Best Practices for Giving a Presentation on a Tablet or iPad


Woman holding an iPad

Part 2 of my series on best practices for giving a  sales presentation on a tablet or iPad.

Delivering your sales presentation on a tablet or iPad can be an engaging way to grab your prospect’s attention and showcase your work or your products in a fresh, and engaging way.  The unique ability of tablets to address common selling situations in the moment makes them especially useful. Get an objection? Show a short video clip of a customer endorsement. Concerns about pricing or availability? Check inventory, price, and discounts in real time. Need to find detailed product specs? Access your data base with a few quick clicks.  Ready to seal the deal? Get a digital signature on the spot.a

As user-friendly as tablets are, don’t underestimate the need to prepare and practice. I covered 5 key tips for delivering a presentation on a tablet or iPad in my last post, now here are four more to help you master the art of tablet presenting:

1. Use the Right Slide Aspect

Have you ever tried to watch a movie made for the widescreen on an older television? That space around the edges where the picture doesn’t quite fit the screen is similar to what happens when your slide aspect doesn’t match that of the projector. Since Android tablets have a ratio of 16:1 they are well-suited for the widescreen 16:9 slide ratio and  standard in newer projectors and the default size in PowerPoint 2013 or later. However the iPad and many other tablets have a 4:3 aspect ratio so if you create your slide deck in 4:3 and show them on a widescreen projector you will get that distracting space and some distortion.

How to change the slide aspect

You can change the slide aspect in your PowerPoint deck (see photo below or link for slide aspectsupport) but you will still have to go in and check each slide to make sure your images and text are positioned where you want them to be.  Bottom line: Check the aspect of the projector and create your slides in accordance with that. Or bring your own projector to avoid the problem all together.ales presentation training

2. Master your moves

Even though there are many similarities between using PowerPoint or Keynote on a computer and a tablet, there are a few differences worth noting that you want to familiarize yourself with before you get in front of prospects. The last thing you want to do is to struggle with the basic mechanics of navigation. If you’re using PowerPoint on your tablet or Keynote on your iPad, master the following moves before your presentation:

* Swipe from right to left to go forward. Swipe left to right to go backward. You can also use the arrow buttons in the lower left corner of your screen.

* To end the presentation, swipe down in the middle of the slide. Then tap, End Show.

* To jump to a different slide, tap the left side of the screen to show the slide navigator, and then tap the slide you want to go to.

* To hide the slide navigator tap anywhere on the slide.

* Avoid the left edge of the screen as you swipe to avoid seeing the slide navigator on your iPad.

3. Plan for Blackouts

The option of hitting the B key on your laptop or the black-out key on your remote to black out your screen is not currently available on tablets, but it’s an important tool for focusing your audience’s attention when you’re delivering a key message. Here are some workarounds for when you want all eyes on you or your product:

* Block the projector. Place something in front of the projector lens – a book or file – until you are ready to go back to your slides. This won’t work if you’re simply connecting directly to a monitor, in which case, go to the next option.

* Create a blackout slide. Insert a copy of it in your deck wherever you are planning to engage in a discussion, or for greater flexibility, create one black slide and jump to it by entering the corresponding slide number.

Bonus tip:  Less is More

With a small screen you need to be very selective about deciding what to show. Too many small images can appear cluttered and make it hard to decipher your main point. Animations and transitions can be overly-distracting and creative fonts can be difficult to read. Keep graphics and fonts simple and follow the rule of one-idea per slide – or screen – and stick with it. Always err on the side of less is more.

Does your team need help delivering presentations on their tablets or iPads? Contact us about new workshops and resources for tablet presenting mastery!

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Performance Sales and Training: Persuasive Presentation Skills to meet the challenges of today’s B2B Sales Environment