App of the Week: SlideShark

Own a tablet and want to make presentations on it? Always hated the fact that it couldn’t use Microsoft Powerpoint, and always had to get around it be converting your presentations to a PDF, or to images, or to a program that’s compatible with the iPad? Well, all that time and frustration is over with this week’s App of the Week.

SlideShark is an iPad app that makes it possible for your to give a Powerpoint presentation using the iPad or iPad 2. It is a free app that keeps your Powerpoint the way it’s supposed to be, among other features, including:

  • Preserve animations, fonts, graphics and colors in their presentations
  • Swipe or tap to advance animations and slides
  • Project their slides from an iPad 2 by connecting to a TV or VGA projector
  • Download presentations and play them locally – no Internet connection required

“This is designed with the touch interface in mind,” said Jay Wilder, Director of Product Marketing for Brainshark, the company behind SlideShark. “It’s a solution that allows Powerpoint on the iPad as its meant to be seen.”

With over 60 million iPads in circulation, about a quarter of them are for business use, according to Wilder. The Apple tablet has also been in circulation for over 18 months, with little initiative from Apple or Microsoft to address compatibility.

“We heard about it in droves from our customers,” said Andy Zimmerman, Chief Marketing Officer for Brainshark. “They want to leave their laptops behind. They want to present using the iPad and get the most out of it. It lends itself well to presenting.”

Brainshark’s SlideShark solution works through three simple steps:

  1. Users upload their PowerPoint files to their own free, private and secure online account at www.slideshark.com
  2. The files are automatically converted to an iPad-optimized viewing format
  3. Using the SlideShark app, users can then download and view their presentations

Not only are the presentations accessible right through the iPad without need for a flash drive or to save it on the device itself, but since iPads are also compatible with projector or screen connections, the app and the device could also be used to give a presentation for a large meeting or seminar.

“Powerpoint is a very in-demand business tool,” Wilder said. “It caught people by surprise when [the iPad] couldn’t do Powerpoint. The iPad is not as clumsy as a laptop and is effective for on-the-fly presentations.”

Zimmerman also pointed out that as small businesses try to reduce their IT investments, they are viewing tablets as an alternative to laptops and desktops. However, it’s very hard for businesses, both large and small, to cut out Powerpoint. Fortunately, businesses not longer need to make that decision with this week’s App of the Week.

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Allison Midori Reilly is the CEO and Founder of Stirring Media, LLC. Stirring Media, LLC is a content marketing and news production firm that provides content marketing and business blogging services to the small business market. Prior to that, she was a freelance writer, who was published in over a dozen print and online publications, such as Smallbiztechnology.com, American City & County, Ideabing.com, Transport Topics and St. Louis Commerce Magazine. In her spare time, Reilly is an active member of Amnesty International as well as an avid poker player.

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