Can't find a projector? Forgot to send key files to colleagues? Solve these and other common problems with a few handy apps.
Creating and giving effective presentations to skeptical colleagues and clients is hard enough without having to worry about potential tech glitches.
Thankfully, a growing number of software programs, Web apps, and downloads for smartphones and tablet PCs now save you the trouble of the most common blunders, such as accidentally leaving files back home, or scrambling to locate a spare projector.
The following five services not only make file storage and transfer much simpler, they also provide an effective way to spread the word through social media and share your presentation in the cloud.
SlideShare lets you post presentations online for public or private viewing. You can do things like create branded channels, get full back-end analytics, and store PDF files, documents, or videos (including YouTube clips embedded within presentations). The biggest plus, however, is that content sharing is painless. Once archived, you can easily embed presentations on corporate blogs or websites, or pass them along through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can even connect digital audio to slides to create your own webinars.
Upload presentations and product videos to the cloud, then present them nearly anytime, anywhere with a handy demonstration tool. Mighty Meeting lets you rapidly call up clips and slideshows on your smartphone or tablet PC. You can also connect mobile devices to a widescreen projector. Companion app MightyTeams, a team collaboration tool, can help refine your presentation by letting you share files and quickly gather coworkers' feedback via group messaging and voice conferencing.
Available in both standard and team editions, SlideShark makes it relatively simple to screen multimedia-rich PowerPoint presentations on your iPad. Compatible with desktop creations, the service converts uploaded files into a tablet-ready format while preserving complex animations, graphics, and fonts. Touchscreen controls additionally allow presenters to tap or swipe in place of having to use a keyboard or remote control. You can connect recent iPad models to a projector or TV for group viewing as well. Added bonus: Any presentations you upload can be shared and viewed on-demand from desktop, laptop, or mobile devices.
An ad-free publishing solution, Speaker Deck takes slides uploaded in the form of a PDF document and converts them to a lightweight, easily embeddable format so you can quickly share them online. When placed on a blog or website, presentations automatically scale to size, so as not to degrade visual quality or clash with supporting layouts. Though Speaker Deck offers fewer features than rivals, easy sharing and a polished aesthetic make it an attractive, lightweight option that's straightforward to use. Viewers can even download designs as a nicely appointed PDF ready for viewing on e-readers, smartphones, and other gadgets.
Compatible with both Google Docs and PowerPoint, SlideRocket also provides options to build original presentations from the ground up. Designs can go beyond charts, tables, video, and Flash animations to include Flickr images, YouTube videos, and live Twitter feeds through integration with social media-friendly plug-ins. (Template designs and images are also available for the busier or less creatively inspired.) Once synchronized online, slideshows can be shared through email invites, URL links or website embedding, with full back-end metrics revealing which ones resonate most with viewers.
Other useful presentation sharing tools and apps include: