A Look at Presentation Tools

Mobile Phone Application & Software Developer ...

Hello all.  Sorry that I have not posted in a week.  I attended a trade show in Orlando, Florida last week.  On my return, I had a commitment with a local company to capture some training for them.  In doing so, their corporate trainer had some questions about the various ways the training could be captured.  So I thought after sharing with her, I would share with you guys as well.

In my mind, there are three types of presentations that need to be captured, and there are different software applications to achieve this.  The styles are:

  1. Powerpoint presentations with no audience
  2. Software demonstrations
  3. Combination Powerpoint and Software demonstrations with audience interaction


Many times, a classroom session is no more than just a lecture using a Powerpoint presentation and handouts for reference purposes.  While this is fine in the classroom, it is sometimes problematic online.  Does the learner have access to Powerpoint?  Does the user have access to the proper version of Powerpoint?  Are there any special fonts that need to be installed.  I like to use a free program called iSpring Free.  You simply record all your narrations and animations and timings in Powerpoint, then use the iSpring plugin to convert everything to an SWF Flash file and includes an HTML that has the file embedded.  Simply upload the two files to your LMS, or email it to the user.  All timings and animations are included, and it allows for random non linear searches of slides.  See an example here

Software demonstrations

Have you ever had to create a screencast to demonstrate to someone how to operate a software application?  Sure, there are many online apps that will allow you to create a screencast, but most have limitations.  They may not allow you to edit the screencast, they may not have an online facility for you to stream it from, they may have time limitations and many other drawbacks.  I like to use Screencast-o-matic.  It has a free and premium version, although at $15 per year, it is not a deal breaker.  This is a JAVA based app that you can download onto your machine, and allows you to capture desktop applications or a webcam.  It has zoom capabilities, overlay capabilities, and other editing features.  The output is a AVI, MP4 or FLV format, or can be uploaded to their own streaming server, Youtube, or Vimeo.  See an example here

Combination Powerpoint and Software demonstrations with audience interaction

When doing a Powerpoint presentation and taking audience comments and questions, especially in an online setting, I like to use a product called Livestream Procaster.  This application allows you to stream a presentation live over the Internet while saving a recording on your machine.  It allows for chat box interaction, so your audience can text in any questions for you to answer.  While it is not a video conference, it is an outstanding way to present to various locations and allow them to interact with you for free.  See an example here

I use all three and have had lots of success.  All have a very very low learning curve, and are constantly releasing updates to their applications.  So if you are finding yourself needing to find cost-effective apps to help you with your training needs, the three items in this post are a good place to start.

Let me know what you think.  And if you have any other thoughts, please add them in the comments section or email me direct.


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