Smartphones

Tips for delivering presentations via your smartphone

It's possible to give a PowerPoint presentation from your smartphone -- just make sure that you keep these rules in mind.

It's possible to give a PowerPoint presentation from your smartphone -- just make sure that you keep these rules in mind.

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Smartphones have enough processing power these days to allow you to run a presentation off the devices. Imagine how great it would be to go the venue carrying a smartphone in your pocket instead of lugging a laptop bag.

You do, however, need to observe a few rules so your presentation doesn't look terrible.

  • First, search for a presentation package for your smartphone. There are plenty to choose from, including Pocket Slides from Conduits Technologies, Inc. The benefits and the pitfalls of the available presentation packages would fill volumes, so try a few and pick one you like.
  • You will need the venue to supply a computer attached to a projector or have a VGA adapter for the smartphone if you want your work to be seen by the entire audience. It is worthwhile to search online for VGA outkits for your model of smartphone; this would allow you to connect directly to a projector and deliver the presentation straight from the device.

    Or, you could connect your smartphone to a laptop using Remote Display via Bluetooth and, instead of being tied to a lectern, you could move around the audience, controlling the slides from your smartphone.

    Alternatively, you could connect your phone to a laptop using Remote Display via Bluetooth and, instead of being tied to a lectern, you could move around the audience, controlling the slides from your smartphone.

    You could use the smartphone simply as a memory stick to bring the presentation to the venue and then transfer it to the venue's PC; however, it would be just as easy to use a memory stick and not have to use ActiveSync although, in my bitter experience, it is a lot easier to lose a USB memory stick than a smartphone.
  • Most smartphones have a built-in voice recorder; a good time to use the recorder would be during the Q&A session. If your memory is as bad as mine, it's best to record anything that requires a follow-up because failing to deliver on your promise of further contact is not a good way to further your career.

And, of course, make sure you deliver a good presentation. Many people mistakenly use every PowerPoint feature to embed video, music, animation, and far too much text in their presentations, thus creating a great demonstration of the presenter's PowerPoint skill and often overshadowing the real message of the talk. A good presentation includes simple and meaningful graphics, such as graphs of market share and images of products teamed, with bullet-point type text that the speaker expands on verbally. Keep in mind that you can use your smartphone like it's your personal cue card system.

One downside of delivering a presentation from a smartphone is the screen is smaller and a different shape than a PC screen, so when it is blown up on an OHP screen, the resolution will look grainy. You would have to tailor the text and graphics to allow for this resolution issue. It's yet another reason to keep your PowerPoint slides simple.

At the end of your presentation, you unplug the smartphone, put it in your pocket, and leave. How cool is that?

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1 comments
e_engler
e_engler

Personally, I wouldn't try this without having a dry run with the actual equipment you are connecting to. There are too many points of failure for leaving a presentation to chance, unless you already have another job waiting! Not every pc has an up to date bluetooth driver, most desktops don't have it built-in. Most larger organizations wipe the original OS off the pc and put on a standard image that will not have the newer bluetooth drivers. So you need to pair the devices (bring along your own BT usb just in case), and hope the driver supports the functions you need. And lastly, don't wander too far into the audience in case you lose the connection. BT is really exploding in popularity (see what they are doing with Ford Sync) within a couple of years it should become common to use smart devices for not only presentations but for things we haven't realized we need it for.

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