Paul’s Challenge, BlackBerry PlayBook Edition – Presenting with the Mobile Office

Enterprise

Mobile office presenting accessories

If you’ve read the previous post – and if you follow me on Twitter® (@LivingLifeBB) – you know that I travel with just a BlackBerry® smartphone and a BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet. That’s right, no laptop!

When it comes to presenting on the road, for the longest time I used the BlackBerry® Presenter and it worked great. Now with my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, I can do my normal Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentations and much more. This post will cover all of the hardware and software that you will need to be successful in presenting from the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

Hardware

The best presenters can narrow their success down to one key word: “preparation.” You have to be ready for any scenario that you may be dropped into. At an absolute minimum you will need an HDMI cable, and if you are lucky enough to always get an HDMI-enabled projector or monitor, that’s all you will need. But in an effort to be prepared, I suggest two other items: an HDMI to VGA connector, and an HDMI coupler so you can present to conventional and popular VGA ports. Optionally you can include a DVI to HDMI converter in your kit, but I’ve never run across a projector that didn’t have both VGA and DVI inputs. Lastly, I always bring my portable stand to keep the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet upright so that it is easy to change slides.

Software

You now have the hardware you need for just about any projector or monitor scenario. However, we want to stay away from just doing a simple PowerPoint presentation. I have a few apps that I would recommend you use to add a little more to a presentation. Besides Slideshow To Go®, SketchBook is a heavily used app in presentations, with my primary use for it being white-boarding. What makes this great for presentations is the ability to place a picture in the background and write overtop. This has been particularly helpful in architecture discussions.

I also use the Video application in my presentation as a way to show recorded demos and product videos. It has come in handy on several occasions when people want to see a more detailed perspective.

Mobile office presenting accessories

Extras

The point of this blog post series (and past series) is “no laptops allowed,” and I sure don’t want you to replace a laptop with five pounds of accessories. Besides the three items for presenting, I always carry around the following items: BlackBerry PlayBook tablet charger (doubles as a rapid charger for your BlackBerry smartphone), small USB charger, USB cable, headphones, tablet pen, portable stand, and the BlackBerry Presenter. I know that some of you will ask, “Why would you carry the BlackBerry Presenter when you can present from the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet?” As I said, it’s all about preparation, and you just never know. This is a lot of small loose items to be carrying around, but all of this fits in an easy to carry “Gear Pouch”.

Would you find presenting from the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet more useful than using your laptop? Share your thoughts on ‘mobile presenting’ in the comments below!

About Paul S.

Paul is Manager of Technical Services for the Enterprise Sales Technical Team at Research In Motion® (RIM®). Paul's teams of six technical managers are responsible for RIM’s largest global accounts in North America. He's presented to a wide range of audiences in the United States and Europe on the development options, benefits and strengths of the BlackBerry platform. Highlights from Paul's time with RIM include setup and support of the BlackBerry smartphone installation for the Office of President George Bush (41st), launch of the BlackBerry platform in Barbados, onsite technical training to global wireless carriers and partners, and presenting as a six time speaker at RIM’s Wireless Enterprise Symposium (now BlackBerry World). Prior to RIM, Paul worked for a small consulting firm that developed applications on Lotus Domino business solutions.

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