There’s been a lot of discussion on technology websites about whether Microsoft is about to release an Office App for iPad. Some claim this is about to happen, others that leaked pictures just show a tablet streaming a screen running from a PC. Microsoft denied the rumours, but with wording that allowed the speculation to continue anyway.
For presentations, there are two reasons why people might want PowerPoint on iPad -
- To create slides, or edit slides, on the iPad
- To present slides on the iPad
Slide Design with iPad
The iPad really isn’t the right tool to create decent slides on. It’s pretty painful just typing an email out (I think); if you are doing anything more sophisticated than typing bullet points (and you should be) – then creating slides on iPad will be inefficient. iPad is great for consuming content, but not great for making it, unless you change the type of content you are making (think hand-drawn).
Editing the occasional word on slides would be OK – it’s not hard to type in short bursts on the iPad. Groups, layers, and motion paths might be a step too far – but simple edits would certainly be possible.
But, just because companies might be able to allow reps to edit slides on their iPads, doesn’t mean that they should.
(Lack of) Control and Compliance with PowerPoint
One of the challenges that sales management, marketing departments, and compliance teams face is that individual sales reps can edit customer-facing slides at will on their PCs. Customer messaging isn’t controlled. Carefully crafted positioning pieces can be – and are – changed by reps – often for the worse. Slides that have gone through compliance are edited in ways that introduce all sorts of risk.
The democratic nature of PowerPoint (anyone can type words to create mediocre slides) is both a strength and – in the B2B sales environment – a weakness. Sales reps aren’t allowed to edit the company website at will – but just try stopping them from changing slides.
Control and Compliance with iPad Presentations
Well, if reps are using the iPad for sales presentations, you can stop them from changing slides. Because they don’t have PowerPoint on their iPad, and you can control their ability to get slides onto their tablets.
With SlideShark Team Edition, even sophisticated PowerPoint slides will play back faithfully, animations and all. (Disclosure – we are a Brainshark partner.) But the reps don’t get the actual slides – just the ability to present them, and not just as video – as actual discrete slides with clicks.
Administrators – sales management or marketing – make slides available to sales, and sales people deliver slides unaltered. Better yet, in-built analytics means usage can be tracked on a per-user and per-presentation basis. Maybe one day geo-tagging will stop reps claiming they presented to customers when they actually played golf (though with the iPad they could be doing both).
PowerPoint on iPad
The iPad is an interesting sales tool because it can deliver greater control for the enterprise, and because it allows new, more conversational sales interactions. Putting PowerPoint on the iPad – warts and all – might not be the way to go. The iPad isn’t the right device for creating presentations, but it might be the perfect device for controlling how they are used.
PowerPoint on the iPad? Be careful what you wish for.