the markITeer

Putting your presentations online

Posted by the markITeer on June 18, 2007

Marketers create presentations. Lots of presentations. Presentations for clients, presentations for management, presentations to show a new product or to launch an idea, presentations to bundle information or presentations to convince the inconvincible. Some of these presentations are top secret, classified. But a whole lot of them are just waiting for a larger audience, waiting to bring you eternal fame and glory.

And that’s where Web 2.0 comes in: the ‘social web’ presents you with the audience whereas SaaS (‘Software as a Service’) offers you a whole bunch of online tools to rocket your presentations into cyberspace.

SlideShare, SlideBurner, AUTHORstream… there’s a whole lot of websites out there offering you the possibility to upload your presentation and show it to a community. The idea is simple: you register, you upload a presentation, the presentation is converted into a Flash file, some previous and next buttons are added and the whole thing is put on their website for everybody to view and comment on. And just like with eg YouTube, your converted presentation can also be embeded into websites and blogs using some simple code.

Having your slides available on the web this way is very nice. But something really important will still be missing: you. Slides are often just a framework for your presentation and the real convincing is in how you bring the message. That’s why Zentation came up with the brilliant idea of letting you synchronize your Powerpoint presentation with video material posted to Google video. After logging in, you upload your presentation and enter the URL of your video. You can then synchronize both by simply clicking a button next to the slide when the video reaches the point that the slide has to appear. And they too offer code so you can embed the result into your web page or blog. Check out Guy Kawasaki’s blog for an example (and a good presentation).

Here’s a small comparison table of some of the players:

As for the technical side, there are some issues with the conversion to Flash you have to take into account:

  • animations might (and mostly will) not work
  • slide transitions might (and mostly will) not work
  • exotic fonts might not be recognized
  • the appearance of bulleted lists might be altered

For those looking for something more: check out Adobe Connect, WildPresenter PRO or Articulate. These tools enable you to create fully-fletched online presentations with all the bells and whistles you want. it’s another league… with other rules regarding costs and time-to-deploy.

To round up, here’s a funny video by stand-up comedian Don McMillan on creating Powerpoints:

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