Over the years we've presented on iPad a lot. Like, a LOT. We've had great success with it but we've had plenty of spectacular failures, too. So here are some best practices to spare you an often painful learning curve. Once you create your sweet presentation, here's how to keep the magic going as you present it in-person.
1. Get cozy.
What is so powerful about the iPad is that it changes the physical space of the meeting from us against them, to just us. So when presenting to a single person (or two or three), get up close and personal.
Your best option is always to stand (at trade shows) or sit next to your viewer, giving them a full view of the screen. The next best option is to sit around a corner at a desk or table, opening up a 90-degree angle between you and your viewer. At the corner position you can lean into the conversation and have full view of the screen with good access for your hands.
Make sure that you are holding the iPad in a way that allows for maximum screen visibility. Place your hands so they're not blocking important information. When you're not navigating the presentation, get fingers off the screen completely.
2. Go topsy turvy.
Depending on where you sit, you may be presenting your Ingage presentation upside-down so the viewer can see it properly. This can be tricky so practice beforehand until you're comfortable with it.
Be aware that upside-down finger taps do not register well on an iPad. The device is designed to recognize taps from a finger that is aligned with the orientation of the content. Make sure that you hold the iPad so that you fingers are hitting cleanly.
3. Clean your iPad.
Who would have guessed that a touch interface would get so smudgy? Fingerprints tend to distract from the content on the iPad, so we always carry around a little cleaning cloth to give it a once-over before presenting. If you are in a pinch, Apple Smart Covers have a suede-textured underside that will clean your screen with a few light swipes. That certainly has come in handy!
4. Be a hand model for a day.
While looking at your presentation, people will also be looking at your fingers and hands, so keeping them well-groomed makes a difference. We worked with a pharmaceutical company whose salespeople were reluctant to use their iPads because they were ashamed of their fingernails. So the company offered free manicures to their sales team, which resulted in substantially higher usage.
If you're a reformed nail biter and wind up with a sad fingernail, we recommend covering it with a Band-Aid or piece of white adhesive medical tape. This will erase your embarrassment and draw attention to the presentation.
A stylus can also be a nice alternative to presenting with fingers and offers another benefit: not smudging the screen.
5. Let them drive.
The best interactions are when both parties are engaged, and iPad is built for two-way communication. Sit up close and hold the iPad so that at any moment your viewer can touch the iPad. When they do, encourage them to take over. This is the ideal reaction. It's when the magic really starts to happen.