In 2013 there will be more mobile Internet access via tablets than via smartphones. At work, the flat computers also support lectures, presentations and discussions. But you shouldn’t hide behind your technology, but use this new flexibility sensibly.
As a rhetoric trainer, I recommend everyone to practice useful applications of the flat all-rounders before using them in the lecture room. Hectic changing of the displayed content or clueless typing do not work well with the tablet either.
Skilfully operated, the computers in magazine format enable the playful handling of prepared presentations. You don’t have to show one slide after the other or, if time is short, click through hectically in front of the audience. Queries from the audience no longer confuse the planned presentation. Background information compiled in advance – including Internet links – underscores the answers.
Instead, the speaker simply does not call up less important slides. The audience does not notice that a different order was originally intended. Because the various contents are spread out on the handy flat screen – the audience only sees what the presenter sends to the projector with a tap of the finger.
Multimedia without delay
Presentation concepts for iPads such as Grid integrate videos, music, images or texts and tables into the presentation without any problems. The multimedia files are imported directly when they are called up – without previous fiddling about laboriously integrating different data formats as with Powerpoint. The charm is that there are no more time delays with large amounts of data such as videos or music.
I no longer want to do without the tablet in my presentations. Listeners appreciate the fact that the speaker no longer walks to the laptop or even turns his back on them to see what is currently visible to everyone. The speaker no longer has to interrupt his contact with the audience, but always has it in mind, so to speak.
It is also important that the presenter knows what is coming next before changing the projected content: A glance at the screen in hand shows the next slide, my notes and optional accompanying information.
Apps make the tablet an all-rounder
Equipped with the appropriate applications – apps for short – the handy computers can do even more: Teleprompt +, for example, transforms them into teleprompters. The prepared speech runs across the screen in large letters and at a freely selectable pace. A method that has long been used in television studios, where presenters and news anchors follow their texts on a screen. With Teleprompt +, speakers also have their cheat sheet, the remaining speaking time and the audience in view at the same time.
However, it is not advisable to use the app without practice. Because you have to have tried out which font size is the right one, or which speed corresponds to your own flow of speech. And the teleprompter is always the second choice after the free lecture.
Anyone who has been annoyed many times about dried out felt-tip pens can relax. The Jot! Whiteboard makes handwritten notes in different colors visible to the audience. It saves on flipchart or blackboard because it can throw writing directly onto the wall using a projector. The joy of the end of dried-up pens, however, has a downer: the writable area of a tablet is smaller than that of a flipchart.
The flat all-rounders are also suitable as a recording device, for example to document training courses. However, all technical helpers are no substitute for preparing a presentation well. Not even to establish contact with the audience. All media that are presented with the tablet must match the goal of the presentation. The speaker determines this in advance and thus also the red thread through which he transports his message and to which the intended information is assigned.
In contrast, you no longer need a “thread” to connect the tablet to the projector. Bluetooth or W-LAN make it possible to move freely without being bound by annoying cables.
Despite all the enthusiasm for the mobile screen computers, their technical possibilities must not be overused: If the fact how the speaker handles his iPad is more fascinating than the lecture itself, then something is going wrong. And too many media recordings tire you. Their economical, targeted access, on the other hand, loosens up the presentation.
The electronic all-rounders are by no means a substitute for a lack of linguistic and body language expression during the lecture. Anyone who inspires their audience even though they only hold a few index cards in their hands during the performance can stay with them.
In summary, when used correctly, tablets enrich and facilitate the presentation of complex content.