Steve, don't mean to sound defensive but I've built 3 startups and raised money from both angels and VCs. Before that I was the Head of Bids at Nokia Siemens Networks and closed deals worth $2.5 billion in little over 2 years. My intention is not to brag but to explain to you that I very well know how to pitch and close people.
Now when it comes to asking for money for your startup, generally the steps are that you email your deck over, they look at it, decide if they want to meet you and then you meet them to present it. But here's the trick for any great entrepreneur: do your first pitch one-on-one without a deck. That way you'll connect with the investor on a personal level. Because at the end of the day most angels and VCs invest in the people as much as they do in the idea. The deck conveys an idea, but it's the entrepreneur that sells it.
In my case, powerpoint doesn't convey my ideas as well as I do and therefore I would prefer another tool. But that's just me. Maybe I just suck at powerpoint which is very possibly the case but I'm not the first person to passionately hate the software. Either way, what I'm trying to accomplish from this discussion is not so much to figure out if tools are important for the trade as much as what tools other than powerpoint may be more useful for me and possibly other entrepreneurs. One thing that's definitely sure though is that I started the discussion with open-mindedness searching for advice so any criticism and/or judgement is not appreciated.