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Posts Tagged ‘presentation setup’


6 Can’t-Miss Tools for Innovative Presentations

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

It’s easy to grow jaded about presentation software. After all, each new version of PowerPoint and Keynote may feel like the equivalent of the same old room getting a new coat of paint. However, new tools and apps offer all sorts of fresh and clever ways to make better presentations. Encourage your employees to experiment with the following six tools in 2018 and see where they take you.

1. Collaborate with Google Slides

Google Slides may not offer PowerPoint- and Keynote-level features, but it’s free, widely supported and cloud-based. If you’re working on a presentation as a part of a team it’s easy to use Google Slides to work together. The program updates itself online in real time, so if one person on the team makes a change to a slide, the rest of the team will see it immediately if they are also working on the presentation. Google Slides also features automatic saving.

Additionally, your staff can use Google Slides as a tool to create a first draft of a presentation. When the draft is done, one employee can transfer the slideshow to another more capable program for revisions.

2. Exchange Ideas with SlideShare

LinkedIn SlideShare is like a social network for slideshows.

As long as the presentation doesn’t include confidential information, your staff can showcase their work and get feedback from other presentation experts.

Additionally, your staff can take a passive role in the social network: You can use it to look at other presentations from people across the world for inspiration on how to make a better presentation. SlideShare offers expert-taught presentation courses as well.

3. Dump Dated Software for Slidebean

Slidebean is a popular alternative presentation program that’s built to create stunning presentations with minimal effort from the content creator. Slidebean is a cloud-based app much like a premium version Google Slides and offers seamless online collaboration. It’s built to work on just about any device that supports a web browser.

4. Make a Non-Linear Presentation With Prezi

Prezi is an excellent tool for presentations during which the presenter interacts with the audience and adjusts points based on the discussion. It’s excellent for non-linear presentations as well as Q&A-style conferences. It can also be a helpful visual aid for a Q&A session after another presentation.

5. Present From Your Tablet or Phone with ApowerMirror

ApowerMirror is an application that streams a presentation from an Android or iOS device onto a computer. This tool can be very helpful for presenters who prefer the freedom of being able to move around and control their presentation with a smart device rather than a clicker. It’s also helpful for making sure that all the necessary media files are accessible for the presentation because it can access the device’s storage.

6. Generate Website-Based Timelines with TimelineJS

TimelineJS is a handy tool for presenters who want to produce a timeline with relative ease.

The tool quickly generates a timeline for display on a website from data entered into a Google spreadsheet template.

Presenters can display the timeline through any web browser to guide a presentation outside of a slides program.

Empower your productive staff to become even more productive with the right tools at your disposal. The IT consulting experts at MPA Networks can help your business identify and utilize new apps and tools to increase productivity well beyond your greatest expectations. Contact us today to learn more.

Giving a Presentation: A Technology Preparedness Checklist

Monday, March 19th, 2018

Giving a presentation can be stressful, so dealing with technology issues at the last minute is the last thing you want when attempting a professional delivery. The following technology preparedness checklist can help you make a good impression rather than forcing the audience to sit through on-the-fly troubleshooting.

A presenter should test the presentation where they are going to deliver it in advance.

Here’s what to do:

Hardware/Software Preparation Checklist

  • Run a “dress rehearsal” by testing any new hardware against the presentation delivery workflow. If this is the first time you’ve presented in a particular environment, run through loading your presentation and making sure the whole thing works correctly.
  • Ensure you have working login credentials for the presentation device and network, and test them in advance. Some computers will run a time-consuming new account setup script the first time a user logs into a device with network credentials.
  • Be sure the presentation device is running the most recent software updates. This will avoid surprise “update needed” popups and forced updates that can derail presentations.
  • Disable screen savers, phone calling and background messaging programs to avoid unwanted interruptions. Turn off any other disruptive applications you can identify.
  • Ensure the presentation device is compatible with the screen mirroring monitor or projector, and make sure you have all the necessary adapters and cables. Check in advance to see if you’re using an AppleTV, Miracast, Roku, WiDi or direct cable connection for monitor/TV/projector access. Make sure your device is compatible with the connection platform. Don’t rely on the IT staff to have all of the necessary cables ready.
  • Know your device’s screen mirroring shortcuts. For example, Windows devices use “Windows Key + P.”
  • Make sure audio playback works on the presentation device if you’re using sound in your presentation. Working video does not guarantee working audio.

Software Compatibility Checklist

  • Ensure your presentation files are compatible with the presentation device’s software. For example, if you’ve prepared a speech in Keynote, you may need to convert it to PowerPoint.
  • Check for embedded media file compatibility. For example, an embedded .MOV file may work on the PC on which you created the presentation, but it might not work on the presentation device. If you’re sure you’ll have internet access, you can link to or insert the videos from website sources to remove compatibility issues.
  • Run through the presentation and check for formatting issues on the presentation device. The presentation device may be using a different version of the software and thus may display differently. Avoid using custom fonts, and stick to the five-by-five text rule to work around formatting changes.

Presentation Access Checklist

  • Make sure you can load your necessary files onto the desired presentation device. PowerPoint files may not embed all linked content, so be sure to move all the necessary media files with the presentation file. Test it on another device if you can.
  • Have two data copies of your presentation ready in case one fails. Store copies on a flash drive and external hard drive, an optical disc and a portable drive, or a flash drive and cloud storage. If you’re bringing your own device, have a copy on external storage just in case you need to present on a different device.
  • Avoid internet dependencies if at all possible.

The more familiar you become with a given presentation environment, the better able you will be to pinpoint the most important factors to check on before a presentation. The experts at MPA can also help your business streamline its presentation hardware and software configuration through productivity consulting and desktop management. Contact us today to find out more.