Presenting PowerPoint on iPad

Have you been dreaming of the day when you can leave your bulky laptop behind and run your presentations straight from your iPad? When you see the market that the iPad has created, people are going to want to use it for showing presentations.  Out of the box it doesn’t do this and can be frustrating trying to figure out what you need. You take your iPad into the class and want to run your PowerPoint presentations straight from the device.  So what do you need? How do you accomplish this?  Here are a handful of apps that can do the trick.

The first thing to mention is that any presentation that you play on your iPad is going to be on software that is not the full version of your desktop computer software.  So for those users that break the recommendations and make your presentations heavy with animations, sounds and transitions be aware that they may not perform the same on the iPad.
Also be aware that there are some differences when presenting with an iPad vs. an iPad2.
– The iPad only has the ability to present out to a projector using the iPad AV cables. The following programs should have the built-in features to allow the software to display out to the projected device, but not all programs do.
– The iPad2 will also use the iPad AV cables, and the same rules apply.  BUT, the iPad2 also has a new Digital AV Cable which allows you to mirror everything you see on your iPad out on to a projected device (ie: projector, TV). So it doesn’t matter if the program has the built-in function to output to a device it will show.


Slideshark (free account for up to 25MB)

Log in with your free SlideShark account, upload the file(s), SlideShark converts and then download and play the presentation on the iPad app. It’s just that easy.
Be warned though for those of you users who like to add in all sorts of fun “goodies” into your presentations.   This isn’t a full version of PowerPoint you’re using. SlideShark states that certain functions will not work such as: hyperlinks on slides, embedded videos or animated gifs, slide transitions, triggers, and 3rd party components. There are also some advanced animations that may not be supported.
To view a demo click here


Keynote $9.99

This app is built by Apple, so it’s a good guess it will work in an Apple environment with no issues.  But worry not Microsoft users, it will work for you as well.  Keynote will accept PDF presentations, PPTX presentations, PPT presentations and Keynote ’09 for Mac.  Keynote also allows you to build a full presentation directly on your iPad.  Users can connect via iPad to  iTunes, iDisk, or WebDAV.  It will present your presentation the best out of all options.  It allows for presentation notes to be displayed and by holding your finger on a slide you can mimic a laser pointer ‘dot’ on the screen.

Keynote Remote (iPhone) $0.99

For an extra dollar you can control your presentation on Keynote straight from your iPhone.  If you’re one of those presenters that likes to walk around while they give the presentation than you may want to check this out.


MightyMeeting (free basic service or go pro for $4.99month)
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With MightyMeeting you can store presentations and demo videos in the cloud and access them anywhere and any time from the web, iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. Content can be shared privately in online discussions. It can also be presented in online meetings so that any number of people can start or join a meeting via a lightweight HTML-only application running in a browser or using a native application running on a mobile phone or tablet.
You can also use it for your standard presentation with no issues and if you want allows your audience members to view on their device (tabletphonecomputer) while you present.
You can upload your PowerPoint, or email it as an attachment to your account and then use it to present with.


Nonlinear ($4.99)

Working in a visual matrix, you can start and stop your presentation to address feedback, discussion or questions, then just as quickly return to where you left off. No other app allows you do to this on an iPad.  You can preload webpages, import videos, highlight & draw on slides, and jump around your presentation easily.  To view a demo click here


Without the aid of a specific app, you can also present your presentation an easier way if you so wish;

– Convert your presentation to video
A great way to to play your presentation on the iPad.  Many PowerPoint to video convertors have a feature to convert it to iPad format supported formats (m4v, mp4, mov) and they retain all the features like animations, transitions, audio and video clips.

– Export your PowerPoint slides as pictures
You can export each of your slides into a JPG or PNG format.  Then, using your iPad’s photo album you can bring up the slides in order and swipe to the next slide as needed.  Easy for the basic presentation.  But this solution is limited as it doesn’t have any animations, transitions, sounds or video clips.

– Convert your PowerPoint to a PDF
iPad can read PDF files easily.  There are tons of apps that read PDF without issue.  Again, like exporting to images you will lose your animations, transitions, sounds or video clips.


Lastly, I would like to stress that whenever you go to give a presentation make sure you have a backup of your presentation on hand.  Whether you store a copy in Cloud storage like Dropbox or more importantly keep a copy on your person within a USB storage device.  You may find yourself at a location without internet suddenly and this way you can switch to your backup instead of describing to your audience what the slides looked like.

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