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Presentics vs. PowerPoint / Keynote (Part 1 of 2)

Presentics for iPad Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple Keynote have been the kings of the hill when comes to doing presentations. As a newcomer, how does Presentics compare to these big boys? And as a user, what is the best tool for you to you for your next presentation? This articles briefly compares the different tools for your next presentations.

Lightweight vs. Heavyweights

PowerPoint and Keynote have all kinds of bells and whistles. They also have super large collections of theme templates. With all these features, one can design a highly customized presentation with complex animations and transitions. But the down side is that you’ll be spending many hours putting together the slideshow. On the other hand, Presentics is designed to be extremely lightweight. The keyword here is time-saving. With Presentics, you can create presentations very quickly. Real story here: Mr. Meng, a developer on our team, created his slideshow for a conference presentation in just 10 minutes.

Although it doesn’t let you choose themes and make fancy transitions, Presentics uses sophisticated algorithms to automatically make your presentation stylish and modern. Everything will be minimalist, clean and content-focused. So now your presentation prep process becomes:

  1. Plan your presentation (2 hours maybe?)
  2. Create the slideshow (2+ hours 10 minutes!)

Media-friendly

One of the issues with PowerPoint or Keynote, is the ability to embed media items. Inserting images is fine, but it becomes cumbersome when it involves things such as Youtube videos, or PDF documents in your Dropbox folder. If you try to link to an external webpage from your presentation, it doesn’t get pretty either: Clicking on the link, and PowerPoint will _think_ about it for a second or two for unknown reasons, then it exits the slideshow mode and launches a system-default browser to handle the web link. When you are finished with the webpage, you need to switch back to the presentation and carry on. It breaks the visual flow of your presentation, and doesn’t look professional. It gets much harder if your presentation involves Youtube video clips or PDF documents. There is just no good way to do this.

Presentics, on the other hand, lets you embed everything in your presentation. Images, documents, Youtube clips, plus anything you may have in your sources (Box, Dropbox, & Google Drive, etc). The importing part is easy with the built-in media picker, and the presenting part is even better — you can present all these imported items right inside Presentics. There’s no application switch. Everything is there, right by your finger tips. So you can talk about some things, then tap to bring out a PDF article about the topic. Pinch to zoom in to show the right paragraph, then single-tap to return to your slideshow. It’s a much better and efficient workflow.

Easier to present

When you actually go onto the stage, there are a few things you need to do before you start talking. First, set up your gears and make sure people can see your slides. With PowerPoint or Keynote, you will mostly be bringing your laptops. Here are the usual steps:

  1. Walk up to the podium with your computer and lots of cables/adapters.
  2. Connect to a projector & hook up the audio (optional)
  3. Wait for the computer to recognize the projector
  4. Configure the screen resolution
  5. Do we need a power adapter? …
  6. A quick audio check.

All these while the audiences quietly watching. With Presentics, all you need is your iPad. The worst case scenario is that you need to bring your VGA adapter for the projector. And the setup sequence becomes:

  1. Walk onto the stage with your iPad with a VGA adapter (optional if AirPlay is available)
  2. Connect the VGA cable and audio
  3. iPad recognizes the external display, and you are ready to roll.

And if the projector supports AirPlay, then no connection is needed. Everything works wirelessly, and you will look like a boss.

More to come…

As you can see, a lightweight presentation app does have its advantages over the big boys. We’ll take a break here today and there will be more comparison to come in the next few days.

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