From time to time some of us have to give a Powerpoint presentation away from our home base work environment. Some of us are lucky enough to have a projector small enough to bring with us but many intrepid presenters depend on the presentation site (your customer perhaps) to provide the projector. Unfortunately, as many of us have learned, your computer may not communicate properly with their projector. This can lead to frantic efforts and frazzled nerves. Here is a great backup plan that will let you hook up THEIR computer (without your presentation on it) to their projector and, assuming their computer has a broadband Internet connection, display your presentation.
Tonight I am giving a presentation at the Randolph, NJ library entitled De-Gunking Your PC (Tuning up Your Computer). I expected a small group of interested people for whom I would print out copies of my presentation. Surprise! Sixty people are signed up and others had to be turned away due to space constraints! Printing that many copies of a presentation with 27 slides in it is more than I want to tackle. Besides, there are lots of hyperlinks in my presentation that take you to pages in Wikipedia and YouTube (for example). A paper version of the presentation would, obviously, not make the hyperlinks available. I guessed that someone might have created a way to share a slide show over the Internet and I guessed right!
A quick Google search turned up a new free service called Slideshare. At this site, once you have opened a free account, you can upload your presentation and have it viewed by anyone with an Internet connection and a web browser! Right now, (this is being written on October 18th 2006) even the folks who wish to view your uploaded presentation have to establish an account but it seems to be Slideshare's intent to open viewing access up to anyone who comes to their site, account or not. I have uploaded my presentation and I have tested viewing using both the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser and the browser I prefer, Mozilla Firefox. Both work well with Slideshare. The links in the presentation work well. As you move the mouse cursor across a slide, if the cursor changes shape you have found a hyperlink. Left click and a new window will open showing the linked page. Close that page and you'll be back to the presentation.
So..... For those attending the presentation tonight (and anyone else interested in viewing the slides) you can click on this link
or copy-and-paste it into your browsers address window and you will be taken to Slideshare. To establish a login userid and password you will be told you need an invitation. Click on "request an invitation" and fill in your name and eMail address (at a minimum). They will eMail you (in a few minutes) a userid and password. If, when you get into Slideshare, you are not take to my presentation, come back here and click on the above link again. This time, instead of being told you need an invitation to get into Slideshare, you will be taken to the presentation.
If you have any problems or questions about this, leave them as comments to this blog entry. I'll watch it and post answers there as well. For those attending the presentation, feel free to leave questions or comments about it in the comments here as well.