PowerPoint for the iPhone: Presentations in Your Pocket

September 12, 2012 | Brendan Cournoyer
PowerPoint for the iPhone: Presentations in Your Pocket

What’s the benefit to using PowerPoint on your iPhone? For mobile salespeople, it’s all about convenience and flexibility.

While laptop PCs still rule the enterprise computing landscape, it’s been clear for some time now that iPads are the preferred tool for mobile workers. There are plenty of reasons why tablets are attractive to employees in the field, but the ability to present directly from their iPads is easily one of the most valuable use cases for salespeople and executives.

Since late last year, the SlideShark app has made leveraging PowerPoint for the iPad a breeze for business professionals. Now, with the latest release of SlideShark, PowerPoint functionality has been extended to other Apple devices, including the iPhone and iPod Touch.

The question is, what kind of value can PowerPoint for the iPhone bring to you? Not long ago, I wrote about the business benefits of presenting PowerPoint via tablets, and not surprisingly, many of those advantages translate to the iPhone as well, albeit in a much smaller package.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why PowerPoint makes sense for both iPhones and iPads.

#1. Convenience and portability. Obviously, tablets are more convenient to carry around than laptops, which is a big reason why so many mobile workers and sales reps love them. But unless you’re Shaquille O’Neal, you won’t be able to fit an iPad in your front pocket.

The iPhone, on the other hand, is a device that you’ll likely be carrying around with you anyway – only now you’ll be able to access all of your business presentations and demos from it as well. This is an ideal option for short day trips that previously required bringing your laptop even if you were set to return later that day. Now? Just grab your phone and go!

#2. iPhones are “always on.” This is one of the chief benefits salespeople point to when it comes to using tablets over laptops – no more waiting for your system to boot up! Obviously, this feature translates to the iPhone as well, meaning your PowerPoint presentations are only a few seconds away at all times. In fact, it would probably take more time to remove the phone from your pocket than it would to access your slides.

#3. Even stronger first impressions. If you thought walking into a sales meeting armed with nothing but your iPad looked impressive, just imagine how cool it would be to hook your iPhone up to the projector and present right from there? I guarantee that’s not something most prospects have seen before.

Of course, there are some differences between iPhones and iPads when it comes to using PowerPoint. For starters, the screen size is a factor. While iPads are ideal for impromptu meetings or intimate presentations with small groups, presenting PowerPoint slides on your iPhone will almost always require a projector. (Note that the SlideShark app for iPhone does allow you to easily zoom in to view slide details more clearly, but I consider this to be more of a usability feature than a presentation option.)

The smaller package of the iPhone also means that Presenter Mode (which allows you to view slide notes and previous/upcoming slides, hide/reorder slides, etc.) is not an option for the smartphone. However, other necessary PowerPoint features like animations, fonts and colors all work seamlessly as if you were presenting straight from your laptop.

In the end, exactly how you take advantage of PowerPoint for the iPhone is up to you. But given that 2011 marked the first year in which smartphones outsold traditional laptops and PCs, it’s clear that people today are more comfortable than ever using mobile devices any way they can.

For more on PowerPoint for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, visit the SlideShark website.

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