Before computers were commonplace, presenters usually had an easel with posters or drawings to show any necessary graphics to the audience. In some cases the speaker would have a slide projector with a carousel of individual slides to show photographs on a screen.
Today, many software package suites contain a program designed to accompany the speaker when he makes a presentation. The specific presentation program in this suite of programs is usually (but not always) in the form of a slide show, much like the ones used in years past.
These presentation software programs make it simple and often fun to create a presentation for your audience. They contain a text editor to add your written content, and abilities within the program to add charts and graphic images such as photographs, clip art or other objects to liven up your slide show and get your point across simply.
Presentation software programs include -
- PowerPoint (many versions) - the leader on the Windows platform, and is created by Microsoft. PowerPoint can be bought separately or is included in the Microsoft Office suite of programs
- OpenOffice.org Impress - created by Sun Microsystems Inc. OpenOffice Impress (as it is more commonly known), is part of a suite of programs offered as a free download. The suite also contains a word processor, a spreadsheet program and a drawing program.
- Windows Movie Maker - a desktop video program, created by Microsoft installed on every Windows computer. Windows Movie Maker allows you to create and edit movies to use to accompany your presentation, although you can also add still photos or graphics and create a slide show, just as in PowerPoint and OpenOffice Impress.
- Keynote - created by Apple Computer is the leader in presentation software on a Mac platform. It was created for their OS X operating system. It is part of a suite of programs called iWork.