The web has opened doors for many ways to share content. Up until a few years ago, when one gave a presentation and wanted others to see a visual, they had to have a projector. It was just a given. Now, though, with most people carrying an internet connected phone or tablet around these days, a projector is hardly a necessity.
Presentation.io is an app that’s actively trying to help make projectors less needed, in the board room, classroom, and anywhere else. If you remember, a while back I reviewed Canvas Dropr, an app from the same people who created this web app. The two apps have some similarities, but Presentation.io is a somewhat stripped down version of Canvas Dropr designed just to present ideas, speeches, and anything else you want to show to others. Let’s take it for a spin to see how it works and how it can possibly benefit you.
When you first get into Presentation.io, you will find that it is a very plain interface with not much to do. The first thing you have to do is upload your document that you want to present to others. When I tested it out, I could load just about any type of common file that is out there. Once your document is uploaded you are now ready to start sharing with others so that you can present it.
When you are ready to present your document with others, there is a link that is created that you can share with them. You can enter in their email addresses from the Share button, or you can just copy and paste the link in an email to them so that they can join in on the conversation. Presentations can also be made public or private, where you can put a password on it so that people who want to access it have to know this.
When you are ready to actually start sharing the presentation, there are a couple of interactive features that Presentation.io has that can be used by all members. As you are talking through a slide, people can use the Pin feature where they can pin a note to a specific part of your presentation.
The other feature that is nice to have is a discussion area, where you can interact with your audience. I like this feature because it can be used in a variety of ways to ask questions when someone is presenting and to give feedback on the slide or document that is being shown.
Sometimes, I hate to talk about cost because I know once I do, a lot of people will just dismiss the app. I know I have been guilty of it, until I started to realize that this is a business and the developers need to make money somehow. When it comes to Presentation.io, though, the pricing is really simple. You can use the app for free, and the documents that you upload will stay live for 48 hours. During this time, your audience can only view the document if you are presenting it to them.
If you want the added benefit of having your documents or presentations available to you and your audience for an unlimited time period, you will have to pay $14/month. I do like the fact that your presentations are now available, even in an offline mode, where you are not showing your slides to your audience. They can go back and view the slides, notes, and any discussions that were happening. I am not the hugest fan of an “all or nothing” pay model, as I am not inclined to pay the $14 if I don’t feel like I am really going to use it on a consistent basis. I tend to like where you get at least 2-3 pay options with different features at each tier.
The one thing that I can appreciate about Presentation.io is its flexibility to be used in different ways. It can be used in the classroom or the boardroom where you are giving a presentation to people as well as a way for people to collaborate around a document. I was able to test out the presentation mode and found that when I switched between slides, my audience’s devices didn’t have any lag time. They were very impressed with it and I know once I start to use this in the classroom, my students are going to eat it up! As we start to become more of a mobile society,where more and more people are carrying smartphones and tablets and not always working in the same area, this can really help with collaboration of coworkers.
When you think about it, when it comes down to cost, your business can spend over $1000 on a good projector or TV so that you can have a good presentation tool, or we can start to use the devices that we already have and save our businesses some money. Presentation.io was very easy to use and responsive for me while I tested it out. I know for me, I would definitely be more engaged in a presentation if I was able to view it on my own device and interact with the group, rather than staring at a screen and just taking notes. When you are getting ready for your next presentation or need some feedback from your colleagues on a document, go and check out Presentation.io and save the projector for a movie night with the office.