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What is Slide Presentation Software?

Slide presentation software is a digital tool that allows users to create and display a series of slides to support a speech or presentation. These slides can include text, images, and multimedia to effectively communicate ideas and information. With intuitive design features, it transforms complex data into visually appealing presentations. Ready to enhance your next talk with impactful visuals? Keep reading to learn how.
S. Gonzales
S. Gonzales

Slide presentation software is software that allows users to display slides using a computer during a presentation. These slides are often incorporated into a slideshow and used as a visual tool to enhance the presentation. Slides can be displayed on a screen behind a presenter and slide appearances may be controlled by the presenter.

Presentation software has become a mainstay of presentations across business and education sectors. However, it wasn't until the 1980s when personal computers became popular and the development of programs for private citizens began to take off that slide presentation software became a reality for the average computer user. Before that time, the ability to work with this software required specialized skills and businesses hired employees for the sole purpose of working with the presentation software.

Projectors may be used during a slide presentation.
Projectors may be used during a slide presentation.

With the advancement of technology in personal computers and programs, slide presentation software became available to the open market. Costs of presentation software decreased and their usability became more intuitive, making it easy for even the novice user to put a slide presentation together quickly and efficiently. Many companies began developing their own programs, including Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Presentation, Impress and Apple's Keynote. While this software is available to be used on both PC and Mac computers, Microsoft's PowerPoint is hugely popular and many novice users refer to any slide presentation software as just "PowerPoint."

PowerPoint presentations use a slideshow software created by Microsoft.
PowerPoint presentations use a slideshow software created by Microsoft.

Users presenting with slide software are allowed to manipulate text and images on the slides and use the slideshow feature to present their information. On slides, text can be inserted and edited, stock images, clip art or personal pictures can be inserted and manipulated and their slideshow presentation can also be modified to reflect the needs of the presenter. For instance, slideshow details can be configured so that the slides change at specific intervals during the presentation.

Slide presentation software can also boast a number of extra features that help with display. For example, users may be able to choose between transition effects between slides, making the presentation more dynamic for viewers. Presenters may also print out the presentation's slides and present them as paper handouts to their audience so that each member has a physical visual tool with which to refer during the presentation. For more advanced users, slideshow presentation software can be exported into Flash animations or converted into PDF documents so that they can be emailed to remote attendees who can follow the presentation with little trouble.

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Discussion Comments


One feature I always use with a Power Point presentation is the transition option. This helps your slide show smoothly move from one slide to the next. This is especially helpful if it is set up to automatically move after a few seconds.

Your whole presentation will have a better feel to it and it won't be so choppy. You can apply these effects to each individual slide or to the whole slide show.


@Mammmood - I don’t use either PowerPoint or Impress directly, but at church I use church presentation software. We use it to display slides on the screen such as for the announcements, worship songs and of course notes on the sermon.

It does have the ability to import slides from slide show presentation software packages directly but I don’t create these slides myself; they’re usually handed to me by someone else.

What I like about the software is that it has its own internal database which holds all of our songs, and anything else we choose to add to it. It’s easily searchable and sorted for convenience.

Sometimes on Sunday mornings we have a change of plans in the order of the service and I need to be able to switch slides on a dime. The software makes it a breeze.


The first time I used PowerPoint presentation software, I was surprised at how user friendly it was and how quickly you could put a decent presentation together. My first slide show was pretty basic, but once I began experimenting with several of the special effects, I made huge improvements to my presentations.

I like using the custom animations feature that allows you to control how your text and pictures appear on the page. You can have them fly in, come in gradually, and leave the page in slow motion - along with many other choices. This really helps make your presentations stand out.


@Charred - I have no real preference for brand personally. I’ve used PowerPoint but I’ve also used OpenOffice Impress.

What I like about OpenOffice is that it’s free. I don’t really need the added functionality of a scripting language; the presentation features alone are comparable to PowerPoint and are good enough for me.


@David09 - I agree. What makes PowerPoint truly powerful in my opinion is its ability to integrate with Visual Basic for Applications. This one feature takes it beyond simple display capabilities towards becoming truly interactive presentation software.

You can add buttons, text boxes, images and list boxes – anything that you can add to a typical Windows application – and add code behind the scenes to respond to user interactions.

When I was a teacher I used it to create some basic multimedia lessons and quizzes for my kids and they loved it.

In my opinion, I think that it can become a complete development environment that rivals tools like Macromedia Director or Flash, at least on a basic level.


I think PowerPoint Presentation Software was one of the real “killer apps” when it came to delivering presentations.

I remember my dad using it in the early 1980s when it first came out and he raved about what a wonderful product it was, how easy it was to add visuals and animations that enhanced his presentation.

The outline and notes feature was valuable as well since it replaced his need to have index cards handy to keep track of any additional talking points.

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    • Projectors may be used during a slide presentation.
      By: eillen1981
      Projectors may be used during a slide presentation.
    • PowerPoint presentations use a slideshow software created by Microsoft.
      By: Jenner
      PowerPoint presentations use a slideshow software created by Microsoft.