SlideRocket Blog

Introducing HTML5 Player for iPad and iPhone

By May Allen on November 16, 2010

Introducing SlideRocket's HTML5 Player

We’re thrilled to introduce SlideRocket’s HTML5 player, enabling powerful presentations and on iPad and iPhone. Now you can present with panache whenever opportunity knocks.

With SlideRocket’s HTML5 player, you’ll have beautiful animated builds, artistic transitions, even audio and fullscreen HD video wherever you or your viewers may be. Simply publish your presentation and view it on iPad or iPhone.

I’m looking forward to seeing SlideRocket presentations on iPads and iPhones at Ironside, my favorite lunch spot in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco. Where will you present next?

Marketing Cloud Reinvents Virtual Trade Shows

By John Rode on October 13, 2010

In my eyes, attending a virtual trade show from the comfort of your office chair (or local coffee roaster in my case) trumps the conference hall, airports, and booths of the exhibit hall.  After all, today’s trade show attendee is on a business mission—seeking real answers from real people who know their stuff.

The Oct 28th virtual trade show “The Art and Science of B2B Marketing and Sales”, hosted by the marketing cloud, is an ideal place to bring your toughest sales and marketing questions.  I’m a customer of several participating companies including Marketo, Jigsaw, and of course, SlideRocket.  And while I get plenty of interaction with all of them, it’s not often that I get to take a step back and hit their top thought leaders with strategic questions.  I won’t need an appointment, I don’t even need to find their booth on a map – I’ll just click straight into their online booth.

Check out the Marketing Cloud Virtual Trade Show

Virtual Presentations From the Cloud

An online event hosted by marketing cloud service providers puts you about as far away from actual software as you can be.  Yet, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another show that makes it this easy to access so many demos, assets, and experts.

Look at the breadth of topics covered at the virtual trade show. They tackle head-on the key questions that I grapple with every day:

  • Of all my demand generation programs, which ones should I consider killing?
  • After demos to senior executives, what’s the best way to keep the conversation going?
  • How can I cost-effectively attract more long-tail organic traffic?
  • What is, and how do I maximize, the “life-time value” of a purchased email list?
  • How can I measure the specific impact of our PR and Social media programs?

I’ve already picked out the virtual presentations where I’ll get these questions answered.   And with a full day of “booth” availability, you can imagine the number of questions I’ll be asking after my 3rd cup of coffee down the street at Ironside.

Recommended reading: Art & Science Unite in the Marketing Cloud

Welcome to the New SlideRocket with Interactive, On-Demand Capabilities

By May Allen on October 5, 2010

We are very excited to announce a new suite of interactive features, a powerful dashboard interface, and a fresh look and feel, allowing you to engage your audience in an intelligent and measurable way.
View the presentation.

Interactive Forms and Polls
It’s now possible to engage and interact on a whole new level with SlideRocket’s forms and polls. Survey your audience, connect directly with your viewers, and see the results in your presentation analytics – even when you can’t be there to present.
How to add forms and polls.

Real-Time Comments
Create an interactive conversation within your presentation in real-time. No more marked-up printouts or unnecessary emails clogging your inbox. Get viewer feedback and access the best ideas from your team while you work.
How to add comments.

Actionable Analytics
With SlideRocket’s new analytics, you’ll have more actionable feedback about your audience than ever before – including viewing duration, responses to forms and polls, comments, and viewer contact information. Now you can use presentations to generate leads, qualify prospects, assess audience understanding, gain greater insight, and follow up intelligently.
How to track your presentation with analytics.

Centralized Dashboard
SlideRocket’s new design highlights new views and is easy to scan and navigate. All your presentation controls are organized in the new dashboard, where you can manage settings, sharing, collaborating, history, export, and analytics from an easy to access control center.
Check out SlideRocket’s new dashboard.

SlideRocket has turned dull static presenentations into two-way conversations, allowing you to use presentations in ways never before possible. We are thrilled to round out our suite of interactive and dynamic features with forms, polls, comments, and enhanced analytics.

So, what do you say? Let’s go where no presentation has gone before.

How Twitter Can Engage And Grow Your Presentation Audience

By John Rode on August 19, 2010

Twitter BirdTwitter is having a growing impact on presentations and you really have two opportunities to use it to greater effect. The first is to use Twitter to better engage your immediate audience, and the second to engage your larger audience beyond your webinar or conference.

In 140 characters or less: How Twitter gets you a larger, more engaged presentation audience

Twitter Tips To Engage Your Immediate Audience

  • Invite people to Tweet to their followers
  • Create a #hashtag
  • Dish out 140 character sound bites
  • Have a “friendly” monitor the Twitter back-channel
  • Take breaks for Twitter feedback – or put a Twitter feed right in your presentation
  • Invite people to Tweet their questions to you

The objective is to surprise your audience with innovative use of Twitter and juice engagement by enabling them to actually participate in and influence your presentation. In case you get any wisecracks or tomatoes, prepare yourself with a self-deprecating one-liner and a knockout comeback. Positive, negative or humorous, this interaction will only deepen audience engagement.

Put a Twitter feed directly in your slide presentation. Register for a SlideRocket Free Trial on the right to get started Arrow

How To Expand Your Audience With Twitter

We all know the effort involved in creating effective presentations, getting people to sign-up, and getting them to actually show up. And with 50% of people frequently tweeting about presentations (thanks to Hubspot’s Dan Zarrella for that stat) it behooves you to take advantage of this channel to get the greatest return on your marketing effort. Getting people to send the tweet is only the beginning. Put the right infrastructure in place ahead of your presentation and you’ll amplify the effectiveness of your Twitter efforts:

  • Create a landing page
  • Enable easy social media sharing
  • Post your presentation beforehand
  • Record a voice overlay

The landing page gives your Tweeters a place to point their followers, while enabling sharing for Twitter, Facebook, etc. on your landing page boosts the viral effect. Posting your presentation ahead of time to your blog or website ensures that you don’t have that inevitable delay between the presentation and making it available – Timeliness is critical! The voice overlay is essential to give your larger, non-attending audience a chance to hear the context behind your slides. This also frees you up to create clean slides with stunning imagery without having to fall back on bullets and dense text to get your message across – your voice will do it for you. Plus, it’s a great occasion to practice!

Find more great tips and resources at the Presentation Skills Launch Pad.

SXSW 2011 – Pick Your Panel

By May Allen on August 18, 2010

SXSW is the place for innovators to strut their stuff and set the course for emerging technology. As the official presentation provider for SXSW 2010, we saw a lot of impressive presentations during the Interactive conference and we’re looking forward to seeing more in 2011. Now is your chance to vote for the presentations you want to see at SXSW. your voting accounts for about 30% of the decision-making process for any given programming slot so take a moment to register, peruse and choose the ones you’d like to see.

This year, we submitted a couple of sessions of our own. If you’d like to hear more about building game changing companies we’d love to share so vote below.

In the spirit of startups and innovation, head over to our SXSW Accelerator 2010 presentation gallery where you can watch game-changing ideas take flight as they were pitched to a panel of expert judges.

We can’t wait to see you at SXSW 2011!

Happy Anniversary! – Man On The Moon

By John Rode on July 20, 2010

41 years ago today, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon. These engaging slides tell the story of the moment along with other NASA photos of earth that are the legacy of the Apollo 11 mission. These photos are from our friends at Flickr, which is embedded right inside the SlideRocket editor. Please Enjoy!

Our Favorite Old Spice Guy Moments

By John Rode on July 15, 2010

Talk about an engaged audience! Across YouTube, Twitter and the blogs, Old Spice has hit it big with their Old Spice Man commercials. We pulled together a sampling of great “Old Spice Guy” YouTube videos along with their associated Tweets. For kicks we added the Old Spice Man live Twitter feed to the last slide. Check it out!

We’re (all 5 million of us) impressed with how Old Spice rolled out this engaging, original and authentic commercial series. Clearly, they did their homework to define their target audience, build their brand and plan their communication. But of equal importance, they weren’t afraid to take the creative risk to stand above the fray of consumer advertising.

Congratulations to Old Spice!

Art & Science Unite In The Marketing Cloud

By John Rode on July 8, 2010

In today’s online marketing world, marketers balance the tension between “marketing art” and “marketing science”.

Clearly, the roots of marketing are in art as advertising, communications, and presentations depend on things that look good, sound good and read well.  But with the advent of online marketing the pendulum has swung to favor marketing science, right? Measure everything and let the numbers tell you what to do next? In general, marketing is trending this way. But if you look more closely across marketing disciplines it’s clear art is a key ingredient, if not the main ingredient, in each area.

Art is where your science meets the marketing road

Lead generation is a great example of a marketing discipline where science has taken a central role. The numbers rule lead generation. How many leads do you need to hit your number? What’s the Cost Per on those leads? Science is in charge, but when it gets down to the “how” of generating those qualified leads, you turn to art for the better message, landing page, email subject, etc.

“The art and the science are intermingled…the science drives the segmentation, targeting and ROI metrics, the art drives the response”.

- Chris Willis, Sales Operations/Marketing Analytics, Vertafore

In order to get all your charts pointing in the right direction, you’ll need to engage with a human. But your testing, ROI measurement and iterations to improve campaign performance will be a scientific effort.

Science for analytics, art for usability

Science has truly arrived on websites, and it’s not difficult to get carried away with website analytics and search engine optimization at the expense of usability. The use of websites as generators of organic leads via search engine rankings only increases the marketing art vs. science tension.

“The pendulum swung with great force toward the side of science, but I believe (hope) it’s settling back toward a balanced middle. 
I’ve worked on a few projects over the last couple of years where measurement (particularly SEO and testing) took 99% precedence, and I believe the brand and usability suffered greatly”.

- Kristy Melgoza, Web Designer, BC Studios

As we analyze data to help drive decision-making, marketers like Kristy remind us that no matter how much we love the Google spiders, we ignore usability at our peril.

Science informing your art

Presentations and slide decks are an interesting example of where connecting with an audience is so critical that art remains the focus. Inherently visual, presentations have always been largely an art. And with the arrival of online presentations, art has been amplified by employing science to learn how to better connect with their audience by tracking presentation performance. How many people viewed the presentation you sent? Which slides are least and most effective? Science also smooths the path for presentation creators to collaborate, control their brand, and embed multimedia more easily.

“Online presentations are the basis for effective communication and audience engagement. They must engage immediately, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a science to it. Measuring presentation effectiveness is increasingly important”.

- Nat Robinson, VP of Marketing & Business Development, SlideRocket

Art drives audience engagement

Effectively interacting with people online truly is an art form. We’re all still figuring this stuff out. Even those who are really good at it are trying to understand what they’ve got on their hands. You make this a science at your own peril. Auto-responders on Twitter? Spamming LinkedIn groups? That’s going to be a tough road. Connecting one-on-one with people in the heat of the conversation…now you have something.

“I think that marketing (in my experience) needs to balance the science with the art, because, after all, we are talking about gaining the attention of, and fostering engagement with, the individual people who comprise our audiences.”

- Sarah Skerik, Vice President of Social Media, PR Newswire

In this (wholly unscientific) polling of marketers, I was struck by the patterns that started to emerge in the marketing art versus science debate. Driven largely by their area of marketing focus, the art camp rallied around social media, websites, and presentations. The science camp spoke mostly to strategy, ROI and tactical elements of things like segmentation and SEO. But the common theme running across 80% of the responses was that maintaining a balance between art and science was key. And several marketers cited this as the primary challenge they face in light of pressure from executives. And you can really boil this debate down to ROI versus Engagement. And we all know you can’t have one without the other.

Top 10 Reasons to Consider Moving Your Business to the Cloud

By Nat Robinson on May 12, 2010

More and more companies are investing in cloud-based solutions, also commonly referred to as software-as-a-service (SaaS) or hosted, Web-based, or on-demand software.  In fact, leading technology industry analyst firm IDC forecasts that worldwide spending on cloud software will top $42 billion by 2012, representing close to 27% compound annual growth over the next several years.

Why should YOU consider taking your business to the cloud?

1. No Capital Investment
Desktop software can cost a lot of money upfront.  You’re not just purchasing the software itself, you’ll often need new hardware to support the application.  And, that can get quite expensive.  As a result, total cost of ownership will be much greater, and it will take longer for you to realize a return on your investment.  Cloud solutions typically offer a much more affordable and budget-friendly “pay-per-use” pricing model.

2. Simplified Licensing
Vendor contracts for on-site solutions can be rather complex, and license allocation can be quite a challenge to track and manage.   Licenses are often used improperly – and in some cases, illegally – distributed, putting companies at risk for fines and penalties for non-compliance or software piracy.   Usage agreements for cloud-based software are far simpler, and therefore, much easier to adhere to.

3.  Rapid Roll-out
Desktop software is often associated with long, cumbersome installations.  Depending on the sophistication of the solution, it could take weeks, or even months, before your users can start reaping the benefits.  But, because cloud solutions are already up and running at the service provider’s site, customers can often begin utilizing the software almost immediately.

4.  Minimized IT Burden
Ongoing maintenance, troubleshooting, and support are provided by the vendor with Web-based, on-demand software.  Unlike on-premise systems, this frees IT staff from tedious day-to-day monitoring and administration, allowing them to spend time on other important IT projects.

5. More Enhancements
Traditional desktop software vendors only release new versions every one and a half to two years.  Which means, customers must wait that long for new features and capabilities.  However, because cloud solution vendors can more easily rollout new functionality, they tend to do so more often, which allows them to respond much more rapidly to customer feedback and user demands.

6.  Customization
Cloud solution providers understand that the “one size fits all” approach to software is ineffective – a message that some on-premise vendors have yet to receive.  Many experts believe that on-demand systems are much easier to modify to meet specific business requirements, or to satisfy unique end user needs.

7. Go Green
Eliminating the need to operate new hardware will cut down on energy consumption significantly.  This makes cloud-based software the more environmentally-friendly option.

8. Improved Information Sharing / Collaboration
Want to share data with customers, suppliers, and other business partners?  With cloud computing, it’s fast and easy.  All they need is an Internet connection, a user ID, and password to gain access to your application.  Granting them access to your desktop software, however, can be far more complicated, since they will need to connect to your internal corporate network.

9.  Advanced Security
Any software you install on-site will be subject to the same security techniques as your other network systems.  This doesn’t pose a problem if your company is diligent about the policies and tools it uses to protect data from breach – but how many organizations can actually make that claim?  Cloud solution vendors, on the other hand, understand the impact a breach can have on their business.  They can’t afford for customers to lose confidence in their service, and therefore leverage the latest and greatest security features to maintain the full integrity of information at all times.

10.  Disaster Protection
What kinds of mechanisms do you have in place in case disaster strikes?  Chances are, not many.  On-demand solution providers, however, are always well prepared.  Frequent backups, redundant servers set up at off-site data centers, and other techniques are employed to ensure full business continuity and recovery in the event of a hardware failure, natural disaster, or other catastrophe.

To learn more about moving your business communications to the cloud, visit our Web site at

The Cloud is about Choice

By Chuck Dietrich on May 11, 2010

Cloud computing has been a term-du-jour for several years now, and proponents laud the on-demand model for its simplicity, cost savings, and technical advances. Those are great benefits of cloud computing, but we believe the biggest benefit of the cloud is choice.

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

Choice fuels competition, and competition fuels innovation – and that means better products for customers. For years, Microsoft was dominant in the office applications space, and the company didn’t focus on innovating its Office suite, because it didn’t have to. Companies would buy Office no matter what. Now, however, cloud computing has driven a surge in innovation, with dozens of companies creating new office applications that run natively in the cloud, cost much less than packaged solutions, and deliver better functionality. Companies can pick and choose the cloud-based office apps they need – from Google docs, to Box.Net document management, to SlideRocket for presentations – and quickly assemble their own “suite” of best-of-breed products delivered on demand.

Look at what choice has done for presentations. Here are some of the ways SlideRocket has innovated on presentations – leveraging Internet technology and cloud delivery to make presentations more social, shareable, and interactive.

Centralized, dynamic content and branding control: SlideRocket makes it possible to create a unified presentation that’s on brand, on message, and always up-to-date. Because SlideRocket is “plugged into” the cloud, users can automatically update charts and financial numbers by feeding data from a Google spreadsheet directly into their slides in real time. What’s more, SlideRocket is a native web application, so it’s easy to insert rich media like photos, video, images, Twitter feeds, and real-time stock or information tickers into presentations. Unlike text-based, static slides, SlideRocket presentations leverage the strengths of the cloud – secure collaboration, real-time Web data, and rich media – so that presentations become an extension of your brand.

Analytics: Without cloud computing, you’d never know the answer to important questions like these: How do you know if your presentation was successful? Did your prospects view the presentation? How many times? Did they forward it to other decision makers? How much time did each person spend viewing each slide? SlideRocket leverages the connected cloud model to deliver this level of analytics for every presentation. Companies know immediately which topics are of interest to their prospects and customers and, therefore, can personalize presentations for the best results.

Secure collaboration and sharing: The cloud also makes collaborating and sharing infinitely easier than with desktop-based, packaged software. No more emailing attachments and suffering through version control. Because SlideRocket presentations are fully hosted in the cloud and don’t reside on your desktop, users can collaborate on slides in real time, click a button to share them with colleagues, prospects, or partners, and clearly see what changes other people have made. Of course, often, you don’t want other people to change your slides, so SlideRocket also offers locking and security features.

The cloud has enabled some amazing advances in office applications, providing people with a choice of innovate applications that help them work more efficiently. We’ve banded together with some of the most innovative cloud companies around – including, Zuora, Socialtext and more – to support and spread this important message of choice.

What will you choose? We choose the cloud.

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