Rick Altman, the conference host for the Presentation Summit wrote an editorial recently lamenting the lack of functionality in the iPad for use as a presentation driver. During the course of reviewing Rick’s article, I discovered an admittedly less significant use for the iPad as a presenter’s tool but one that excited me none-the-less.
Microsoft PowerPoint has a great feature that is impractical to use while you travel. There is a view called Presenter’s View that you can invoke if you have multiple screens attached to the computer which is running the presentation. It allows you to see a screen that shows you your current screen, the upcoming slides, your speaker’s notes and some basic slide remote controls. It is a great augment for giving a presentation or rehearsing a presentation. Its Achilles Heel is that a second monitor must be in use to activate Presenter’s View. If you are on the road, you have a laptop and no second monitor in tow, you are locked out of this valuable mode.
iPad to the rescue! (with a little help from an App)
Air Display from Avatron software allows you to turn your iPad into a second monitor (or even a third) on your PC or Mac. Purchase the App for your iPad and download the appropriate software free from Avatron and you are set. As long as your two devices are on the same Wi-Fi network, you can port your computer’s display to your iPad and use the iPad’s touch functionality as if it were a mouse click! Even if you don’t have a Wi-Fi network available, you can configure an ad-hoc network for exclusive communication between your devices.
Admittedly this is a little bit obscure to most PowerPoint users and not many-other than experience speakers – use Presenter’s View but it does solve a long-running problem-how to have a second monitor while traveling.
You aren’t converting your preso to Keynote. Your animations, OLE objects, Motion Paths and other PowerPoint features all remain intact.
Your presentation stays and runs on your laptop where it has the operating system, software and power it needs and expects.
You can use your iPad as a mobile notes platform as well as a remote.
Your laptop can remain near the projector while you use the iPad to direct and prompt you – anywhere the Wi-Fi reaches.
Until Microsoft fixes PowerPoint’s Presenter View to run on a single screen in ‘rehearsal mode’, or monitors become cheap and small enough to carry everywhere, or laptops come with two screens. Air Display and your iPad can bridge that gap.
Rikk Flohr © 2011