I was an 18-year-old sophomore in college when I was asked to present in front of my peers. We had an all student gathering, and it was an honor to have been asked. Graciously I accepted the invitation and anxiously anticipated the day that I would stand in front of my classmates and deliver what I thought would be a knock out presentation. I prepared my content, crafted my slides, and practiced repeatedly to ensure everything would go smoothly when it came to presentation day.
The day came, I walked up to speak, set my notes on my stand and that was when disaster struck. Just as I was delivering my opening line the air conditioning turned on and a draft blew through the room causing all of my notes to fly into the air and crash land in a drastically different order then they started. My heart stopped, as I stood in front of 3000 of my peers with no idea what to do next.
That day I vowed to never risk the fate of a presentation to a couple sheets of flimsy paper and set out on a mission to find a better solution. Through a bit of trial and error I have found a couple great ways to move your presentation notes into the digital space.
When it comes to software and hardware there are countless options to choose from. The first step in deciding your route is to take a look at the technology ecosystem you are already operating in. By choosing an option within your ecosystem you streamline your ability to get started quickly and effectively, rather than force yourself to learn something new.
If you live in the Microsoft ecosystem your first stop should be the Microsoft Surface Pro. The Surface Pro is a high-powered laptop that doubles as a tablet device. This is a great option for the presenter looking for an all in one solution. Using the Microsoft office suite, you can create easy to follow notes that are accessible in both laptop and tablet mode.
The downside of the Surface Pro becomes evident when you are switching between tablet and laptop mode. The Surface Pro can become clunky and the tablet mode at times seems like it was an afterthought in design phase of the product which can hinder speed and effectiveness.
Personally, I live in and love the apple ecosystem and have found that coupling an iPad or iPad mini with Google docs can result in a streamlined user interface. By downloading Google docs to your iPad, you will be able to make edits in real time from any of your devices all while having the peace of mind that they will be present on your iPad come presentation time. This can also be done with iCloud Drive, but I have found the online formatting of Google Docs is great for viewing notes while presenting.
The con to the Apple interface comes from the increase in cost as there is extra hardware required in the iPad, as well as the broken-up processing power of using multiple apps.
Ever since that day in college I have presented from a digital device. It allows me to keep all my notes in one place and not run the risk of them getting shuffled during the presentation. When it comes to presenting from a digital device you have to find what works best for you, and embrace that fully, because when you do you’ll never look back.
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