Quick Tip: Showing PowerPoint Presentations on the iPad (Part 1)

Presenting a PowerPoint from your iPad can also result in a more natural and interactive presentation, allowing you walk around, switch between applications, write notes or do white-boarding, and go back to your core presentation.

In Part 1 of this blog, we’ll cover how to get your PowerPoint over to your iPad, and in Part 2 (to be continued), we’ll cover the Apple TV setup to enable you to do a wireless presentation with your iPad so you can walk around freely in a courtroom or conference room and present.

Getting your PowerPoint on your iPad

Since it is currently impossible to present a native PowerPoint presentation on an iPad, you must convert it to an acceptable format and present it with an app that gives you solid presentation options similar to PowerPoint.  My two favorites are Keynote and Slideshark.

Keynote is Apple’s answer to PowerPoint.  It has been around a long time and is a must-have app ($9.99).  Once your PowerPoint is converted to Keynote, Keynote is going to give you the ability to (1) make edits and also (2) show the presentation.  The downside is that it the conversion isn’t always perfect.  I’d give it a B.  This requires that you make some aesthetic tweaks and fixes to the presentation.

Slideshark (slideshark.com) (free) is an app that will convert the PowerPoint to a Slideshark format and then allow you to play/show the slides through the Slidehshark app.  It converts the PowerPoint better than any other app I have ever seen, preserving fonts and animations extremely well.  I’d give it an A.  Slideshark also has a fantastic presenter view that allows you to easily see your notes and upcoming slides very similar to PowerPoint’s presenter view.

The downside to Slideshark is that you cannot make edits to the slide show from the iPad.  You have to make changes in PowerPoint and then re-convert/upload the PowerPoint.  With large presentations and low bandwidth, this can take a few minutes.

Keynote Instructions

The easiest way to convert a PowerPoint to Keynote and load it in your iPad is through Dropbox or Email.  In either case, when you tap on the PowerPoint file, select Open In and select Keynote.  Once in Keynote, the file will be stored locally on your iPad until you delete it.

SlideShark Instructions

Go to www.slideshark.com and set up a free account.  This will also set up a needed cloud storage area for your presentation, which you can link to Dropbox, Box, Google Drive or Syncplicity.  Once the account is created, login and upload your finished PowerPoint.  During the upload process, Slideshark will convert your PowerPoint and store it in your private Slideshark storage area.

Next, from your iPad, go to the App Store and download / install the SlideShark app.  Launch the app and enter your login credentials.  Once logged in, you will have the ability to download from the Slideshark cloud all your converted presentations.  Select the presentation and hit the green play button.

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