As you’ve probably noticed, technology has been improving at a faster and faster pace. Just one zone of major improvement has been applications that benefit public speakers and presenters. Whether you’re a businessman trying to get his point across in the conference room, or a professor working to connect more effectively with your students, these tools can make your job easier and your results more satisfying.
Here are just a few of these powerful presenter’s resources that have evolved over the past few years. They’re grouped under three categories – three important steps to an effective presentation:
1. Content Assembly
Ever have trouble deciding coming up with ideas for what to include (or not include!) in a presentation? Do you ever struggle to find or download interesting, relevant content? Here are a few apps and links to help you out.
- iBrainstorm (Main site) – Organize, label and store away ideas and content you gather – on your own or in brainstorm sessions – with this practical app. It includes a drawing system for adding charts, diagrams or tables to your decks.
- MindMeister (Main site) – A clever and useful mind-mapping tool. Use it to capture and organize ideas in brainstorming sessions, as they arise. Visualize relationships between ideas, as map your content flow.
- Evernote (Main site) – Use this app to easily capture and save relevant content you find in your searches and studies. Also includes a practical to-do list feature to organize presentation-prep tasks.
- Brainy Quote (App store) – Inspire your audience with quotes from authorities, experts, and all-around geniuses! Browse by topics or authors, and find quotations to support and forward your chosen messages.
- Slideshare (Main site) – Get more mileage out of your presentation by posting it on Slideshare, then sharing the link with your audience. This tool makes handouts paperless – more easily shared, and more cost-efficient too. Not a fan of Slideshare? You can also use one of the other file storage platforms now available, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive.
The key to professionalism is practice. Check out these tools to help you practice and polish your presenting skills in general, and specific presentations, too.
- Public Speaking VR (Main site) – With a virtual reality headset, this app provides a selection of VR environments for your presentation practice. It features an animated audience and ambient sound in a meeting room, and lets you prepare to deal with potential distractions.
- Ummo (Main site) – Track and learn to curb your use of filler words such as “umm,” “uhh,” “you know” and the dreaded “like.”
- Rhetoric (App Store) – Improve your public speaking skills through with this educational game. Learn to speak more effectively “off the cuff,” structure your presentations, and get anxiety under control.
- Speech Timer (App store) – Rehearse with a timer to perfect your pace and stay within time limits.
- Any voice recording app (or your phone’s built-in voice recorder) – Record your talk, then play it back to analyze and refine your intonation, diction, pace, etc.
- Any video recording app (or your phone’s built-in video recorder) – Record your presentation, then analyze and refine your body language, gestures, facial expressions, posture and more.
Here are some innovative tools you may want to use just before and during your presentations, to make make a better impression, make your own job easier, and increase audience engagement and interaction.
- Poll Everywhere (Main site) – Conduct live surveys during your presentations with this audience-response app.
- mPrompt (App store) – Use your smartphone or other device as a teleprompter. Display easily-readable text to guide you in practice or during your live presentation.
- Your phone’s built-in camera – If there’s no mirror handy, take a photo of yourself for a final check on your appearance. In public speaking, looks do matter!
Do you have a favorite presentation-enhancing app? Tell us about it in the comments below.