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Posted by Ted Schadler on October 18, 2011
I spend a lot of time delivering PowerPoint presentations, pitching ideas and data and hopefully some pizzazz and inspiration. And that means I'm lugging my 7-pound laptop and 1-pound charger around, projecting via a dodgy VGA cable with doubtful video qualities, and mouseclicking my way through the story. It's all good because it's all I've ever known. And it beats swapping foils on an overhead projectors. (Why do they call those transparencies foils??)
But, sometimes it would be so much more convenient for me to toss my 1.3-pound iPad2 sans charger into a small bag, hop on the US Airways Shuttle to New York, and pitch the deck while leaving the laptop and charger at home. And if it's true for me, then it has to be true for your iPad-totin' sales teams.
Until now, I've not found a decent PowerPoint solution on iPad. As much as I believe that Microsoft will eventually offer PowerPoint on iPad, I need an answer now. Apple's Keynote requires a big adjustment for me (and for the rest of my ecosystem), and PDF rendering kills the thrill of PowerPoint builds and messes up my storytelling punchlines.
Brainshark is known for its ability to host presentations with voiceover and other stuff as a way to train sales folks and others online and on mobile devices. The company has been around since 1999 and has won over many enterprise customers. Their favorite factoid is, and I quote, "A Brainshark is created every 3 minutes and viewed every 2.5 seconds, with over 1 million views/month."
Brainshark has adapted its slide-conversion, hosting, and business technology to create a nice solution for presenting PowerPoint on iPad. [Queue the other vendors with PoiP solutions: Contact tschadler (at) forrester (dot) com.]
My experience so far:
The company plans to support Apple's new AirPlay Mirroring (video streaming from iPad to Apple TV, a $99 gadget that you can use to wirelessly project these slides to a projector) as well links in slides, embedded audio, and more enterprise functionality in forthcoming releases.
Here's a picture showing the SlideShark app in slide layout mode. You can start from any slide by finger swiping up to reveal the slides then selecting the slide you want to start the show.
Now some caveats:
None of these caveats change the core value: many people need to present PowerPoint decks and need or at least crave a good iPad solution. And SlideShark fits that bill nicely.
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