As Andrew Leach (in the comments above) has indicated, the words or phrases available to you as replacements for "the following" depend on what the sentence where the wording is to appear looks like. Suppose, for example, that "the following" arises in this setting:
Napoleon's choices as winter neared can be narrowed down to the following: head south quickly; build igloos and gather enough wood to last for the next four months; or forge on and risk losing 90 percent of the invading army.
In this instance, the word these (or the word three) makes a perfectly serviceable alternative to "the following." Likewise, in many situations where "the following:" introduces a single following idea, this works well as an alternative to "the following."
But now suppose that "the following" arises in this context:
Napoleon had unfortunately failed to take into account the following. [Next come several long paragraphs of discursive writing on the strategic shortcomings of Napoleon's invasion plan.]
Here the replacement wording to replace "the following" might better be "any of what follows" or "several crucial factors."
Ultimately, however, you can't make a good practical inventory of your options for replacing "the following" unless you have a concrete sentence in front you that is in need of such a replacement.