iPhone Presentations

Thursday, June 4th, 2009 , 8 comments


As an iPhone user and someone who carries a sales target there are often times when, sat on a train or on a flight, a person near me would ask “so what do you do?” Working for a presentation company, the easiest way to answer that is by showing that person a handful of PowerPoint slides. As it’s not always possible or appropriate to pull out the laptop and launch into a sales presentation, the iPhone has provided me with a neat and quick way to help me demonstrate what m62 does and why people want to engage with us.

If you have seen any of the more recent iPhone advertisements or taken a look at the Mac website you may have seen or heard the phrase ‘there’s an app for just about anything’. There are an estimated 35,000 applications available for the iPhone today, but is there an app to help deliver Killer (PowerPoint) Presentations on your iPhone? What’s the best way to use an iPhone to present while on-the-move?

Fact: You cannot run native PowerPoint Presentations on the iPhone; this is after all a Mac based technology. So what are your options? In my opinion there are four main ways of getting your presentation onto the iPhone:

Option 1

The easiest way to get a presentation on to your iPhone is to send yourself a copy of the presentation by email. When you click on the attachment the iPhone will let you view a static shot of the PowerPoint slide without the need for any additional software.

The problem with this approach is that you can’t get a full screen view of the slide, you can’t see any of the builds (as the image is static), and you have to scroll down through the document as if it were a Word file. It’s therefore not really a presentation, and not how I’d ever want to deliver a presentation. This would be a last resort and only of any real value if you just want to review the content of the presentation.

Option 2

PowerPoint will allow you to export your presentation as a series of pictures; once you’ve done this you can then synchronise these pictures to your iPhone through iTunes in the usual way. Then you can use the slide show program on your iPhone to show your presentation.

Although this can be a slow process it’s relatively easy to do and (assuming you are happy to remove all the animation and builds in your presentation) will work well for most users.

Option 3

The third option is to convert the native .ppt file to a .pdf file. There are many tools to do this both specifically for the iPhone, and you can do this on your PC or Mac then transfer the file to your iPhone. The problem with the PDF format is that you remove all the builds and animations on your slides. This makes delivering an effective presentation very difficult! It’s better than Option 1 but far from perfect.

Option 4

Probably the most common and effective way to show PowerPoint Presentations with builds and animations is to convert the native .ppt file into a video file. On the iPhone the correct video format is MP4. Again, there are many different conversion tools available to download that do this very well. I think that Wondershare PPT to iPhone works well, although others may be as good.

Remember when you do the conversion the best screen size is 480×320px and that you’ll need to find the right balance between the file size and the quality of the image. The file conversion software can create large MP4 files, so you’ll need to work around how much storage space you have on your iPhone and how high-quality you want the video to be.

The single biggest problem with this solution is controlling the flow of the presentation. To deliver the presentation effectively you have to keep pausing the video, unless of course you take no questions, practise and rehearse all the timings, and can deliver the presentation exactly to the timing you set up when you do the conversion from .ppt to .MP4. I suspect for most of us that’s not a feasible option!


To date I’ve not found a better solution than Option 4. This works OK for me right now, but it’s far from perfect. I suspect (and can only hope) that someone somewhere will come up with a better solution and make the whole process of delivering effective PowerPoint presentations on your iPhone easier.pico-pocket-projector-thumb

Next Month

We review the Pico pocket projector, which believe-it-or-not weighs 4oz and is an amazing 50 x 103 x 15mm, that’s a footprint SMALLER than the iPhone that can project an image up to 60 inches across the diagonal.

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8 Comments to iPhone Presentations

  1. #1

    Joel Millares

    6:56 pm, September 14th, 2009

    If your company delivers Powerpoint to you through Citrix, you now have a 5th option to actually run a true PPT presentation…by downloading the Citrix Receiver app from the AppStore. You can see a demonstration here: http://www.dedicatedit.com/blog/technology-reviews/citrix-apple-iphone-microsoft/.

    The wide adoption of iPhone and iPod Touch are prime examples of how Citrix allows people to work anywhere, anytime and on any device.

  2. #2

    Joby Blume

    8:42 pm, September 14th, 2009

    Joel, thanks for that link.

    I watched the video, and couldn’t work out if the Citrix Receiver requires a live connection to work, or if the PowerPoint file would be stored locally? If it requires a live connection, the ability to deliver presentations on-the-move would, of course, be somewhat compromised. Many of our readers won’t have the XenApp Delivery platform either, but for those that do…

  3. #3

    Adam Steinhoff

    4:47 am, January 3rd, 2010

    Thanks for sharing our link on this blog.

    The quick answer is that you will need to be connected in order to get the most benefit from the Citrix Receiver app on the iPhone.

    Airplanes are typically the biggest reason people think that they are not going to be able to use a Citrix solution. However, many more are allowing Wifi now. How cool is that?

    Adam Steinhoff

  4. #4

    Joby Blume

    5:39 pm, January 5th, 2010

    Yes, some airlines have WiFi. Others won’t allow passengers to move for hours-at-a-time… Any presentation solution that requires a live, working, Internet connection is going to need a way of failing gracefully. Otherwise, it’s too much of a risk. No?

  5. #5

    Adam Steinhoff

    1:51 pm, February 5th, 2010


    You are correct. I would not deliver the State of the Union address PowerPoint slides from a airplane wifi connection.

    However, I do have a lot of success doing cloud presentations at conferences with Citrix and my Verizon card. At the end of the presentation, I always like to mention that I did the entire presentation – graphics and all – from the cloud. It always gets a good reaction.

    Adam Steinhoff

  6. #6

    Joby Blume

    3:24 pm, February 5th, 2010

    You must be pretty relaxed about how the presentations go. Doesn’t your Verizon card ever slow to a crawl?

    Anyway, if you have a data card, why not just download a local copy of the PowerPoint file and deliver it from your laptop normally?

    I’m not saying Citrix doesn’t have a place, but just that the problem it’s solving isn’t really the one mentioned in the article above, which was very much about ways of presenting on-the-go without the normal tools available.

  7. #7


    3:15 am, November 27th, 2012

    Try Google Drive, huge relief, builds work, effortless!! Worked for me atleast!! And Free

  8. #8

    Harry Wilson

    9:10 am, November 27th, 2012

    Thanks for the tip Ashish!