If you work in an office setting, sooner or later you're going to have to give a presentation. We've all been there, watching someone stare into a blinding projector light while fumbling with cables and trying to get the signal to come through.
The good news for Apple users is that with a couple Apple products and a little know-how, they can do away with the cables and clutter and quickly get on with the presentation. Using the AirPlay service, you can stream content to a second or third generation Apple TV.
Here's how you can give a presentation with just an iPad and an Apple TV.
To start, you'll want to make sure that your Apple TV is plugged into the proper port on your TV, and both the iPad and Apple TV are connected to Wi-Fi. It's important to note that both devices must be connected to the same network for the AirPlay option to be available. Be careful to make sure you don't have one device inside your company's firewall and one operating outside of it.
The next step is to make sure you have your presentation properly loaded on your iPad. The easiest way is to create your presentation in Keynote, Apple's presentation software. However, you can also create or open a file in the Microsoft PowerPoint app.
Additionally, PowerPoint files can be opened by Keynote, so you can email them to yourself and save them on the device. If you plan on trying to convert a PowerPoint file in Keynote, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to account for any formatting issues you may run into when you convert the file.
Another option is to create a presentation in Google Drive. If all else fails, you should be able to save the presentation as a PDF and open it with iBooks.
After making sure that your file is locked and loaded on your iPad, or saved in your Google Drive, you need to enable AirPlay on your device. Once you have both devices on the same network, you should swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access what is known as the Control Center. At the bottom of the Control Center, you should see the AirPlay icon. Tap that icon and select the Apple TV from the drop-down menu.
Your Apple TV will recognize that a device is attempting to connect with it and it will prompt you to input a security code that it will display on the television screen. Once you input the code and finish connecting, the name of the Apple TV will appear at the bottom of the Control Center as long as you are utilizing AirPlay.
From now on, any app that works with AirPlay will be able to be displayed on your Apple TV connected television.
If you're using Keynote, once you open your presentation, you should be able to tap the play button and have your presentation begin playing on the TV. Your device will display the "presenter view" and show you the list of slides in the presentation so you'll know what's next. If your slide contains animations, a green dot will alert you when the animation is complete so you'll know when to proceed.
To enable this view in the PowerPoint App, you'll first tap on the "Slide Show" tab at the top of the screen. Of the available options, choose presenter view and you should see the presenter view, while your actual presentation will be displayed on the TV.
For those using Google Drive or other services, you will need to enable the "Mirroring" feature through AirPlay to see the presentation on the television. Mirroring shows exactly what you see on your device screen on the television itself.
Swipe up again on the iPad screen and tap the AirPlay icon. Under the drop-down list select "Enable Mirroring." Your device screen should show up on the connected television. Keep in mind, however, that you will not have access to a presenter view and you will see your presentation on your iPad as your audience sees it on the screen.
Swipe to manually advance your slides, or let the timed slide option advance them for you.
Hopefully this will help you streamline your presentation process and eliminate some cable clutter.
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.