Like many, I've written about my frustrations with the iPad as a presentation tool. There's no question that it is an incredible device, but whenever we discuss presenting to a client using the iPad, we usually fail to find a compelling advantage for doing so. As my friend Cindy Coy says, there's usually little reason other than, "LOOK, I have an iPad!"
Just last week we chose a printed book over the iPad for an in-person conversation with a top CEO—one reason being that a letter-sized page is larger, easier to read and easier to pass around a table. (The pitch went very well, thank you...)
About a year ago, we did actually create an entire interactive iPad app for a pitch, but in retrospect, I just don't think it was worth the time, energy or money.
When I do use an iPad these days, it is generally to showcase our portfolio. And I still haven't found a better solution than just creating folders of JPEGs and syncing and displaying them using iPad's photo viewer. Each deck becomes its own album—navigation is blazingly fast and thumbnails gives a great overview for a project.
While I think Keynote for iPad is still not ready for primetime, I admit that I haven't kept up with all the many presentation solutions being cobbled together and created. But I do like a brand new app called Presentation Link by a German developer called Zuhanden.
Presentation Link is a management and presentation app that lets you import and assemble presentations, PDFs, indiividual images and movies. You can sequence, duplicate and delete slides, but you cannot change or add to the content of the slides as each becomes a static image.
What you can do, however, is create hotspot links anywhere on a slide that will hyperlink to any other slide in the deck (or a URL.) The ability to hyperlink to another part of a presentation is a major function that Keynote for iPad still does not have.
This means that you can finally present a true non-linear presentation on an iPad—something the iPad feels like it was born to do.
And like Keynote, you can connect Presentation Link to a display via iPad's VGA or HDMI adaptors.
If I'm only presenting a linear deck, I'll probably stick with Photo Viewer. But if I need it to be non-linear and interactive, I think I've found a new tool.
And I have to commend the developers on an exceptionally well thought out interface and functionality that is so smooth and simplified that you couldn't be blamed for thinking it came out of Cupertino.
Presentation Link was just officially released. It's free for a limited time, so grab it now.