The Way We Work
August 2, 2011 by Julia Camenisch

Making a business presentation used to involve an array of equipment — a projector, a screen and a laptop loaded with a (hopefully) glitch-free PowerPoint or Keynote presentation were all customary fare. But in the new technological world of smaller and lighter, who wants to lug around all that stuff?

Thankfully, it’s become less common. In fact, making presentations using web based software is now standard. And thanks to smartphones, those presentations can be viewed (or given) while on the go. No more being tethered to a desk chair! While some of that equipment still has to be occasionally toted along (just wait until they release the iPad with a built in projector!), these apps make the presentation process much simpler and more interactive.

iPhone/iPad Apps:

  • Keynote ($9.99): Not just for your Mac desktop, the Keynote app allows you to work on presentations from your iPad or iPhone while on the go. And not only can you edit those presentations, but with the iPad dock connector, you can hook your iPad up to a VGA connection on a projector and show your slides in the boardroom. Beats hauling a MacBook around any day.
  • Fuze Meeting HD (Free): Fuze Meeting is a conferencing based app that available for the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, and Android platforms. It allows you to give video and/or photo presentations via a browser-based interface. It integrates with various chat programs and allows you to use Dropbox to share files.  It’s even got a virtual red laser pointer you can use! How cool is that?
  • Conference Pad ($4.99): You’ve got to be at the meeting location for this app, but it’s still pretty cool! Conference Pad allows you to display a presentation on up to fifteen iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches using either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for connectivity. Your iPad functions as the controller. The slight downer with this presentation app is that your slides must be in PDF format to work, plus you’ve got to buy a copy of the app for each device. Conference Pad also includes that cool red laser pointer feature, plus it allows you to roam around the conference room while talking. (That should keep everyone focused, right?)

Android Apps:

  • Mighty Meeting (Free/Basic; $4.99/Pro): Mighty Meetings encourages you to ditch the laptop. Instead, using their free app, you can upload your presentations (including video) to the cloud, and then share them with other mobile meeting attendees. Presentation viewers don’t have to install their own copy of the app or sign-up for an account — they can view the presentation through either a direct email link or by entering the meeting ID on the company’s website. Attendees can communicate through the chat or voice functions. The free version is pretty limiting and you’ve only got a 14-day trial window in which to conduct meetings. But hey, since it’s initially free, it’s worth a try, right?
  • Slide Rocket (Free/Lite; $24/Pro): Slide Rocket is a multi-functional tool, allowing you to not only share presentations but to create them as well. The slide creation aspect of the program has been compared to PowerPoint with a key difference being that it is web based instead of software based. You do have the option of importing PowerPoint slides, though that’s not always a successful process! This app could be especially useful when you’re collaborating on a presentation with coworkers in other locations.
  • Join.Me (Free): This nifty app is all about screen sharing. Lots of it, in fact. You can demo a product, discuss a design or show off a presentation with up to 250 viewers. Plus, your viewers can get in on the action as you can choose to share control of your screen with them. The free version is amazingly functional, making me wonder how many people will opt to pay for the few extra bells and whistles that the pro version provides. And in case you’re worried about security, the meetings are sealed up with 256-bit encryption, so you should be pretty safe from uninvited hackers.

Do you have experience with any of these presentation apps? Or is there one I missed that blows the rest of the field away? Share your reviews below in the comment section.


Julia Camenisch

Contributing Author

Julia Camenisch is a freelance technology and business journalist. She also works as an editor and copywriter for a wide range of clients, including national magazines, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Julia brings to oDesk a passion for empowering small businesses through the innovative use of technology.

  • http://www.martianstalk.com Namiko

    Hi Julia,
    Please consider adding iPad presentation app “Ruri ” to your list.

    Ruri is another presentation app on iPad for anyone who want to make beautiful presentations quickly.
    To make a beautiful presentation, Ruri puts words and images in suitable places automatically and provides background movies.

    Watch Ruri on move: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPfCxyFvJ6E