14 Tips for Selecting a Robust Presentation Platform
If you’ve reached a point in your presentation software needs where free tools like Google Slides and Canva aren’t cutting it, it’s likely time to upgrade to a more robust presentation platform solution.
There’s one problem: how do you find the right option for your needs, which allows you to better create engaging presentations? There are dozens of presentation tools out there, ranging from free to decidedly not free, and the feature sets are all over the place.
We’d love to save you some time and tell you what we know to be true: switching to ProPresenter gives you the most robust presentation program on the market, hands-down. But we understand if you don’t want to take our word for it just yet.
What to Look For in a Top-Tier Presentation Platform
So let’s look at several tips that can help you narrow your search and settle on the best tools to help you take your business presentations to the next level.
Look for a Cross-Platform Solution
Some presentation tools may be great if you need to create presentations — but only on a PC, or only on a Mac. These, by definition, aren’t particularly robust because you can’t be assured that no venue or scenario will ever require the other type.
Getting stuck with a flattened Keynote presentation isn’t a good look, so presentation makers should prioritize cross-platform solutions. Some of these are cloud-based, while others are dedicated desktop apps available across multiple operating systems.
Inventory Your Current Tech and Capabilities
Before you get too far into your search for better business presentation software, take a step back and inventory your current tech and capabilities.
If you’re a solo operator running presentations off your laptop, this might seem straightforward enough (though you need to check into the hardware stack in your most frequent presentation locations).
But if you’re in charge of an auditorium, event space, or any larger, more complex environment, you’ll have plenty of parts and pieces to inventory.
Once you have a working list of all the tech (including connection types) you’re currently using for live or video presentations, you’re ready to build a second list.
Build Out Your Needed (and Wanted) Feature Lists
Next up is a feature list or two. You’re searching for a better presentation software solution for a reason, so start there. What is it you need to be able to do that you can’t currently? Include anything that’s a deal-breaker for you, any capability you can’t do without.
Also catalog any features you know exist and would love to use but don’t have access to right now. Call it a “nice to have” list if you want — this will come in handy when comparing specific application feature sets.
Remember to Plan for the Future
As you make your must-have and nice-to-have lists, you’ll of course want to consider the here and now, but don’t stop there. What will business or personal growth look like in the next few years? Are there capabilities you don’t need now but could easily envision needing soon?
Upgrading to a robust presentation platform is an investment that should last you many years. So look ahead as best you can as you think through features and tech.
Decide What Hardware and Tech You’re Upgrading Simultaneously
Often we see customers upgrading their presentation platform at the same time they upgrade AV hardware. If you’re doing this (in whole or in part), it’s a good idea to settle the hardware questions first to ensure all the new stuff you’re adding is compatible with the new software you’re considering.
Evaluate Existing Tech for Compatibility
Your existing tech needs the same level of attention: are you using any older legacy tech that new software is going to trip over? Is the PC at the heart of your system technically capable of running that new software?
This tip might eliminate some contenders from consideration or reveal other areas where you need to upgrade hardware.
Examine Content Creation Capabilities
People use presentation software in a variety of ways, but no matter what your use case looks like, everyone needs the ability to create and edit presentations quickly and easily. You also want them to be engaging presentations that make an impact with your audience.
You’ll find a great deal of variety in how various solutions support your content creation needs. Some go for simple, streamlined interfaces that might make it easy for you and your team members to work but limit how much you can do in the platform. Others go to the opposite extreme, overwhelming users with too many options and a confusing interface.
The best options (and we certainly think ProPresenter is one) find an optimal balance, providing an intuitive interface without limiting your capabilities.
Additionally, look for a presentation program that provides visually stunning presentation templates that cut out the busy work of finding graphics, choosing fonts, etc. Quality slide templates make a huge quality-of-life difference for presenters without a graphic design department.
Choose a Solution that Can Flexibly Handle Immersive Media
Every presentation app can handle pictures and basic animations. But the way an app handles video and audio can be a real differentiator. Are media controls clunky and limited, or can you do everything you’d ever want to do with that video clip (no matter what format it’s in)?
The best solutions allow you to use video however you need to: background, foreground, windowed, fullscreen. Audio playback should be just as flexible, and both should be capable of operating on triggers, clicks, or timers.
Go Further With Advanced Remote Control Tech
Another element that pushes professionals toward a more robust presentation solution is the need for finer control. Arrow keys on your laptop or USB clickers are an option, but at some point as you scale complexity, those solutions aren’t enough.
Free version apps don’t tend to offer anything more, but better solutions offer powerful remote controls via smartphone apps. Some apps (ProPresenter included) also support some of the leading hardware remote products on the market.
Consider Advanced Capabilities: Does the Software You’re Considering Have the Advanced Features You Need?
Last, consider any other advanced capabilities you may need — including capabilities you may not know are an option yet. ProPresenter offers everything listed below. With other apps, your mileage may vary.
Look for Multiple Display Outputs
If you’re presenting in a small conference room, a laptop and an HDMI connection (or screencasting) might be all you need. But in more advanced presentation setups, things can get complicated in a hurry.
Most office-oriented products support a single display output, plus a presentation mode (that usually has to run on the host device — not ideal if that device is in an AV booth).
ProPresenter, on the other hand, offers an unlimited number of display outputs. And ProPresenter’s unique seven-layer file architecture means you can send different feeds to different displays. Customize to your heart’s content. Whatever your hardware can handle, ProPresenter can power it.
Access to Media Libraries
It doesn’t take long before most regular presenters have exhausted the default templates in PowerPoint. If you want to make more interesting, unique presentations, you’re going to need media. You can always source this on stock media sites and so on, but you’ll have an easier time if your presentation app connects directly to media libraries (including both free and paid libraries).
Support for a Wide Variety of Media Types
Videos and audio files come in many different file formats. The last thing you need is to get stuck with a video file your presentation application can’t recognize. Scrambling for a converter app at the last minute is no one’s idea of a good time.
So look for a pro-grade presentation solution that can handle just about any file format you throw at it.
Do You Need Livestreaming Capabilities?
In this era of remote work and virtual presentations, live streaming is more important than ever. If you’re running a Zoom call, you can screen share just about any presentation app and it will work well enough. But what if you need to livestream a presentation over another platform or on social media?
You can skip the separate streaming app entirely if your presentation solution can output a live stream to your platform of choice. And that’s exactly what ProPresenter can do for you.
ProPresenter Offers All These Capabilities and More
We’ve provided 14 pointers and tips for anyone looking for a more robust presentation solution, and on all 14, ProPresenter delivers. We told you at the outset that ProPresenter would be your ideal choice, and we hope we’ve convinced you by now!
Even if you’re still on the fence, that’s OK. We’re offering all prospective and new customers a completely free, unrestricted two-week trial of ProPresenter. Download and install today. Kick the tires a little. Put our product through your paces. We’re confident you’ll be convinced that ProPresenter is your choice.