Saturday, March 17, 2012

Delivering presentations on the Apple iPad - update

Almost a year ago, I blogged about my first experiences delivering customer presentations on the iPad.   As a Mobile Technology Evangelist for IBM, it's tough to convince customers to fully embrace mobility when I myself delivering presentations from an Apple MacBook Pro or Lenovo ThinkPad running Windows.  In the past year, I've delivered dozens of successful presentations from the iPad.  The following are a few tips:

Creating the presentation: I generally use Microsoft Office or Lotus Symphony on Windows (7 or 8) or Apple OS/X to create the presentation.   I find that creating the presentation on a PC is faster since I'm usually leveraging existing content.

Copying the presentation to the iPad:  There are several approaches including e-mail and iTunes sync.  IBM policy prevents the usage of cloud services (e.g. DropBox).   My favorite method is to use the IBM Connections mobile client.  Like many IBMers, I'm a heavy user of IBM's internal deployment of IBM Connections and I share most of my content.  It's also a big time saver to collaborate with others via IBM Connections on the development of a presentation, post the final version in IBM Connection and then pull it down to the iPad.

Delivering a presentation on the iPad:  With the original iPad, there wasn't much choice - you had no choice but to use Apple Keynote with the Apple VGA adapter to connect to an external projector.  With the iPad 2+ and the new video mirroring functionality you have many more options including the IBM Symphony Viewer, Quickoffice and lots of others. The long rumored version of Microsoft Office for the iPad has not yet materialized but is expected in 2013.   I've been using Keynote for the past year and it remains my tool of choice.   I'll occasionally make updates to a presentation on the iPad using Keynote and I've also started using Keynote Remote again since it was recently updated to fix a number of nagging issues that made it unusable.  The Keynote Remote application allows the slides to be advanced from a separate iOS device (e.g. iPhone) so I don't have to stand at the podium to advance slides from my iPad.  The Keynote Remote application also displays speaker notes - another handy feature.   Another alternative with similar functionality is SlideShark.  SlideShark actually offers better fidelity with Powerpoint than Keynote which results in less work to make the slides look good on the iPad.  However, a disadvantage of SlideShark is that each presentation must be uploaded to their cloud in order to display on the iPad which poses security concerns.

I'd be interested in your experiences in using the iPad to deliver customer presentations and connecting to an overhead projector to display to a large group.

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