Tools for creating engaging two-way presentations
It’s 2012! The days of presenting on boring graph paper or via a leaf-through booklet are over! Today, you need to engage your audience by creating a two-way method of communication that will keep them invested in what you have to say. Check out my picks for the top 5 effective presentation mediums in 2012:
1. Interactive glass whiteboards: These smooth, durable surfaces are like traditional whiteboards except that they are made with glass. Also, compatible with bright-colored dry erase markers, the glass whiteboard can be used to display data, explain activities, show graphs, business plans and map out marketing campaigns and ideas during a presentation. Glass dry erase boards are effective meeting tools because they encourage interaction from the audience—either via brainstorming or taking turns writing ideas on the board. I call the glass whiteboard the perfect presentation medium for 2012 because it’s Eco-friendly (100% recyclable), it doesn’t wear down over time, it doesn’t emit any toxic fumes (like vinyl covered whiteboards do), and it blends in seamlessly with the office background when not in use.
2. Microsoft PowerPoint: Yes, as far as dynamic presentation tools, Microsoft’s PowerPoint still ranks very high in offices around the globe. Not only is it compatible with the rest of the tools in MS Office suite, which is used by the majority of corporate businesses around the world—it offers various styles and custom templates for presentation—integrating text, images, 3-D graphics, audio and video clips, sound effects and even those cheesy animations we all love so much in one glorious presentation medium that’s hard to rival.
3. iPad: You might think I’m biased choosing the iPad over all other mobile tablet devices, however, as far as its presentation value; the iPad can connect to video projectors to add to your stunning presentation. Plus, it’s not a far stretch to imagine an iPad-compatible version of Microsoft Office for business. In smaller meetings, iPad is the ideal, portable tool for displaying sales numbers, spreadsheets and digital portfolios to clients within any Wi-Fi hotspot. That means that even away from the office (say for example, at a business conference) the iPad can be used to display graphic art, live websites, live blogging as it happens, to store multimedia (such as photographs, 3-D models, music, and virtually any type of file), plus you can use an iPad as a virtual sign-in sheet at your office, store or conference booth to create a mailing lists for promotional emails and newsletter sign up.
4. Prezi: You’ve probably already heard of Prezi, but for those who haven’t, this web-based presentation medium is an ideal storytelling tool that uses a blank canvas to let you lead a presentation with dynamic flow—as opposed to traditional linear slides, like PowerPoint. Prezi lets presenters move the audience’s attention around the canvas by zooming in and out, going right, which is ideal for highlighting a certain phrase or close up of an image—instead of following a linear line. Plus, Prezi gives the wow factor that many complain PowerPoint lacks. Instead of looking dated like PPT, Prezi allows you to select from a number of elegant fonts (more than just Comic Sans), templates and even allows you to you can create and upload customized PDFs to match your presentation template.
5. Slideshare: This professional social media platform has gained a positive reputation of late with millions of business professionals turning to it for its dual social media-traditional presentation function. Slideshare offers custom templates for you to create slides, upload video, post promotions, and even create bookmarks within presentations. The unique thing about Slideshare, compared to traditional presentation mediums, like PowerPoint, is that it doubles as a social media content site that allows you to upload your own presentations and embed a link in your blog, Facebook page or on your website, view and download others, join groups, and network by commenting, tagging favorites and linking creating backlinks with other users. Oh and did I mention…Slideshare is free (although a paid membership is required for registering a premium, custom channel). Slideshare drives relevant traffic to your presentation via Search Engine Optimized (SEO) keyword tags in the body of your presentation. Anyone can upload a presentation to Slideshare so you can see how it would be a great presentation medium for dispersed audiences—just give them the URL and away you go!
Angela is a freelance writer, loving wife, and mother of two beautiful twin girls and a standard poodle named Morty. She graduated with her Master of Arts Degree in English from the University of North Carolina. During her time in university, she wrote a number of children’s short stories that focus on a set of curious twin sisters and their dog (go figure). Angela is currently looking for freelance writing opportunities and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.