Posts Tagged ‘PowerPoint’

PowerPoint for iPad – The Übergeek Review

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by Matt<

A wise man (I think he was wise anyway) once said the problem with the iPad is that Apple made a big iPhone rather than a small Mac. Unfortunately I think he was right.

Now I’m a PC man, I don’t own a MAC and quite frankly if you put me in front of one I’d have trouble finding the on button. But I am Apple gadget mad, I have an iPod Touch, iPhone 5 and an iPad 4 – so I know my around these devices pretty damn well. I like to explore new quirky useful apps, for example I recently turned my iPad into a touchpad remote control mouse and keyboard for my Laptop which was connected to my home TV. So I think I qualify as something of a geek.

When I heard PowerPoint for iPad was going to be released, I should have been jumping for joy and chomping at the bit to get my hands on it and have a play.

But – I’ve been here before. With this app or that app claiming to be the one to truly put an Eyeful designed PowerPoint in all its glory on the iPad only to fail time after time. The closest we’ve got is through some software called iSpring. And by close I mean 96% (my official guesstimate!) to the user experience being truly replicated on the iPad to the level it is on a PC.

Then a couple of days ago, I finally got my hands on the official Microsoft PowerPoint for iPad app and, well, it’s not all bad, but it’s not all great either!

Let’s start at the beginning.

You have just received your lovingly created PowerPoint Presentation from Eyeful, it’s all there, the message is strong, design is sleek and the animation artfully carries your story through to its conclusion…

And there you are, with a piece of collateral ready for a formal one-to-many presentation. But as we’ve preached many times, that same collateral can be reutilised and used on mobile devices. Cue the calls to put the deck on the iPads ready for next week’s marketing event.

And why not? An interactive presentation on a booth at an event, is a great way for interested people to have a play and find out what your business is all about.

An iPad is a also a powerful informal sales tool for when you step into that 1-2-1 pitch meeting and really need to get across why you are the BEST!

So, surely whacking the PowerPoint file onto the iPad is easy right? WRONG!

It’s a right palaver, but it’s getting better. And due credit to Microsoft for finally getting this app released. Well as much credit as you can give someone for turning up to the party 4 years after it started!!

You have three options to get the file onto the iPad. Firstly, the easiest and simplest method is OneDrive – Microsoft’s free cloud based hard drive. Simply drop the file onto your OneDrive account on your PC and a few minutes later it will be available to download onto your iPad, assuming you have the OneDrive app installed on your iPad. Filesize and internet speed will determine how long this process takes.

Second up and also pretty simple is via email, simply email the file to yourself. The usual file size restrictions apply. So this would rule out a lot of the presentations we create.

And finally, the most convoluted, but possibly quickest solution if your file is pretty beefy is via USB cable and some third party software called File App, which is a bit fiddly at first, but is a really useful piece of software for exploring the inner workings of your iPad.

So, one way or another you now have your Eyeful presentation on your iPad. So far so good, but how does it playback?

This is usually where the apps have fallen down over the years. In the past there have been text spilling everywhere, shapes and images suddenly in the wrong place and a lack of animation that simply put, you may as well have just converted it to PDF and not bothered.

Well, I put the app through its paces with a lovely presentation we designed that features a host of features including great design and use of images, demanding slick animation, custom shows, hyperlinks to external websites and embedded video.

And I was pleasantly surprised on hitting play, as the presentation sprang into life in a smooth and sophisticated way, the animation played smoothly, no glitches were obvious and it all felt pretty solid. A simple swipe took me through the first slides and it was like viewing a PowerPoint on a PC – it was working!!!

But then, the first fail, an embedded video sat static and no amount of tapping, pressing and holding or shaking of the iPad would get it to play. GUTTED. It was all going so well.

Then onto a slide with custom show hyperlinks which gave me the option to view some hidden slides – which failed. The custom show links were deader than VHS technology…

I skipped on through the rest of the presentation and to the apps credit the only problems I saw were the two noted above, they were pretty big problems though.

But if, like the majority of Eyefuls presentations, yours doesn’t contain custom shows or videos then this is a pretty robust solution for playing presentations on iPads. And there is some further good news, the app does support hyperlinking from slide to slide and hyperlinking to external websites…

So the custom show route can be worked around. And so long as you don’t mind requiring a live internet connection, then the videos could be hosted online and streamed outside of the presentation. Get stuck in slow internet area though and expect the video to buffer.

Speaking of internet connections, further good news… when you initially add the presentation file to the iPad it stays on the hard drive of the device, meaning you don’t need to be connected to the internet for playback. An absolutely critical box ticked.

So, all in all, it’s not a perfect iPad  solution – but there is enough capability there to make the PowerPoint for iPad app a viable presentation playback solution.

In terms of editing and creation, the word fiddly doesn’t come close. Whilst a lot of functionality is there, a lot isn’t. Making it pretty pointless in an age where your sole piece of hardware isn’t going to be an iPad.  It’s far easier to create and edit on a proper PC or Mac.

The most I would be comfortable doing would be tweaking textboxes and changing colours of objects. Changing images without breaking animation sequences isn’t an option. In fact adding or amending animation in the app isn’t supported. Strangely enough though, if animation is already present (having been added during creation on PC) then this displays perfectly. Good, but strange!

And there you go the PowerPoint for iPad app is finally here. Right now it’s not perfect and it did turn up 4 years late. So all in all, depending on the project it could be the perfect iPad solution. But without video, custom shows and animation it just feels like it’s only part of the PowerPoint package. So, all things considered, this Übergeek scores it 6/10, Microsoft must try harder.

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Office for iPad est arrivé

Friday, March 28th, 2014 by Justine<

You may like to sit down for this one.

After four years of turmoil and less than ten days after our last hopeful speculation about rumour becoming reality, it’s actually happened…. Take a deep breath everyone – Office for iPad exists!

PowerPoint and iPad have finally said “I do” and we couldn’t be more excited.

For those of us who are passionate about presentations and get a little giddy about gadgets the world just became a better place.

Tempting as it is to wax lyrical about how much of an impact this will have on business presentations and what it means for effective communications in the ever changing presentation landscape, I’m going to cut this one short.

You could spend the next few minutes sharing my excitement or reading what the tech experts have to say, but the best thing you can do right now is get downloading.

PS Now the hardware/software challenge has been sorted, it might well be time to give a little thought to the presentations themselves and we’re just the people who can help!

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Saying it with PowerPoint

Friday, February 21st, 2014 by Justine<

Having a global team is a marvellous thing, Eyeful encompasses not only the planet but a hugely disparate and eclectic set of skills, experience and creativity. It’s one of the things that set us apart from the competition.

The tough thing is making sure that geography never gets in the way of us working (and laughing) together and we’re always looking for new ways to make the Eyeful world smaller.

We’ve never knowingly missed a birthday based silliness opportunity here at Eyeful Towers and finding a way to share that feeling with our far flung colleagues was as plain as the nose on our face.

After all, if we can’t say it with PowerPoint then who can?

 

NB Sometimes we use our extraordinary skills for serious stuff too, contact us to find out more.

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It’s a Lovely, Lego Christmas Here at Eyeful

Friday, December 13th, 2013 by Justine<

Regular readers will know we feel a certain affinity with Lego. We’ve used the eponymous little bricks as a Presentation Optimisation metaphor , we loved how they were used to honour Felix Baumgartner’s amazing jump and now we’ve found an excuse to include them in our advent calendar….happy days!


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The Annual Eyeful Advent Is Upon Us

Monday, December 2nd, 2013 by Justine<

There’s no denying the fact that Christmas is on its way and regular readers will know that we love a bit of seasonal silliness mixed with a smattering of businessy stuff.

This year we’ll be getting festive with a series of offers, insights and jolly japery that we hope you’ll all enjoy.

For those of you who simply can’t wait to see what we’ve got up our sleeves this year, here’s a selection of highlights from Christmas past….

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Clever PowerPoint & Cute Cats – What’s Not To Like?

Monday, October 28th, 2013 by Justine<

Here at Eyeful we love to push the boundaries of PowerPoint because, in the right hands, it can create some truly amazing presentation visuals.

Whilst much of the world is happy to blame PowerPoint for poor presentations we believe that’s akin to blaming cars for speeding. The brilliance (or otherwise) of a presentation is not about PowerPoint (or Keynote, or Prezi, or the infamous napkin) it’s about getting the best from whatever tool you’re using. And, if we may say so ourselves, when it comes to squeezing every ounce of brilliance from the seemingly mundane, we’re just the people for the job.

Here’s an example of what happens when we give one of our PowerPoint aficionados the seed of an idea and the opportunity just to have fun.

No story, no compelling message and no structure, just the chance to make PowerPoint work that little bit harder as well as play around with some video clips of cute cats.  Happy days.

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Whistleblower – The Results Are In

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 by Justine<

It’s been a while now since we opened our doors to all those who have suffered in the face of poor presentations and if we’re honest, we still haven’t quite recovered.

Our whistleblower campaign was, depending on your perspective either a resounding success or an embarrassing failure.

While we’re sure that the whistleblowers themselves felt better we’re also sure that anyone who gives presentations could well be in for a shock.

It’s taken us a while to fully digest the responses and while we’ve kept you entertained with some of the ‘highlights’ it’s only now that we can reveal the full horror of want we uncovered.

So grab yourself a cup of tea and a biscuit and click through this link to hear our MD Simon Morton and marketing guru Justine Smith reveal all….

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If Martin Luther King Jr had used PowerPoint….

Thursday, August 29th, 2013 by Justine<

Fifty years ago this week Martin Luther King Jr delivered a speech that was designed to change the world – and it did.

You don’t need to have a particular interest in equality, civil rights, politics, religion or history to know what I’m talking about, ‘I have a dream’ is one of the most often quoted, misquoted, emulated and parodied speeches of all time.

Presenters everywhere yearn for such clarity of message and can only dream about the levels of engagement this speech achieved. Not only that, the speech included one of the ultimate calls to action of all time, one that people are still responding to half a century later.

But what if PowerPoint was his communication tool of choice?

Martin Luther King’s aide was quoted as saying”the logistical preparations for the march were so burdensome that the speech was not a priority for us, on the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 27, Martin still didn’t know what he was going to say”. Something we call the presentation paradox.

And if that’s true then his presentation might have looked something like this.

But we don’t believe that this could have happened because King had mastered the two key components of every presentation:

He knew his story.

He knew his audience.

Not only that but if he was to have used PowerPoint we bet that the presentation would have been as powerful as the speech.

How can we be so sure?

Martin Luther King Jr was not just an enigmatic speaker, he was a planner and a strategist who gathered a band of experts around him to help him achieve his goals and if PowerPoint had been part of the plan he would have sought the best help available.

And we’d like to think that might have been someone like us.

Most of the presentations we create don’t change the world, but they can change the opinions and perceptions of your audience, if the quality of the presentation truly communicates the quality of the story.

MLK

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James – What He Did And How He Did It!

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 by Justine<

A few weeks ago we told you all about our first work experience student and admitted publically that we had completely failed to assign him any filing or refreshment duties.

So what did James do during his time at Eyeful Towers?

Well, James joined our resident übergeek Matt and produced something just a little bit special.

So without further ado, here it is for you all to enjoy…

And if that wasn’t exciting enough Matt has also put together a little behind the scenes tour showing just how he and James put the whole thing together.

If you’re as excited as we are about what can be achieved when PowerPoint teams up with some friends and a smattering of Eyeful magic, simply drop us a line and we’ll help you get your message across in ways that you never imagined.

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Eyeful Training – Our Attendees Tell It How It Is

Friday, August 9th, 2013 by Justine<

Here at Eyeful we believe that the only way to find out if something is any good is to ask.

So we quizzed recent attendees of one of our’ Creating Effective Presentations’ training sessions to see what they thought – and here’s what they said…

“Compared to other training it was one of the better and more effective ones I have received. I have taken away a great deal of understanding and knowledge from this course that I believe will help me a great deal in future client presentations. The trainers on the course were exceedingly well versed in their presentation skills and they had a great deal of experience which really shone through in their delivery. They spoke passionately about their fields of expertise, which is essential in capturing the attention and imagination of the participants.”

“It was really interactive, which made it more engaging and memorable.”

“The course gave a great overview of creating an effective presentation.”

“The course made me realise that it’s one thing to create an engaging presentation and another to be able to stand there and deliver it.”

“Definitely – I wish I had this kind of training when I was at university, students and even lecturers would really benefit. I think most people would benefit from this workshop, especially people who often have to deliver client facing presentations.”

“I would recommend this to anyone that works with PowerPoint on a regular basis.”

“Very good, the trainers were friendly and easily approachable.”

“I felt the emphasis on knowing your story, before you even open PowerPoint, was a very strong. It cemented the fact that PowerPoint is the tool and not the most important part of a presentation.”

“I really enjoyed the design elements of the work shop as I’m sure for most other people did, too. Just some shortcuts that we learnt and some of the tools available in PP that I wasn’t aware of are really going to be handy in ensuring we save time whilst creating PPs and making the finished product look a lot more professional. Some of the points in the more theoretical elements of the training were quite obvious if you think about it but the way that they were delivered made it very memorable and ensured that the key take-away was that the content of a presentation is the most important part, which a lot of people forget as they get caught up in design.”

Not only that but all the attendees agreed that the session was informative and most of then found it enjoyable too.

If you’re interested in how our training can help you get more from your presentations you can read all about what training we offer or cut to the chase and drop us a line.

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