Guide to BlackBerry Presenter
A first-hand look at giving presentations on the go
Our vote for the most useful business accessory for your BlackBerry® smartphone is BlackBerry® Presenter. With this handy device you can deliver business presentations—both Microsoft® PowerPoint® and Adobe® PDF—wirelessly from your BlackBerry smartphone.
This article details our editor's experience putting BlackBerry Presenter through its paces and the notable features and tips he discovered along the way.
- All you need for a presentation are: (1) your BlackBerry smartphone with the BlackBerry Presenter software installed and your presentation pre-loaded, (2) your BlackBerry Presenter and power cord, and (3) access to an external monitor or projector with either a VGA or S-video cable.
- You can present either Microsoft PowerPoint 2003/2007 slides with most slide animations and transitions, or Adobe PDF files.
- You can show presentations in two ways: (1) From a file saved to your BlackBerry smartphone's micro-SD™ storage card, or (2) from an attachment in an email or a calendar appointment (requires BlackBerry® Device Software v5 or later and BlackBerry® Enterprise Server v5.01 or later).
- If speaker notes are included in a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation you can specify to display them only on the BlackBerry smartphone screen while the BlackBerry Presenter displays the slide to your audience on the external display.
- Other useful presentation features let you (1) freeze the slide on the external display while you skip to another slide, (2) set your presentation to continuous loop (great for kiosks), or (3) show a blank screen while you skip to another slide.
- Organize multiple presentations by attaching them to your Calendar appointments. This works well when you give many presentations customized for various audiences. Go to a meeting and the correct presentation is ready to go!
- For best display results use a VGA cable to connect your BlackBerry Presenter to the external display for a maximum screen resolution of 1024x768 pixels. When you use an S-video cable the maximum screen resolution is 640x480 pixels.
- You connect your BlackBerry smartphone to your BlackBerry Presenter using Bluetooth®, so be sure to turn Bluetooth on before starting.
And if your BlackBerry smartphone cannot find your BlackBerry Presenter during Bluetooth connection, check that the BlackBerry Presenter is powered on (it will turn off after inactivity to conserve power).
- The BlackBerry Presenter passkey can be found either (1) on the splash screen on the external display or (2) on the bottom of the BlackBerry Presenter device. After the first time you enter the BlackBerry Presenter's passkey your BlackBerry smartphone will remember it for your next presentation.
- Your BlackBerry Presenter will flash red when it is ready to pair with your BlackBerry smartphone. It will show solid blue when the BlackBerry Presenter has completed loading your presentation or is displaying your presentation.
- To display speaker notes during a presentation, on your BlackBerry smartphone press the Menu key, then click Show Speaker Notes. To stop using speaker notes during your presentation, press the Menu key, then click Show Slides.
- Shortcut keys: press n for next slide, p for previous slide, and g for go to a specific slide. You can also go forward and backward by scrolling with your trackball or trackpad.
Presentation tips from the pros
- Rehearse your presentation in front of a friendly audience using your BlackBerry smartphone and BlackBerry Presenter to iron out any kinks.
- Double check that you have your BlackBerry Presenter power cord and that the meeting location will have an external display with either VGA or S-video connections. Also make sure your BlackBerry smartphone is charged.
- Before your presentation talk to your audience in the hallway. Get to know their pressing concerns, then weave those concerns into your presentation.
- Don't read every word of your slides!
- Save question time for the end, but make sure to give ample time to answer them all.
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