The article below was submitted by Andy Saks, owner and lead speaker/trainer, Spark Presentations
Recently, I was hired to deliver the voiceover narration for a high-tech client that's producing a series of online certification training videos for its new product resellers.
Unfortunately, I received the voiceover narration scripts for the four training modules in this session just minutes before I had to leave for the recording studio. The client sent four separate PowerPoint slide decks, one for each training module, and had placed the narration script for each slide in the "Notes" section of that slide.
The recording studio only provides a music stand on which to place my narration scripts. Music stands, as you know, offer just a few square inches of space on which to place materials, and can't support any substantial weight without toppling over.
Suddenly, I had a challenge – how could I get the narration scripts to sit on the music stand? What form would they need to take to work in that environment?
I had a few options:
Option #1: Print out all the PowerPoint slides and their notes on paper, then place the paper on the music stand. This didn't seem viable. With over 60 combined slides in the four decks, I'd need several minutes to print 60 pages, and then be stuck fitting and manipulating them all on the music stand. Moreover, several of the slides had scripts that were too long to fit in the printed area of the slide, so some of my narration text would be cut off.
Option #2: Place my MacBook Pro laptop on the music stand and read my narration scripts right from the open PowerPoint files. This didn't seem viable either. I didn't see how a rickety music stand would accommodate and support the clamshell design of a large, four-pound laptop. Plus, how I could advance the slides without making noise that would be picked up by the sensitive recording microphone?
Option #3: Open the PowerPoint decks on my iPad using Apple's native reader app. This worked, but the iPad only displayed the slides, not the Notes area. Not viable.
I thought I was out of options when I noticed a fourth: My iPad gave me the option of opening the PowerPoint deck in my SlideShark app, which I'd downloaded months earlier. SlideShark then gave me the option of displaying the slides in a Presenter Mode that showed the Notes area on the iPad screen.
In seconds, I transferred all four decks to my SlideShark app. After loading, I could open each deck and see exactly what I needed: the slide itself and the entire notes section for that slide with my narration script. Even better, advancing the slides only required a silent swipe.
With a giant sigh of relief, I left the paper in the printer, left my laptop on my desk, and drove to the session with the slide decks loaded in SlideShark. I was able to place the iPad comfortably on the music stand and scroll easily from slide to slide and deck to deck, reading the script from each Notes area, then moving on.
Thank you SlideShark!
Andy Saks is the owner and lead speaker/trainer at Spark Presentations, a full-service presentation agency. Spark helps companies thrive by training and coaching their staffs in presentation design and delivery, and presenting for them on stage and on camera. Saks is also the author of The Presentation Playbook a primer on building and giving stellar presentations in common business settings by calling the right speaking "play," just as athletes and coaches do in key game situations.