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Creating Effective Presentations

Guide discussing tools and techniques for building effective presentations.

Presentation Software

There are hundreds of presentation-style software programs available. Cost and quality vary across platforms. We've listed some recommendations below:


Canva is a browser-based presentation tool, so you'll need to have an Internet connection in order to use it. It does not support PowerPoint files. Some layouts are free, while others charge for their use. Sign up is free, but required for use. Canva also serves as a good editor for images.

Connect to Canva

Google Slides

Tiffin University is in partnership with Google for its email service and, by extension, has access to the wide range of Google office products. One component of that Google Suite is Google Slides, the Google version of presentation software. With a bit of work, you can import PowerPoint slides to edit in Google, save your work, collaborate and share with others... all for free. Slides can be saved in other file formats to create handouts or make presentations compatible with other software programs, like Microsoft PowerPoint, or you can keep it in the web-based version and present directly from your Google Drive.

Connect to Slides

Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint is part of the Microsoft Office Suite of software products. This software program is the standard program you're most likely to encounter if you're using a Windows-based platform, and is not available for free. 

View PowerPoint Tutorials


Prezi uses animation techniques in non-traditional formats, so it doesn't create a presentation in a series of "slides." There is both a paid and free version. Everything that you create in the free version becomes public. It is also not compatible with PowerPoint.

Read more about Prezi

WPS Office Free

This web-based platform is about as close to Microsoft PowerPoint as you'll get, and it's completely free. It is also compatible with PowerPoint, so you can download your files and run them on any system containing the paid PowerPoint software program. (There is a Word and Excel version in this package as well.)

Learn more about WPS Office Free

Video Presentations

There are numerous video creation and editing programs available online at varying levels of cost to the user.

Take a Video

Check out a few of these tutorials to help you record live-action videos from common handheld devices:

If your project requires you to purchase a video camera, Consumer Reports contains reviews for new products. Use the "search within this publication" option to look for articles which discuss specific products.

Video Editors

Anyone with a handheld device can likely take a video, but editing and cropping can sometimes be difficult if you want a bit of polish before you make your work public. These video editors might help:

  • Blender - Free, open source platform for animation and video editing.
  • Lightworks - Has both a free and paid version.
  • Shotcut - Free, open source platform.

Screen Captures

If you're trying to build a "how to" type video, where you have to show something on your computer screen, some platforms will allow you to capture and edit your work in one place. Here are a few such programs:

  • OBS Studio - Gamers might appreciate the ability to stream games and record with no restrictions on video length.
  • FlashBack Express - Free version of a more robust paid program, but without the watermarks that free programs sometimes add to your video.
  • ShareX - Free, open source app which allows online sharing of screen recordings.


Face-to-face presentations come with their own set of challenges, but what if you're presenting something ONLINE?

Presenters no longer need to be in the same room as the audience! The following platforms work well for group meetings, and are FREE.

  • Google Hangouts - Hangouts can be used on a computer or mobile device. Dial numbers in, or use the various screen share options to run presentations from anywhere. 
  • Zoom - Though a paid version is available, the free version allows for meetings of 100 participants and unlimited 1-on-1 meetings.