As the Director of Customer Community for Brainshark, I look forward to the opportunity of meeting with our customers in a number of cities across the United States and Europe, and in doing so I encounter a host of new tools and ideas for presenters. I want to take a moment to share a few of my favorite things from this year. These seven tools start as low in cost as $16, and can help you take your presentations to the next level, leave a lasting impression with your audience, and establish yourself as one of the most tech-savvy presenters out there!
1. Padlette ($20): I wrote about this in a blog post on presenting from an iPad. It is a wonderfully simple contraption that not only makes it easy to hold the iPad when presenting in front of an audience, but also keeps the dongle connected to your iPad.
2. TRENDnet Switch Kit ($22): Also featured in my post about tips for presenting from the iPad, his is a splitter that lets you have two devices (i.e. PC and iPad) connected to a projector simultaneously. When presenting, almost nothing is worse than unscrewing and reconnection cables to the projector.
3. Clic Magnifiers ($30): As we get older, being able to see your presentations becomes more and more of a challenge. All the trendy guys are wearing Clic reading glasses that connect with magnets. I upgraded to the Euro style, and maybe next year will go for the leopard look.
4. Fast Stone Screen Capture Software ($20): A hot topic of conversation at User Group meetings is adding screen capture videos into presentations. Last summer we did the research and found a cheap and simple screen capture tool from FastStone. To learn more, read this blog post.
5. Apple TV Airplay Device ($99): If somebody were to get me a gift, I would love an AirPlay device!! It looks like a square hockey puck, and enables you to present from an iPad/Mac to an HDMI-enabled projector without any cables. Next year, my goal is to take some trips without a PC and present from an iPad using just the SlideShark app.
6. Pico Optoma 320 Projector ($369): I have been tracking pocket projectors for a while, and they are getting close to a day when you can walk into a meeting, fully armed to present, with an iPhone in one pocket, and a mini projector in the other. The Optoma 320 uses an LED bulb and is really small at approximately 3”x5”x1”. It would work well for a few people around a table.
7. The Signal and the Noise ($16): My favorite book of the year is Signal and the Noise, by Nate Silver- many of you may know him as the 538 blog guy who accurately forecast this year’s election. Based upon his experiences as an accountant, baseball statistician, poker player and more, he writes about the difference between predicting and forecasting. His approach to interpreting data is something all presenters can benefit from and some of his examples would make for a great story in your next presentation.
Hope to see you at one of our many events next year. To keep up to date on everything related to the Brainshark Customer Community, visit the Blog & Community section of the Brainshark web page.