The Top Presentation and Storytelling Tools for 2018

The Top Presentation and Storytelling Tools for 2018 

Tips For YouTubers, Producers, Creatives & More!  

Presentation Design Tools 2018Digital and visual storytelling are powerful tools in the learning industry.  

As an instructional designer and educator, it is important for me to be current with up and coming presentation and design software as well as multi-purpose authoring tools.  

Whether you are designing for a client, your students, or business, it is a must that you know which production tools are performing the best, In regards to design, ease, and functionality.   

Today, I have put together a list of my favorite programs for developing your presentations and digital storytelling.   Some are easier to use than others, depending on your experience!  

If you are reading this article you are most likely an educator, designer, or content creator which makes you a producer! And I’m sure you will be happy with the reviews.  

So, please test out the programs, download free trials, and get to know the tools.   They all have their own sweet spots!  

And almost all of these programs can convert your slides to video, to enhance your social media, blog, and digital message.  

*I have also added affiliate partnership links for you marketers out there! Some have incredible affiliate programs. 

With that said,  here are the top presentation and storytelling tools for 2018 

Presentation Blog Design Programs

Adobe Premiere Pro CC 

Image Source: Adobe.com

Price: Free Trial | $19.99 per month TRY TODAY CLICK HERE

Platform: Desktop | iTunes | Google Play

Affiliate Program: Yes 

Make stunning videos virtually anywhere with Premiere Pro. Edit & create professional productions for film, TV, and web.

Summary:

I’m kind of crazy about Adobe Premiere Pro! I use it for video editing and production for my educational apps, and business, as well as developing videos for my design school. With Adobe Premiere you can create beautiful and professional presentations, slideshows and videos from your desktop and mobile device.

Don’t be intimidated. It’s a fantastic program, that offers tons of online step-by-step tutorials!

Adobe Premiere is used by filmmakers, producers, and creators like you! Anyone with a story to tell. You can create beautiful presentations from video clips, audio, and still images.

Adobe for Building Presentations

Features: 

  • Video Editing and Creation 
  • Graphics Panel  
  • Immersive VR Editing 
  • Immersive Effects 
  • Responsive Design 
  • Multiple Project Workflow 
  • Type Tools & Syncs with Type Kit 
  • Customizable Transitions 
  • Motion Graphics 
  • Flow with Adobe Stock and Publish to Adobe Stock as Contributor! 

Advantages 

The number one advantage to this program is that it is available in a creative cloud suite.  For $49.99 you get 20+ desktop and mobile applications. Apps like the infamous Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator as well as the video and audio apps Premiere and Audition to name a few.  It’s only $19.99 a month for the single app alone, and to me very inexpensive.  For me, Adobe Creative Cloud is my #1 tool within my digital tool box. I run my entire business with Adobe’s programs.  

Another reason, is you can switch easily between Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects CC. (Motion graphics, cinematic movie titles, intros, transitions and more!) 

Free Adobe Stock Images | @travenmeyers

Also, with Adobe Dynamic Link, you don’t have to wait for rendering.  

Premiere Pro also works seamlessly with other Creative Cloud apps, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and Adobe Media Encoder. And with Adobe Team Projects, editors around the globe can collaborate freely, share securely, and more. 

For me, it’s the best video development and editing program available, with a large array of tutorials and online learning tools. Phew,.. So there! It’s fabulous.  

P.S: I’m also an Adobe designer and partner, and have been using adobe since 2002! I’m a believer.  

Disadvantages: 

Truthfully, this can be a tricky program! But, don’t fret, like I mentioned, this program is worth learning. And comes with support.  I have several other programs below that are easier to use with drop and drag systems.  

Watch a Tutorial Here

WATCH VIDEO


Conclusion: 

Adobe Premiere Pro is my go to production tool, my #1 for film and presentation development.  

I know that many people are intimidated by this program.  But please give yourself a chance, and take a tour through this tutorial above, as well as other videos that will inspire you.   

Adobe Premiere Pro is also available with the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, the one I use! With over 20+ desktop and mobile apps. 

I highly suggest downloading the Creative Cloud Trial alongside the Adobe Stock Trial, and have fun with it.  I do so much video production from my iPhone, and you can too!!  

Learn More: 

Adobe Premiere Pro: CLICK HERE

Adobe Creative Cloud: CLICK HERE 

Adobe Stock (10 Free Stock Images):  CLICK HERE 

Animoto

Presentation Design Program | Slide Design Program | Video Marketing

Image Source: Animoto.com


Price: 
Annual & Monthly Options Ranging from; $8.00 to $34.00 Per Month 

Platform: Desktop | iTunes | Google Play 

Affiliate Partnership: Yes CLICK HERE

Learn More: CLICK HERE

Summary 

Animoto is a cloud-based video creation service that produces video from photos, video clips, and music into video slideshows.  

An easy to use program to build your online marketing, social media, and brand.  A mobile responsive program to use on iPad and mobile devices, as well as your desktop!  

Create marketing videos and slideshows for your business, photography, family, and more.  

Features: 

  • Color Customization and Font Library 
  • Pre-Built Marketing Templates and Storyboards 
  • 3000+ Royalty Free Music Tracks 
  • Landscape and Sqaure Video Templates 
  • High Definition Video  
  • Mobile Responsive  

Advantages 

So Easy to use!  

Animoto is incredibly easy to use, a well-designed drag and drop program.  Customize your text, imagery and timing in a cinch! Another bonus is that this is an inexpensive program for start-up companies and creatives. Offering annual and monthly subscriptions that should fit into your design budget!  

Disadvantages 

I really don’t see any disadvantages to this video building program.   

Animoto | Presentation Design Programs | Slide Design Ideas @travenmeyers

Watch Video Tutorial 

WATCH VIDEO


Conclusion
 

Animoto is a fabulous program for newbies, and advanced designers. A great tool for your digital tool box! You can create a quick video presentation for social media, your blog and network from your mobile device! We all want the ability to design on the fly!!  

PowToon 

Make Videos and Presentations with PowToons @travenmeyers

Image Source: powtoon.com


Price: 
Free and Paid Plans (Free/$19/$59/$299) 

*PowToon also offers a Pay-By-Export. So you pay per finished project.  

Platform: Desktop Application | iTunes | Google Play  

Learn More: CLICK HERE

Summary 

PowToon is a great easy to use program for developing videos, ads and presentations. A more animated version for grabbing the attentions of your viewers via cartoonized characters and elements. Within twenty minutes you can develop engaging and powerful explainer videos, presentations and more. 

Features 

  • Drag and Drop Template Builder (Modify premade templates or build from scratch)
  • Character and Graphic Library
  • Premade Templates and Backgrounds
  • Create Square Videos for Instagram

Advantages 

Powtoon is a easy to use program for non-tech, and tech users. Besides the easy drag and drop system, there is a graphics library filled with characters, icons, call to actions, text art and more. You can build your template from scratch, or modify existing templates.  The drag and drop system makes it easy to add your audio and video clips, and produce with ease. I feel this is a fun and low stress option for marketers and designers on the go. And that’s what we want right? 

Easy to use tools to maximize our digital story? Well this is one of them, one of the best! 

Image Source: powtoon.com

Disadvantages 

Seriously, I can’t find any disadvantages. This program is a go-to tool for digital marketers, educators and creatives wanting to add more to their message or services. An animated and fun version I feel is great for teaching, and training videos. It’s filled with lighthearted and playful themes, and has a gentle tone. 

Watch Video Tutorial 

Watch The Video

Conclusion 

Although I primarily use Adobe Premiere, I highly suggest programs like PowToon and Animoto to my clients, and students, when they want to build engaging and playful videos, or presentations. It’s easy to use, quick to export to social media, and the web as well as a non-stressful way to design. That is my point! To offer solutions in design, for non-designers, or individuals who don’t have the time or means. 

KeyNote

Keynote Presentation Software

Image Source: apple.com

Price:  Free with iWork Productivity Suite  

Platform: APPLE iOS | MAC | PC using iCloud |iTunes  

Affiliate Program: YES CLICK HERE

Summary: Keynote is Apple’s ‘Powerpoint’  

Keynote is part of Apple’s’ iWork Productivity Suite. The latest 2018 version offers iCloud capability so that users can now store their files online within the cloud.  

With its powerful tools and dazzling effects, Keynote makes it easy to create stunning and memorable presentations. And with real-time collaboration, your team can work together on a Mac, iPad, or iPhone even on a PC using iWork for iCloud. 

Features: 

  • Apple designed themes 
  • Trace animation 
  • Create custom data formats (2D and 3D chart animations) 
  • Create free form shapes, curves and masks 
  • Text and object based transitions 
  • Import a variety of media files 
  • Compatible with PowerPoint, import and export PowerPoint files 
  • Magic Move tool for smoother animations and transitions 
  • Support for iCloud Drive 
  • Administrator settings  

Image Source: apple.com

Keynote Designer Templates (Free/Purchase):   

Themeforest CLICK HERE 

Envato Elements CLICK HERE

Creative Market CLICK HERE

Advantages: 

It’s free.  That is a bonus! Unlike its rival Microsoft PowerPoint.  Another advantage is the ease of use. Keynote is a beautiful presentation program that will create epic slideshows with its cinematic transitions and effects. A true beauty.  

Disadvantages: 

It’s only available for Apple. Otherwise a pretty sweet program!  

Watch Video Tutorial: 

WATCH VIDEO

Conclusion: 

Keynote is a go to storytelling tool for MAC users, even my young son’s create with Keynote for presentations at school, most of the schools here in Oregon are MAC schools!  

It’s a clean and sophisticated program that’s easy to use, easier from your desktop, but also available on the iPad.  

Prezi  

Prezi | Presentation Design Program @travenmeyers

Image Source: prezi.com

Price: $7.00/$19.00/$59.00 

Platform: Desktop | iTunes | Google Play 

Learn More:  CLICK HERE

Affiliate Partnership: YES CLICK HERE

Summary:  

Prezi is a beautiful drag and drop cloud based program. A program for crafting engaging presentations, slide shows and visual storytelling.  

Prezi Presentation Program | @travenmeyers

Image Source: prezi.com

Features: 

  • Drag and Drop Program 
  • Premade Templates, Or Make From Scratch 
  • Customize and Edit Templates 
  • Charts & Infographics 
  • Built In Analytics 
  • Cloud Based Program (Create From Anywhere) 
  • Integration with Salesforce, Slack and More! 
  • Zoom In Feature 
  • Collaborate and Comment as a Team  

Designer Templates (Free/Purchase):  

Prezi Base CLICK HERE

Advantages: 

Advantages are that Prezi is an easy to use program. A simplified drag and drop authoring tool to develop engaging presentations on the fly from anywhere. It’s a mobile friendly program which will allow you to create from your mobile devices.  

Disadvantages: 

I don’t see many disadvantages to this program, it’s cost effective and easy to use for individuals who are not tech savvy or designers.  The one thing I would mention is that it’s very template oriented and difficult to manipulate and change pre-made templates.  

Watch Video Tutorial:  

WATCH VIDEO

Conclusion: 

Prezi is a great tool for businesses, marketing teams and educators as well as entrepreneurs.  A program that delivers a visually stunning experience. It’s easy to use with a large variety of professional templates to choose from.  

Powerpoint

Powerpoint

Image Source: microsoft.com

Price  $9.99 per month or purchase for $99.00

Platform Desktop (PC/MAC) | iPad | Android | Windows | All Mobile Devices 

Summary

Communicate with confidence.

Create, collaborate, and effectively present your ideas in visually compelling presentations using custom shapes, animations, and Smart Guides. In Presenter View, you’ll be able to see the notes accompanying your slides and preview upcoming slides on a second screen. Easily review or edit your presentations with your colleagues, while easily managing version history.

Microsoft Powerpoint

Image Source: microsoft.com

Features

  • Prebuilt Templates or Build From Scratch
  • Build Master Branded Slides
  • Add Text, Images, Audio with Ease
  • Speech Over Text
  • Screen Recording 
  • Convert to Video, PDF, JPEG or PNG File
  • Protect Presentation (Control Editing With Others)
  • Presentation Inspection (Compatibility/Accessibility/Check for Hidden Documents or Issues)
  • Integrates with Camtasia by Techsmith

Designer Templates (Free/Purchase):

Creative Market: CLICK HERE

Elearning Brothers: CLICK HERE

Envato Elements: CLICK HERE

Advantages

Powerpoint has been the godfather of presentation software. And the most commonly used. I learned on Powerpoint in high school! And continue to use it integrated with Camtasia for developing custom slide decks. It’s easy to use, and a program that integrates well with teams.  Powerpoint can be used to build empowering slideshows, presentations and videos. An all in one program! 

Disadvantages

You have to pay to play. Unlike Keynote, which is free to Mac and iOS users, Microsoft forces us to pay for the program starting at $9.99 a month as a cloud based program, or buy outright for $99.00.  As far as functionality, it’s a great program. I again, don’t have any issues or complaints with the program. It’s user friendly and a go to tool for educators and professionals.

Conclusion

Powerpoint is a wonderful authoring tool. What I love about Powerpoint is the large array of designer templates available, which are easy to edit and modify. You can build your brand from scratch or add your branding to these professional pre-made templates.

Smile Box 

Image Source: smilebox.com

Price (Free Trial) $3.99 per month 

Platform Desktop PC | Mac | iOS | Android 

Affiliate Program: YES CLICK HERE

Summary

Smilebox is a fantastic program for designing cards, invitations, slide shows, scrap books, social media covers and more.

Our diverse variety of formats, themes and styles includes 1000+ collages, invitations, cards, slideshows, and more. Find your perfect fit for holidays and birthdays, wedding day or any day. Host everything from a twins baby shower to 50th anniversary with just-right invites. Share baby’s first smile or steps in a collage. Tell the story of your travels in a stunning slideshow. Send a little, heartfelt “hello” to someone you miss in a cheerful greeting. Smilebox is here to help you celebrate life’s big and small moments.

Share your multi-layered message in whatever way works for you and your recipient. You can send to anyone with an email address–they don’t need to be a Smilebox member. Use our Scheduled Send feature to ensure on-time delivery, so you never miss an opportunity to connect with someone you care about. You can also post to Facebook, create keepsake DVDs, save to a photo frame, or print at home.

Features

  • Create Multi-Layered Messages for Print, DVD or Video
  • Share Finished Projects Via Email and Social Media
  • Schedule Your Projects
  • 1ooo’s of Premade Templates
  • Cards and Invitations
  • Newsletters and Promotional Materials
  • Announcements
  • Social Media Banners
  • Collages and Photo Books
  • Scrap Books
  • Slide Shows and Presentations
  • Calendars

Advantages

Wow. This program is fun, and beyond easy to use. It’s a program that you download to your desktop computer. You upload your photos, videos and design elements from your hard drive directly to Smilebox. And choose from a large array of product offerings. This is a great program for kids, and people of all ages. A way to create your own birthday cards or invitations, obituaries or photo slide shows. When you are finished you can create a DVD, print or share via email or social media. This is a wonderful program!

Disadvantages

This is a wicked program! The one thing I don’t appreciate is that Smilebox does a signature stamp. So I usually screen record my final projects in Camtasia and add the audio in Adobe Premiere. This is an extra step that most people won’t care about, but if I’m doing a professional project, I don’t want their logo showing so I can brand with my own or my clients. FYI.

Conclusion

Smilebox is a program I use with my kids, and how I teach my family how to scrap book or create photo books inexpensively and quickly. The templates are beautiful, and it’s also a powerful tool for marketers. The benefit is that you can convert these slideshows into video, and share via email and social media. A great way to design beautiful pieces on the fly! 

Work with T Raven Meyers | Make Your Mark Matter | @travenmeyers

Let Me Design Your Presentation or Digital Story!

The End of This Long Review!

So,.. I have gone over a few of my favorite authoring tools for presentation and slide design. Some are easy to use, and some worth mastering. Most likely you will use a few of them and definitely find a favorite! With that said, I hope you enjoyed this review, and please take them for a test drive. 

By |2018-09-01T20:08:48+00:00February 9th, 2018|Digital Storytelling|