Roughly 95 percent of slideshow presentations are still given in PowerPoint, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t evaluate other tools. We’ll run through the top alternatives and weigh the pros and cons.

Google Docs Presentations

A free feature in Google Docs (Trust us, it’s there; you just never use it.) If you consider yourself a PowerPoint guru you’ll be disappointed by the lack of functionality, but it’s free, it gets the job done and the real-time cloud collaboration is great. And, believe it or not, you can actually do some amazing things with Google Presentations.

Prezi

Free yourself from the stuffy linear format of PowerPoint slide decks. Prezi’s stunning, immersive 3D experience (that’s right, 3D) enables you to zoom and pan through your information. There is a bit of a learning curve, but the returns are great. And for quick investor pitch, you can simply insert the different components of your LivePlan Pitch one-pager into a Prezi.

Note: resist the temptation to go overboard and fly all over the screen with your presentation. You want investors to be impressed, not seasick.

Keynote

A Mac program similar to PowerPoint, some say it’s more attractive and user-friendly (Steve Jobs put it to good use in his presentations – what, did you expect him to use PowerPoint?) If you know in advance that they’ll be viewing your presentation on an iPad or iPhone, your slideshow will look great from Keynote.

You

Don’t hide behind your slides. If you have a compelling pitch, one-pager, and ideally a product demo, you’ll sell them on you instead of your slide deck. Some of the most effective presentations don’t use slides at all.

What presentation software do you use for your pitch presentations? Let us know what works for you.

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Dave Cannon
Dave Cannon

Dave Cannon is a social entrepreneur based in the Pacific Northwest and contributor to Bplans.com. You can follow Dave on Google+.