When Steve Jobs told his software team that he wanted some great software for his famous addresses, he had them create Keynote. Now in its fifth major version, the software has matured and is considered to be the premier presentation application. It’s a fair bet that a lot of Macs have been sold purely because they can run Keynote.
However, Keynote is not a complete tool and there are some things it doesn’t do well on its own. Fortunately, an ecosystem of satellite applications has evolved and fills in the gaps.
Every now and then an application comes along that can really change the way we use our Macs. Doceri is one of those apps. It has two components – a Mac OS X application and an iPad app. It’s touted as the first interactive whiteboard software for the iPad, but that’s selling it a little short. There are lots of ways that Doceri can be used in the office, for business presentations and in classrooms.
Installation is easy. Once Doceri is installed on your Mac, the iOS application will link to it provided the two devices are on the same network. Once connected, you’ll be able to use the iPad as a secondary display so that you can use the presenter’s mode from your iPad.
However, it goes further than that. You can also use Doceri to annotate your slides. For example, if you are using a map to show a journey you can put the map on a slide and then use your finger to draw the route on the map while your audience is watching.
As well as supporting Keynote, you can demonstrate applications and use the highlighting and drawing tools to annotate what you’re doing on the screen. For educators, Doceri can be used as an interactive whiteboard system. Although it’s not as fully featured as the software that ships with the boards, it’s a useful adjunct that can be used with, rather than instead of, the software provided by the board’s vendor.
Doceri is well worth the investment if you use your Mac with a projector or external display.
If you’re really into the aesthetics of producing a visually stimulating presentation that engages your audience then a printout of your slides isn’t going to be of any value. It’s the combination of the slides and you that makes a brilliant presentation.
ScreenFlow is a video capture and editing tool that fills the gap between iMovie’s introductory capabilities and Final Cut’s professional functionality. Unlike iMovie, ScreenFlow lets you combine two video feeds easily.
As we now live in the age of ubiquitous access to streamed video, it makes better sense to create a video version of your presentation rather than a boring printout of the static slides. That’s where ScreenFlow can help you take your slides and create an interesting video that captures the essence, and not just the slides, from your presentation.
The first step is to record your presentation within Keynote and with a video camera. At a pinch an iPhone 4 or, better yet, an iPhone 4S with its 1080p capability, can be used. Then drag and drop both videos into the ScreenFlow editing tool.
By using ScreenFlow’s editing tools I was then able to toggle between having either myself or the slides on screen, depending on the point I was trying to make. This way, any props I might have used could be seen in the video as well as the slides.
If you’re looking for a tool that fills the gap between iMovie and Final Cut for sharing your slides, ScreenFlow is well worth a look.