I recently carried out training for a company who’s sales team travelled worldwide, presenting the company’s wares using Macbook Pros. They felt that, in this day and age, the presentations could be more slick, by presenting wirelessly, using iPads, and Apple’s Keynote. I found that, how one might prepare for, and perform a presentation, is partially dependent on the facilities available at the venue, how much kit you’re prepared to carry around with you, and to what extent you’re prepared to be self sufficient.
A presenter may not know in advance what facilities will be available to them. This is good reason to be prepared for everything. But with this approach you’ll end up with a fairly heavy bag of cables. So where do you draw the line? I’ve also heard stories about how the visiting presenter /sale person may not be welcome to use their host’s network facilities, such as WiFi. This is good reason to be as self sufficient as possible. The ideal is to carry minimal equipment, be self sufficient, with no compromise on the ability to deliver.
Let’s assume the following:
- You’re not going to be travelling around with a projector, or monitor.
- You’re going to prepare for the most typical means for connecting to a display: VGA, HDMI, or WiFi / Apple’s AirPlay
Starting with what I consider the best, most simple, minimal and self sufficient option, this article goes through a variety of different scenarios dependent on the devices at your disposal, and provides check lists for any additional kit you’ll need.
Keynote presentation using an iPad, an Apple TV, Apple’s Airplay, over either a WiFi network, or a Personal Hotspot.
As long as there is a WiFi network available at the location where you’ll be presenting, and a display (projector, HDTV, or monitor) with HDMI inputs, all you will need is an HDMI cable, and an Apple TV. Setting up will be as follows:
- Connect your Apple TV to the projector, HDTV, or monitor
- After selecting the right input on the display, connect the Apple TV to the WiFI network.
- Connect your iPad to the WiFI network
- Enable AirPlay mirroring on the iPad. http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5209
- Mirror the display of your iPad to the Apple TV
Your equipment list would be as follows:
- an Apple TV, and power cable
- an HDMI cable
- an iPad
No WiFi? Fine, create your own Personal Hotspot.
In the above example, if there’s no WiFi network available, you can create your own if you have either an iPad with a cellular connection, or an iPhone handy, by using the iOS Personal Hotspot feature. Can you be any more self sufficient?! I think not!
A side note on Keynote and iCloud
Using iCloud, you can start work on a new presentation using your iPad, continue from where you left off on your Mac, and even add the finishing touches on your iPhone. Note: In order to maintain compatibility across devices, see Apple’s article, Best practices for creating a presentation on a Mac for use on an iPad.
In order to work on Keynote presentations across all of your devices, you’ll need to purchase Keynote for both Mac OS and iOS. And, in order to save to, and access your Keynote presentations, via iCloud, all of your devices will need to be set up to use iCloud.
Other methods of performing presentations using Apple’s Keynote.
Method 1: Keynote presentations using a Mac.
The adaptors you will need to present from a Macbook Pro:
Since 2011, Apple introduced the Thunderbolt port on their laptops. Prior to this they had the Mini DisplayPort, which looks very similar, but the Thunderbolt port is faster, with more functionality. For presenting, both will serve our purposes.
Depending on the display device you’re connecting to (whether is has HDMI or VGA inputs), you’ll need one of the following adaptors:
The cables you will need to connect your Macbook Pro to an HDTV, Projector or monitor:
In addition to the correct adaptor, you’ll also need a suitable cable: Either…:
- An VGA to VGA cable, or
- An HDMI to HDMI cable
Being equipped with all the above should prepare you for most scenarios when presenting using a Mac laptop, and requires that you sit at the laptop in order to control the presentation. Which is great but, you can control the presentation wirelessly.
Controlling a Keynote for Mac OS presentation via an iPad or iPhone.
For this you will need Apple’s Keynote Remote app installed on your iOS device, and both your iOS device and Mac will need to be connected to the same WiFi network. Here’s a link to Apple’s Keynote Remote app.
This setup, controlling Keynote for Mac OS X from an iOS device, only works over WiFi, whereas controlling a Keynote presentation on an iOS device, from another iOS device, works over both WiFi and BlueTooth.
See the following article, Using Keynote Remote, for a full explanation of Keynote Remote’s capabilities and limitations.
Great, but what if there’s no WiFi network available, and I want to remotely control my Keynote presentation on my Mac via my iOS device?
You can create your own Wireless Network on your Mac, and connect your iOS device to that network. See the Apple article, Create a Computer-to-Computer Network, for details on how to do this.
Method 2: Wired presenting using an iPad, and Keynote for iOS.
In this scenario, when possible, create the presentation on the iPad, because if you import your presentation from Keynote for Mac OS X, you may lose certain things like fonts, transitions, builds, and audio… If you do make the presentation on your Mac, be sure to read Apple’s article, Best Practices for creating Keynote presentations on a Mac for use on an iPad.
What cables will I need to present from an iPad?:
Depending on the display you’re connecting to, you’ll need one of the following cables:
- An VGA to VGA cable
- An HDMI to HDMI cable
What adaptors do i need to connect an HDMI or VGA cable to an iPad?
It depends how old your iPad device is.
The most recent iPad Air, iPad 4th Generation Retina, iPad mini, iPhone 5, 5S, 5C.. all have a Lightning connection port for recharging, and connecting to other devices. In which case, in order to be equipped for both HDMI and VGA displays, you’ll need both of the following:
Apple Lightning Digital AV adapter. The HDMI method supports audio, too.
Apple Lighting to VGA adapter. The VGA method is video, only. No audio.
The older iPad 1, 2, and 3, iPhone 4, and 4S, all have a 30 pin connection port for recharging, and connecting to other devices. In which case, in order to be equipped for both HDMI and VGA displays, you’ll need both of the following:
Apple 30 Pin digital AV adapter (for connecting to HDMI). The HDMI method supports audio, too.
Apple 30 pin to VGA adapter. The VGA method is video, only. No audio.
What model iPad or iPhone I have?:
Remote control of your iPad Keynote presentation, using another iOS device with Apple’s Keynote Remote installed.
Use your iPhone to control the Keynote presentation on your iPad, using Apple’s Keynote Remote app. Between two iOS devices, this will work over either WiFi or Bluetooth. See Apple’s article, Using Keynote Remote with Bluetooth.
What if there’s no WiFi or Apple TV available, I have a Macbook handy, I have the Keynote presentation on an iPad, and I want to perform the presentation wirelessly?
Well, that’s a long question! With a Mac laptop handy, you can create your own WiFi network by creating a Computer-to-Computer Network, and use your Mac as an AirPlay receiver, replacing the need for an Apple TV, by installing the excellent AirServer app. And, by creating your own Computer-to-Computer Network, as described above, you’ll make your AirPlay receiving Mac available to other devices (they’ll need to join your Mac’s WiFi network first), and beam your Keynote for iOS presentation to your Mac. Let’s go through that again, step by step:
- Install AirServer on your Mac. http://www.airserver.com/
- Create a WiFi network on your Mac. http://support.apple.com/kb/PH10666
- Connect the Mac to the projector, HDTV, or monitor using the cables and adaptors listed in Method 1, above.
- Join your iPad to your Mac’s WiFi network.
- Use AirPlay mirroring to mirror your iPad to your AirPlay receiving Mac. http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5209
Keynote ’09: Setting Up Presenter Notes:
If you use Presenter Notes within your Keynote presentations, and are concerned about those notes being displayed during a presentation, you can ensure they’re hidden. Read this article.
Final Note (of caution?)
Whatever method you choose, try it out first. What I haven’t tested extensively is how robust Keynote and AirPlay performs under these various methods. Personally, I never do presentations, but have set them up many times. If you have any hands on experience I’d love to hear your comments.