Creating ‘no bullet point’, highly effective, presentations on the iPad

We all know that no one wants to sit through a presentation where every slide is the presenter’s notes shown as bullet points. They just ready through the slides… with everyone going glassy eyed as they quickly loose interest. A better way to keep everyone’s attention is a graphic that represents what the slide should be related to in the talk and a maximum of two lines of quick text. While there are books and templates to encourage this line of thinking, few people are able to hold to it. Software that enforces it would just be a pain to use and people would go back to their bullets rather than try to be more creative in their presentation assembly. Or… would they? The new app, HaikuDeck, seems to believe that there is hope for us yet so the iPad app helps us live within the ‘keep it interesting’ rules.

Launching Haikudeck starts with a view of presentations on the iPad, Swipe left/right to move through the decks. On the face of each deck is the option to share, present or edit. Start creating a new presentation via the ‘+’ at the bottom of the screen.

A new Haikudeck presentation starts with a blank page. On the left are options to edit text, add a background image and choose the layout of the page. Viewing slides, adding a new slide or re-ordering (tap and hold on a slide) is managed across the bottom of the screen. The upper right arrow is to enter Presentation mode.

Using the pulldown at the center top of the screen provides a view of presentation templates that are available to use. There is a small group included, with additional options available through in-app purchase. We can see Haikudeck expanding this area of the free app in the future as a review source to keep the app free-to-use.

Like any presentation software, template page layouts are offered for the location of the text boxes. This is handled through the third navigation tab on the left. Choosing a layout will show in preview, ‘Done’ results in a full screen slide text edit view.

There is no need for more than two lines of key text. The size will automatically adjust to fit the amount entered. No paragraphs of text, no lists of bullet points. The text should be a key point of what will be discussed when the slide is viewed. This doesn’t mean that Haikudeck presentations are only usable when someone is presenting more extended information. Thinking through the message in advance is needed rather than just posting notes on slides, your attendees will thank you for the extra work.

The second option down the left navigation is for choosing the background image. Light text and impactful images are the key to a minimalist presentation. If text is already entered on a slide when going to the image area, Haikudeck offers keywords from the slide to make a image search quicker. Haikudeck will present images to use that do not require licensing fees. Image search requires Internet access.

Searching for photos or using your own photos is supported. Selecting one will insert it as the slide’s background image. There is no photo editing capability, maybe a future enhancement.

Presentations can be viewed on the iPad and shown on an external screen via an iPad’s cable output. Sharing access to Haikudeck presentations is offered as an email attachment or through links to Haiku Deck’s Web site. Storing and sharing through the site does mean accepting the usage agreement. We found it an interesting read: the creator owns the content, no using someone else’s copyright content, Haikudeck can re-use, there may be other charges in the future.

Sharing through the ’email’ option creates an email with the presentation as a Power Point attachment.

Choosing to ‘Export’ a Haiku Deck means that the presentation is moved to your ‘My Gallery’ section of the Haiku site. It is not viewable to all visitors of the site unless you choose to make it so.

Sharing a link to the presentation can be done to the popular social sites. There is no login or ‘groups’ for others to see a presentation, access is controlled via a link. Anyone that has a link to the Haikudeck presentation can access it.

When a presentation has been uploaded to the Haikudeck site, it can be embedded into sites via HTML or posted on WordPress sites too.