A few weeks ago I saw a guy speaking at a large conference using his brand new iPad2 for his notes. You could tell he thought he was the hippest guy in the room simply because he had a new toy he wanted to show off. Frankly, I can’t remember anything he talked about because I was so amused at how he was using the iPad for his speaking notes. He made these exaggerated swiping motions so that anyone who had never seen one of the 100 million phones and tablets that have a touch screen would be intrigued. Instead of being impressed and engaged in what he was saying, I just felt sorry for the guy. Don’t be that guy if you plan on using your iPad for public speaking, you’ll ruin it for the rest of us.
Here’s some tips to keep you from being that guy…
- Put the iPad in a case so it looks more like a notepad or a book. Nobody needs to see a shiny piece of aluminum with an Apple logo on it flailing about during your talk. One of my favorite covers for the iPad is one called BookBook made by TwelveSouth. It makes your iPad look like an old book.
- Leave the iPad on the podium unless it’s necessary to carry the iPad around when you’re speaking. If you wouldn’t walk around on stage with note cards in your hand, don’t walk around with the iPad in your hand while you’re speaking.
- Practice using the device so that people don’t even know when you’re interacting with the iPad during a talk. You should be able to move around your speaking notes and bring up the information you need without anyone knowing you just changed something on the iPad.
- Find an iPad App for public speaking that allows you to edit your notes, highlight stuff you want to make sure you get said, keep you within the time frame allowed, and doesn’t have any unwanted stuff pop up while your using the iPad App for presenting. The only App I have found that does all this is PodiumPro.
- Change the settings on the iPad so that it doesn’t shut off 10 minutes into your talk. Not doing something simple like can mess you up in the middle of a talk.
- Adjust the brightness of the iPad screen based on the level of light in the room. In a dark room, it’s kind of creepy so see the speaker’s face reflecting a glow from their speaking notes. You end up looking like someone holding a flashlight up on their face telling ghost stories around a campfire.
- Above all keep this one thing in mind… the iPad is supposed to enhance your public speaking, teaching, or preaching, not distract from it. Follow this one principle and you’ll be a Podium Pro.