The first iPad came out in 2010 and ever since then, it has been an unstoppable phenomenon, and why not? With it’s great design, ease of use, portability and of course, cool factor, everybody wants one.
However, there is one killer app the iPad has that still isn’t being used to it’s full potential. That’s its function as a presenting tool.
Working in media advertising, our team is regularly consulting with customers to showcase our products and deliver a story about how we can be a solution to their marketing needs.
However, the standard method for doing this is outdated. Create a large number of slides in PowerPoint, printing a copy out for each person at the meeting, and presenting them slide by slide is old and usually pretty boring.
If you have an iPad, I say it’s time to move on from this and start using it for presentations. Here’s a few reasons why:
- Compact: You don’t have to spend the time printing out a bunch of pages, binding and carrying them around.
- Fresh: Presenting with an iPad tells your audience that you are savvy with the latest trends in technology.
- Efficient: You can have as many digital copies as you like and email them on the spot to anyone who wants a copy.
- Media: It can display movies and audio. This is a game changer, especially in my field where video is a big part of what we do.
- Interactive: You can draw on it! Writing out notes and doodling on the screen as you present can be a powerful tool.
- Cool: It’s an iPad!
So if using the iPad for meetings and presentations is such a homerun, why isn’t everybody doing it?
Because it has a slight learning curve and it’s hard to break old habits and learn something new.
Of all the things the iPad makes easy, creating a Powerpoint on a computer and converting it to an iPad isn’t one of them.
If you use a Mac with Keynote at work then you are good to go. Simply download Keynote for iPad and link it up to iCloud. Piece of cake.
But the problem is most offices aren’t using Macs at work…
But fear not, there are several ways to successfully show a PowerPoint presentation on the iPad.
Your first step should be to set up a Dropbox account. (It’s free after all). Dropbox gives you a folder to save items within a cloud. Once your PC has a Dropbox folder and your iPad has the Dropbox app, anything you save in your Dropbox folder on the PC is automatically accessible on your iPad.
It works insanely well. That’s step one.
Once you’ve got Dropbox up and running on both your PC and iPad, here are a few methods to successfully get your PowerPoint presentation onto the iPad.
1. Keynote on the iPad.
For $9.99 you can download an iPad version of Apple’s Keynote presentation software. Once you save your PowerPoint presentation in your Dropbox, you can open it up within Keynote on the iPad to play it since Keynote converts PowerPoint files.
The idea here is great but it’s more of a hassle than it’s worth. Many of your fonts, animations and images may become skewed after the move to Keynote on the iPad. If you are like me, this isn’t good enough. Part of telling a great story is making sure your images and big pictures are exactly like you had them originally. It matters!
You could try to edit the presentation in the iPad app to fix it but honestly, it’s too much tedious work.
This is an option but not my preferred method.
2. Convert PowerPoint to PDF and open on iPad.
This is a bit more reliable.
Once you have your PowerPoint presentation finished, save an additional copy of it as a PDF within your Dropbox folder.
When you open the PDF up from your iPad, 9 times out of ten, you will have exact replicas of your PowerPoint slides. Plus you can shuffle through them directly within Dropbox or open and save them in iBooks.
The only downside being you can’t use animations but if a story is crafted well enough, you shouldn’t need them anyway.
3. Save each PowerPoint slide as an image.
I just discovered this format the other day. Once your PowerPoint presentation is complete, screen capture each slide and save them in your Dropbox folder as an image, then on the iPad, open those and save them to the camera roll.
You can then create a new photo album of just those images. You then have high quality pictures of each slide and you can shuffle them if you need to.
The only downside being you can’t email a copy of the piece on the fly to your audience.
Summing it up.
There are several different ways to get your presentation from PowerPoint to the iPad, they may sound complicated but after going through the process a couple times, it becomes quite easy.
The iPad is an excellent storytelling device. It can convey images, media and data better than a boring printed out slide can.
All it takes is the courage to go out, break some of those out of date habits, and try something new.