There’s never been a more useful piece of equipment for a public speaker than a tablet since the invention of the autocue, and any talented speaker tends to avoid even those. The tablet allows someone to walk onto the stage with an item no larger than a pad of paper, connect it up to the A/V setup on stage and do everything from read their speech off the device to conduct presentations and even demonstrate how software works in real time. It’s an incredibly powerful device to have in your hands when presenting to an audience.
However, if you’ve got a real audience to contend with after a regular “podium” on Twitter, it is tempting to yearn for the solace of being able to communicate with a full suite of computing tools on hand. If you want to look at PDFs of important research papers or social media, then having your iPad on your podium should help you through your speech.
What Podium Cue allows public speakers to get on with talking and leave all of the peripheral worries about things going awry out of your process. Being able to swipe between pages and maintain a continuous flow of speech is a lot easier, and we’ve built color-coding and timer cues into the app to ensure that everything from staying on-topic section-by-section and ensuring you’re pacing yourself well during your speech becomes a lot easier.
One of the best things the app does to aid your presentations is limit the amount of content per slide. While this initially sounds horrifying, you can all imagine speeches where someone has a tiny font and a lot of scribbled notes in the margins and it causes chaos. Instead, this format forces you to be more concise and to expand on simple, straightforward thoughts rather than stumble through something long, complex and overly rehearsed. Plant a seed for your speeches – don’t attempt to navigate a forest.
One of the main advantages of using a tablet when doing audiovisual presentations is that you don’t have to stand by a podium or look behind you in order to see what the audience does. You’re free to stroll across the stage, mike and tablet in hand, presenting graphs, videos and even just slides without having to worry that people are questioning why you’re on stage rather than in your seat doing a voice-over into a microphone.
Thus, we cut to the heart of the matter. Public speaking isn’t just the art of being able to talk into a microphone in front of people – it’s part information delivery and part performance. You need to engage your audience visually, and being able to cross the stage, monitor what they’re seeing and even demo things for them live (by streaming from your iPad to the on-stage screen), and a tablet and apps like Podium Cue will assist you in doing that.