Radiate Presentation Design


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5 Tips for Presenting on a Tablet or Phone

It’s never been easier to deliver a presentation. Coffee shops are the new conference rooms. Laptops, tablets and phones are the new projection systems. Heck, you can present anywhere—no cords necessary, just a full battery.

For sheer portability, you can’t beat a tablet or phone. Smart phones, with increasing screen sizes, have made it easier to engage in pocket-sized presentations. Recently I presented my portfolio on an iPhone 6 in a crowded Italian restaurant. It was a bit noisy, but I was able to quickly support a conversation with samples of my work.

Here are five quick tips to get you swiping through slides over your next caramel-macchiato.

1.    Develop on Your Desktop – Deliver on Your Device

I prefer to develop on a desktop (or laptop) and upload my deck to the cloud. This is purely a matter of preference. I have fat fingers and fuzzy eyes. You can certainly develop on a small screen. Apps are available for Powerpoint and Keynote. I enjoy the faster workflow of a larger screen. Simple things like web research, editing images and plain-old copying and pasting is much easier on a larger screen. Be sure to test, and practice with, your final presentation on the portable device. You may need to adjust transitions and fonts between the desktop version and the portable version.  Note: there is also an app available to load fonts onto an iOS device.

2.    Bring Your Big Game to Your One-on-One

Just because you’re sitting across from your audience doesn’t mean you should cram your slides with content. Viewing on a small device has the same visual ratio as viewing it on an eight-foot screen from the back of a conference room. The design principles remain the same. Design for visual and emotional effect. Develop slides to support what you say and engage your small audience on an emotional level with beautiful images.

3.    Clean Your Screen

There is nothing more distracting than a smudgy screen. I carry a microfiber cloth and a slender bottle of optical lens cleaner in my backpack. Before presenting on a portable screen, spritz it and polish it up.

4.    Turn Off Notifications

I’ve learned this the hard way. You don’t want a Facebook notification from a foul-mouthed buddy popping onto your screen during your next pitch. Make sure all notifications are shut off. Put your device in “Do Not Disturb” mode before you get started.

5.    Use a Tablet Stand

Buy an inexpensive tablet stand at any office supply retailer. I picked up an $8 acrylic stand at Office Depot. This helps you avoid balancing the tablet while trying to advance the slides. It also helps you avoid the smudgy screen in Tip 3.


Bonus Tip – If you’re using Apple® Keynote to present on the iPad, be sure to download Keynote for the iPhone. You can use the iPhone as a remote for the iPad and follow along with your notes for each slide (see photo above).