Ever looked at your iPad and asked it this question, “So, what else can you do for me?” Sure you have. And you may have looked at it and wondered how in the world this thin flat device can do more for you than serve up web pages or great looking emails. You may have heard that your iPad can help you give great presentations at a meeting or for a group of people, but you don’t really know how it’s all done. Well wonder no more. Because here is your chance to put that iPad of yours to good use.
How To Give A “Great” Presentation With iPad
Giving presentations with iPad sure beats carrying around a laptop with associated cables and dongles and a sore back. Because it is light and portable you will be thankful once you learn the ropes on giving presentations with iPad. Many people may wonder how to do this and while it might seem simple to some, it really can be a mystery until you have mastered the basics. Let’s dive in and by the time you are done with this article you will be able to do the following:
- Understand what you need to give a presentation
- Know how to connect the appropriate equipment
- Understand what works and what doesn’t work
- Learn some apps that can help you
So are you ready to get going? Great. Grab a tasty beverage and let’s go down this road together.
Gadgets You’ll Need To Give A Presentation
The first thing you need to get is an Apple iPad VGA Adapter. As luck would have it, here is an article on how to use the iPad VGA Connector. We wrote this about a month ago and it’s still very relevant. Read that and then come back here with all your new knowledge. Basically the VGA connector allows you to show photos, slide shows, and even YouTube videos on a big screen TV or via a projector. If you choose to show your presentation on a TV, then that article will definitely help you understand how to do that. Essentially, it depends on the TV you have.
If you plan to use a projector, then you will also need a place to project your presentation. You can use a blank wall or an official screen as well. Either one will work just fine.
If you are going to use a projector, keep in mind that the Apple VGA Connector is mean for a projector with a VGA connection. Most projectors have these but some of the newer ones are coming with HDMI and/or USB connections as well. If you have a projector and it does not have a VGA connection then you can get adapters. Here is what a VGA connection looks like:
See the gray area? That’s the VGA connection and this happens to be a “female” type connection. Your projector (or TV) will need to have a “male” type connection for this to plug into. The male connector has pins that stick out.
So in summary, you will need the following pieces and parts for your presentation:
- One iPad
- One Apple iPad VGA Adapter
You will also need one of the following but not all:
- TV that supports VGA or HDMI or Component (for HDMI and Component you will need an adapter which is outlined in the article referenced above), or
- A projector with VGA connection and a screen to display your presentation
For the pieces and parts that’s really about it. The good news is that once you have all this “stuff” you are almost ready to go.
If you are giving a presentation, then it is likely you are going to be creating it in one of two programs: Keynote or Powerpoint. We will discuss each scenario below and show you how to get your presentation with iPad.
If you are using Powerpoint on your Mac or PC then you will want to get that onto your iPad in order to give your presentation. Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Export your Powerpoint slides as pictures. Basically you will have all your Powerpoint slides ready to go and then you will export them within the program as pictures. At this point they are no longer in the Powerpoint format and they are simply images. Place these into your default “Pictures” folder on your computer and then when you sync via iTunes the images will be placed onto the iPad in the Photo app.
- Export your Powerpoint slides to PDF and then sync them to your iPad via iTunes. The downside to this is that you lose all your transitions and any audio or video.
- Import your Powerpoint presentation into Keynote on the desktop or on your iPad. Both the desktop and the iPad version of Keynote allow you to import Powerpoint and it will be converted to the Keynote format. Note: this is not always a perfect conversion as you can lose some valuable transitions, etc. when doing this but it is the quickest and most convenient.
- Use an App to read and edit your Powerpoint slides. Documents To Go (Premium) is probably one of the best apps for reading and editing Powerpoint. It is $16.99 but you do get what you pay for. We talked about Documents To Go here.
Getting a Powerpoint onto the iPad is most easily done via iTunes. When you plug the iPad into your computer, iTunes will launch and this is where you can import your Powerpoint using the Keynote app (and the Apps Tab in iTunes). Documents To Go has a sync service as well and it also works via WiFi.
If you converted your Powerpoint over to Pictures or PDF then you will sync these as you do any other PDF or image file and they will show up on your iPad.
There are five ways to import your Keynote for Mac and Microsoft PowerPoint files into Keynote for iPad.
- Receive as an email attachment. Preview the file and tap the “Open in” button to open it in Keynote for iPad.
- Copy from your MobileMe iDisk. If you subscribe to MobileMe, you can store files on your iDisk (from your PC, Mac, or the Web) and open them from Keynote for iPad.
- Copy from a WebDAV service. If you have access to a WebDAV service allowing you to copy stored presentation, you can open them from Keynote for iPad. See Using a WebDAV service for more details.
- Download from the web (including iWork.com public beta). Preview the file and tap the “Open in” button to open it in Keynote for iPad.
- Transfer from a Mac or PC using File Sharing in iTunes. The Import button in the My Presentations view accesses the files transferred to iPad.
Putting It All Together – The Presentation
Alright folks let’s make sure we have what we need.
- iPad – Check.
- VGA Adapter – Check.
- Projector (or TV) – Check.
- Keynote or Powerpoint file on the iPad and tested – Check.
Here’s what’s next:
- Set your iPad up on a Stand if you wish (did you see our custom iPad stands?)
- Plug one end of the VGA Adapter into your iPad and the other end into your Projector (or TV)
- Turn on the iPad
- Tap the Keynote app and then tap to load up your specific presentation
- When you play the show in slide show mode, the iPad will automatically detect the VGA connection and you will automatically see it. It’s like magic.
Now you can show the world your presentation.
Hopefully this guide has been helpful. Read it through and then read the related articles and you will be a Pro in no time at all. For the most part, it’s a very simple process once you have done it a few times. Using the iPad for presentations will most likely be your preferred method once you get the hang of it. There are some minor drawbacks such as learning to get your files onto the iPad itself but give it a try and you can always come back here to ask questions.
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