Keynote is Apple’s own presentation app, bundled in their iWork suite (the $79 price tag includes Pages and Numbers, too). Apple put their signature ease-of-use and polish all over Keynote. It’s simple to create presentations with great looking themes, polished graphics, and high quality animations and transitions. Keynote has tight integration with, iOS so you can turn your iPhone or iPod touch into a wireless presentation tool that not only lets you control the progression of your presentation but view it on your mobile device, too.
Beamer is the presentation language class of the popular document markup language LaTeX. Beamer is the antithesis, in the presentation world, of tools like Keynote and PowerPoint. You don’t sit down and drag and drop components in a What You See Is What You Get interface; instead you create your presentation using document markup language just like you would create a website from raw HTML code. Beamer has a steeper learning curve than WYSIWYG editors, but it offers unprecedented control over your presentation and is heavily favored by engineers, scientists, and programmers who already use LaTeX in some capacity for their work.
For Windows, Mac & Linux
Have a favorite tool that didn’t get a nod? A tip or trick for creating a great presentation? Post about it in the comments.