but I didn't find many third-party tutorials or articles.
This online presentation software specializes in letting you create interactive content. It also features many animation effects. Not only can you use Genially to create online presentations, you can also create infographics and other interactive projects.
Most people should find this software easy to learn. The website includes a frequently updated blog with some helpful tips. I was also able to find some third-party tutorials for this presentation software tool.
5 Quick Tips for Making Great Online Web Presentations in 2020
To help you create the best possible online web presentation, we've got collected five quick tips that you can use in your presentations now:
1. Simplicity Is Key
Today's free interactive presentation tools come packed with many advanced features and options that let you customize your slides. A header text plus no more than four bullet points along with graphics and charts is more than enough to create a powerful presentation.
2. Timing Is Everything
Finding the appropriate length for your presentation is vital to the success of your presentation. If you create a presentation that's too short, your audience will feel like you didn't put enough effort into the presentation. If you create a presentation that's too long, you run the risk of confusing and boring your audience. Aim to create no more than 17 slides and have each slide take no longer than four minutes.
3. Use Graphics
To help your presentation to be more interesting and to connect with your audience, add graphics to several slides in your presentation. Make sure to include graphics that are relevant to the subject of the slide that you're on and that helps you illustrate your point.
4. Speak in a Clear and Expressive Voice
How you speak during your presentation will make or break the presentation. Speak in a clear, strong, and expressive voice. This type of voice will capture the attention of your audience and make the entire presentation much more appealing to watch.
5. Ask Your Audience to Take Part
Presenting online has many advantages. One of those advantages is having the ability to send messages during the presentation without interrupting the speaker. This opens up a great opportunity for you to encourage questions and comments during your presentation. This will not only help engage your audience but also help them learn the material you are trying to present more effectively.
Top 5 Trending Presentation Templates (From Envato Elements - For 2020)
Envato Elements gives you a huge library of business presentation templates to choose from. To help you find the perfect template, I've collected five of the best-selling presentation templates on Envato Elements for PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides:
1. Permanent Keynote Template
This eye-catching Keynote features 32 masters and two slide sizes. It'll allow you to choose the flexibility to choose a layout that'll work for you. Expect to find matching charts, diagrams, and tables in this template that'll make your presentation stand out. If you're looking for a versatile template that works well for a wide variety of presentations, then this is the template for you.
2. Nextar - Multipurpose PowerPoint Template
This clean and modern looking PowerPoint template is ideal for creative agencies, tech startups, and for any finance presentation. All the elements are fully editable and can easily be customized.
Here's what to expect in this presentation template:
- 30 unique slides
- 12 PPTX files
- 3 premade colors theme
- widescreen & standard
- easy to change colors
3. Expert PowerPoint Template
The Expert template will make you look like an expert. This presentation template offers a whopping 620 unique slides, 100 color themes, and 24 templates. The design of the template is very versatile making this a go-to template for any of your presentation needs. Don't be afraid to use this template for more than one presentation!
4. iEdu - Education Google Slides Template
The iEDU template gives you a contemporary and minimal design that'll engage your audience. All the content on the design is well structured and flows nicely.
Here are a few of this template's main features:
- 30+ total slides
- free web fonts
- vector icons
- 100% fully editable
- aspect ratio 16:9
Don't miss out on this high-quality presentation template!
5. Tech Corp - Modern Google Slides Template
This multipurpose presentation is ideal for internal meetings, investor pitch decks, weekly meetings, product showcases, and much more. Every object in this Google Slides template is editable. So, customize the presentation to your specific needs.
Here are a few notable features of this presentation
- 30 unique slides in HD r
- optimized and fully compatible PPTX
- professional company profile slides
- business reports slides
If you only need a single web presentation template, consider GraphicRiver. It lets you download and pay for templates one at a time. You'll get the same professional quality without the commitment of a subscription.
Discover More Presentation Templates for 2020
The templates outlined in this article are some of the best available. But this is only a small selection of the presentation templates that you can find on Envato Elements and Graphic River.
By purchasing the low-cost unlimited subscription on Envato Elements, you'll have complete access to a library of all types of presentation templates. If you didn't find the right template for your presentation in this article, then browse through these other articles containing more high-quality presentation templates:
- Best for 2022: Free Online Microsoft PowerPoint Templates (PPTs to Download)Andrew Childress17 Dec 2021
- 20 Google Slides Themes With Cool (Customizable) Background Template Designs 2022Alexis (Lexi) Rodrigo27 Mar 2021
- 20 Free Business Keynote Templates To Make Plan & Proposal PresentationsAndrew Childress28 Sep 2020
Learn More About Making Stunning Presentations
Online web presentation tools come with a variety of features that can help you in creating a professional presentation. In this article, we only went over a few tips to help you in the presentation creation process. To learn more great tips and tricks when it comes to free online interactive presentation tools, check out our articles below:
- How to Make Boring Presentations More Interesting & Fun (10 Expert Tips)Andrew Childress30 Apr 2020
- How to Create Great PowerPoint Presentations (With Top 2020 Examples)Laura Spencer16 Mar 2020
- How Do You Prepare a Good Presentation in 2021 in 12+ Practical Steps? (+ Expert Tips)Sharon Hurley Hall15 May 2021
Chances are if you're creating an online presentation, you'll need video conferencing software, so look at 12+ Top Business Web Video Conferencing Software Free + Paid as well!
Extra Resource: Free Presentation eBook Download (PDF)
Also, be sure download our new eBook on Making Great Presentations. It'll help you with the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully.
Get Started on Your Next Online Presentation
Don't let a limited budget keep you from creating the presentations you need. You're just learned about what to look for in an online presentation software tool.
We've also shared 15 free online presentation software packages. One of them is bound to be right for you. Plus, we've also shared professionally designed templates to use with these online presentation makers so you can make a good impression.
Good luck with your presentation!
Editorial Note: This tutorial was originally published in December of 2017. It's been comprehensively revised to include new information—with special assistance from Daniel Strongin.