We’ve all experienced the frustration and embarrassment of a business presentation that’s fallen off the rails. Be it a computer glitch, a finicky sound system or software that won’t cooperate, technology can throw a huge monkey wrench into a presentation, leaving attendees with a sour taste in their mouths and the presenter with a sense of doom. A poorly executed presentation can have far-reaching implications, affecting your company’s image and bottom line.
So how do you prevent a presentation from going south? Are there technologies that can help engage your customers on a new, dynamic level? Are there ways to pitch ideas and concepts to your audience that will resonate clearly? What types of technologies should you keep in your “toolbag” to conduct winning presentations in the office or on the road?
Wireless Mics & Remotes
“You can have the coolest tech in the world, but the most important element of a great presentation is your ability to convey enthusiasm,” says Andy Russell, director of technology, SVT. “If you ever watch the big presentations given by Apple executives, you’ll notice that they move around the stage, use hand gestures and generate excitement.” The tools these presenters rely on to stay mobile and get the crowd enthused and engaged are a wireless mic and a wireless remote. “Anything that doesn’t tether you gives you the ability to interact more dynamically with your audience.” Russell continues.
Even if you’re not giving Apple-esque, big-stage presentations, wireless technology still comes in handy—freeing you from the stuffy, boring podium. You can even get creative and maintain a captive audience with a “beach-ball” style of presentation. Catchbox makes a soft, throwable microphone that you can toss into the audience to field questions and comments.
“Back in the day, it was always a PowerPoint presentation … boring people to death,” says Chris Hamilton, general manager of SVT West. Today, more and more presentation software options are accessible via the cloud. More importantly, cloud-based collaboration tools are enabling presenters to reach a much wider audience—beyond those seating in the same auditorium, conference room, or meeting space. “Tools like BlueJeans and Zoom let you reach multiple people in multiple locations and allows everyone to actively participate,” Hamilton continues.
“Conversational” Presentation Software
Bullet points. Blah. Who you are and what you do. Ho-hum. Perfectly timed (or not) slide presentations. So old school. Thanks to social media and the Internet, your audience members likely already know about your company, so you can skip the banter about your background. Running through rigidly structured bullet points and slides, one by one, creates a void between you and the meeting participants. You talk at them and they listen. Even if you see that the topics are boring them, you trudge along never deviating from the script. Thanks to new interactive presentation software like Prezi you can let the tone of the audience direct how and what you discuss in your presentation, making it seem more like a natural conversation than a lecture—and more impactful. For example, an image presented on screen via the Prezi software could show various topics for discussion; the audience picks what interests the most, and the presentation steers in that direction. You adapt on the fly for a more engaging and relevant experience. Via a tablet, phone, or laptop, you can zoom in on images, reveal new visuals, and seamlessly move back and forth between topics.
Video projectors have been a mainstay for on-the-go presentations for years. And although they aren’t going away anytime soon, more and more businesses are integrating Interactive Flat-Panel displays into their corporate boardrooms and meeting spaces. Again, like the presentation software and collaboration tools mentioned above, IFPs encourage active participation from all parties. Presenters can draw, edit, and write onscreen via their fingertips, and participants can cast annotations and content onto the screen directly from their mobile devices. Plus, IFPs can connect to the cloud so you can share the interactive presentation remotely. Plus, the screen is big, bright and affords a wide viewing angle.
White Board Cameras
If a traditional dry erase white board seems too low-tech for your presentation needs, think again. A camera like the Kaptivo can transform it into an online collaboration system. Anything you write on it is automatically saved and streamed live and in real time to mobile devices and laptops of audience members—whether they’re right there in the meeting room with you or working remotely from home.
Persuasive and Powerful Presentation Solutions
The days of droning on and on in front of a disengaged audience are over. Thanks to a host of new interactive presentation tools, you can get the audience actively involved in topics of discussion. You’ll breathe new life into meetings, reach more people, and have a bigger, more meaningful impact on your employees, customers, and colleagues.