Presenting on the iPad

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 0 comments

Presenting-on-the-iPadMany presenters are now seeing the benefits of presenting on the iPad. The Apple iPad has a number of applications available to use for creating presentations, and a whole host of applications for viewing presentations. So – just what can the iPad do, and how exactly would you do it?

Can I create presentations on my iPad?

The Keynote Application is a simplified version of its more advanced desktop program, sharing some of the key functions. Simple slideshow presentations can easily be created using this application, using either existing layout styles and templates, or creating your own bespoke presentation from external images and media. However, functionality is limited and creating a presentation on the iPad would not be the best option if you really wanted to impress your audience.

Can I run a presentation developed on my PC on the iPad?

Both Keynote and PowerPoint presentations can be uploaded to the iPad and run through the Keynote application. Some of the functionality such as animations and timings may not translate over to the iPad in their correct format. Apple is releasing regular updates for the application which seem to be increasing the functionality, but for now it’s not quite up to scratch.

There are many PowerPoint viewer applications available on the market, some a lot better than others. Technology is changing all the time – if you would like to hear our opinion on the current market leaders, we recommend you contact us directly.

How do I get a presentation to run on my iPad?

You need to consider how you want to deliver the presentation. You can either run it through the Keynote app, swiping through each animation, or view the presentation through a viewing application.

To run a presentation through the Keynote app, you need to upload your PowerPoint or Keynote presentation to the iPad. You can do this via your iTunes account. You will need to connect the iPad up to the computer, then navigate to the apps tab on iTunes, scroll down and you will see the Keynote application. You can upload your presentations within this area. Once you have synced your iPad to your iTunes, the presentation will be available to view when inside the Keynote application on your iPad.

Can I edit my presentation on the iPad?

m62 was surprised by the level of editability within the Keynote application. Everything from the object animation timings to the size and layout of the text and elements can be manipulated and adjusted with the flick of your finger. The only hindrance is that on detailed slides it can be difficult to select the object / text that you need to amend. We would still recommend making the changes within PowerPoint or Keynote on your laptop or desktop computer where possible, but this is a handy solution for quick fixes.

Can I add media to my Keynote presentation on the iPad?

The Keynote application will run .mov files either inserted from your library or translated across from a presentation not built on the iPad. Apple’s spreadsheet program Numbers (similar to Microsoft Excel) is able to transform data into nicely designed and animating graphs and tables, all of which are fully editable and simple to change on the iPad itself.

As we mentioned before, the iPad does not support Flash, so other file types may not function. Media functionality varies on different viewing applications, and should be tested beforehand.

How can I present my presentation on my iPad?

Once the presentation is in show mode, the iPad serves as its own presentation launch pad. This would be great for delivering to a small audience, in particular on a one to one basis. If you have to present to a larger group, e.g. a group of 5 or more, there are devices available to connect the iPad to a screen or projector. The iPad can then be used as a presentation controller as you would use your laptop.

Can I send my presentation on to someone else from my iPad?

From the Keynote application homepage menu, you can select the presentation you would like to send on. The presentation can then be sent in its original format (either PowerPoint or Keynote) via a range of options.

man-and-woman-presenting-on-an-ipadAre there any clear benefits to presenting on an iPad?

Being able to show visual presentations to clients with such a small and dynamic device is an advantage, particularly in more informal settings. The most notable benefit of using an iPad is that it forces the presenter to sit next to the receiver, thus removing barriers between the two. Psychologically this is an important step as it places the presenter and audience on the same side – literally!

The fact that audience members can interact directly with content is also fantastic, as it ensures that the audience are really engaged with the content. This is especially true in sales presentations, as it metaphorically puts the product in the hand of the buyer – the first rule of retail sales.

One of the other advantages of the iPad is the fact that a presentation doesn’t necessarily need to end when the presentation has finished. The presenter may have another application that can show the audience the content in practice. For example, if the presenter was showing a client a presentation on a particular machine, it would be possible to run through the presentation and then show the machine in use on a separate application, zooming in on specific areas of the product and allowing the client to interact with the screen.

What problems could I encounter when using an iPad to present?

So far the biggest problem when viewing a presentation through the Keynote app on the iPad seems to be the lag between slide transitions. If the presentation is static and doesn’t feature any animations on the visuals this is not a problem. But when the presenter is waiting for objects to animate in on new slides there can be an uncomfortable pause.

The application can also become unstable, especially when showing PowerPoint presentations or large file size presentations imported onto the application. Apple is continuously updating the app to tackle both of the issues above. Using a reliable PowerPoint or video viewer can overcome these problems.

What’s the best way to deliver presentations on my iPad?

While presentations can be viewed through the Keynote application on an iPad, the current technical issues presenters encounter do not make this the best option.

Using a PowerPoint viewer application can really help you overcome this – if you choose the right one. Do your research before you make a decision, or contact us to discuss the latest options with one of our experts!


Creating an impressive, engaging and memorable presentation on the iPad is definitely possible. The question that presenters should ask themselves is: How can a presentation given on an iPad be a more effective way of getting your message across to your audience?

Think carefully about using the unique properties of tablet computers to maximise the potential of your presentation, and deliver your message in a memorable way.

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