SlideRocket Blog

Gearing up for SXSW

By Chuck Dietrich on January 27, 2010

Hopefully you’ve heard that SlideRocket is the official online presentation partner for the upcoming SXSW Interactive Festival, March 12-16, 2010 in Austin, Texas.

Are you presenting this year? If you are, we are providing you with a free Business Edition account. Sign up to claim yours today, and we’ll be excited to help you get started in SlideRocket!

As the official online presentation partner of the event, we are thrilled with the opportunity to work with those of you presenting at SXSW to maximize the impact, effectiveness and lifetime value of your presentation. And good news for SXSW attendees- SlideRocket now becomes your go-to resource for event content – since our presentations are embeddable, SXSW will be able to share them on their site post-event, and the presenters can also do so on their own blogs or websites.

An incubator of cutting-edge technologies, the SXSW Interactive Festival brings together the world’s most creative web developers, designers, bloggers, wireless innovators, content producers, programmers, widget inventors and new media entrepreneurs. Until SlideRocket, presentations have been limited to flat, static slides built with antiquated technology. SlideRocket’s application changes the way people think about presentations – now, they are completely interactive, engaging and collaborative.

If you are presenting at SXSW this year, we would love the opportunity to work with you on your presentation.

Let’s get started with our top 10 tips for presenting:

1. Engage your audience

Check out our recent seminar, “The Backchannel: Presenter’s Nightmare or Dream Come True?” and learn how to make your presentation a two-way experience for you and your audience using social media tools such as Twitter.

2. Know your audience and interact with them

Take time to gather insight about the people you’ll be presenting to and ensure that your presentation packs a punch. Take polls or surveys, ask questions, or solicit input at various points throughout the presentation.  Here are some things you should know to keep attendees interested.

3. Use color

Evoke emotion and reactions, garner attention and influence the mood of your audience by reading our tips on using color in your presentation here.

4. Consider your angle

Point of view is everything. Stephanie Silverman of SilvermanSpeechConsulting has a great guest post on our blog, outlining 10 things to think about as you create and deliver presentations.

5. Use body language to enhance delivery

While what you say is very important, most often it’s the non-verbal cues you give that will determine how the audience responds to your presentation. Here are some great tips on our blog.

6. Maximize your presentations to achieve success

It can be difficult to promote yourself with a clear message, in a compelling and engaging manner so prospects understand and relate to the value of your product or service. Take a look at our newly updated Customer Page to get an idea of how SlideRocket users are meeting their business goals.

7. Record Audio

Creating pre-recorded content is a perfect way for allowing your presentation to live on after you are done speaking. Here are some best practices for recording audio.

8. Structuring your slides for maximum visual impact

The way you display information on your slides can make or break your presentation. Check out our tips, which include ideas on font selection, image selection and color usage.

9. Know how to use charts and diagrams

As research proves that visuals increase information clarity and retention, charts and diagrams continue to play a prominent role in presentations.  Learn the right way – and a wrong way – to structure and use them.

10. Effectively use presentation handouts

- Handouts are a great way to enhance your presentation, serving as a valuable reference tool.  Avoid rendering your handouts useless with these tips.

SlideRocket Presentation Tip – 6 Best Practices for Recording Presentation Audio

By Nat Robinson on December 16, 2009

With the release of SlideRocket’s audio recording features now is the perfect time to talk about best practices and techniques for creating great audio for your slides.

Creating pre-recorded content is perfect for allowing your prospects and customers to view your content at a time that’s convenient for them. It’s also less stressful for you and gives you the chance to refine your message and delivery until you get it just right. Hey, even the pros do more than one take. Here are some surefire ways to help you capture the best possible audio in your recordings:

1. Minimize Background Noise

Microphones and other devices have come along way in the past decade.  In fact, some are so sensitive that they’ll pick up even the slightest sound.  So, choose a nice, quiet place to record your presentation, and make sure you turn off your cell phone and disable email notifications and other noisy alerts on your PC or laptop.  You may even want to condense your notes onto a single page, since the microphone will likely pick up the sound as you flip through paper or note cards.

2. Smile!

Famous radio host Casey Kasem always smiles when he speaks on air.  It’s a technique that’s helped him create his unique sound and made him a household name.  Smiling expands your facial and neck muscles, and opens up your vocal cords.  So, if you smile while you’re recording your audio, you’ll sound happier and more convincing, and your audience will more readily embrace what you’re saying.

3. Practice, Practice, Practice

Pauses, “ums”, and “ahs” are far more noticeable in pre-recorded presentations than they are in live ones.  The more familiar you are with your material, the fewer there will be.  Script your presentation in advance, and practice thoroughly to avoid these types of grammar glitches.  If necessary, edit them out.

4. Use Strong Voice Inflection

When a presentation has been pre-recorded, audience members can’t see the speaker’s hand gestures or facial expressions.  Therefore, presenters must rely more heavily on tone and inflection to draw attention to specific details or emphasize key points.

5. Record It All at the Same Time

Weather and other environmental conditions, as well as diet, can significantly affect a person’s voice.  Because your speech may sound noticeably different from one day to the next, try to record your entire session at one time.

6.  Watch What You Eat

It may sound strange, but what you eat in the moments beforehand will have a big affect on how your audio sounds.  For example, coffee and sugary drinks increase saliva production, forcing you to pause and swallow more often.  On the other hand, the pectin in an apple will reduce excess mouth noises.  And, always take a drink of water before you start recording, so your throat doesn’t dry out as you’re speaking.

Want more valuable tips on effective presentation creation and delivery?  Want more valuable information on effective presentation creation and delivery?  Check the SlideRocket blog every week for a new presentation tip and let us know what else you’d like to hear about.

SlideRocket Presentation Tip – 5 Guides For Giving Great Online Presentations

By Nat Robinson on December 9, 2009

Presenting over the Web, instead of in person, can offer many benefits – reduced travel costs and increased convenience for participants, just to name a few.  But, effectively conveying information to a remote audience can be a challenge for even the most seasoned presenters.  What works well in face-to-face sessions may be ineffective in a Web venue and you should think about altering your presentation style accordingly.

Great online presentations.

Great online presentations.

Here are some things to consider when delivering presentations to an online audience.

1. Keep it Short and Sweet

When you’re presenting in person, you’ve got a captive audience.  But, Webcast participants are either at home or in their offices, leaving room for many distractions like ringing phones, knocks at the door, or the temptation to perform other work while they’re listening to you speak.  Therefore, your discussion should be shorter than usual, 30 minutes maximum plus time for questions and answers, to avoid potential interruptions. If you find you can’t cut down your presentation then think about employing some of these other techniques to keep your audience engaged.

2. Use Stronger Voice Inflections

Remember, your audience can’t see you.  You won’t be able to use hand gestures, facial expressions, or body language for emphasis.  All you’ve got is your voice.  So, use a stronger tone and more prominent inflections than you normally would, to make sure key points get across.

3. Keep It Interactive

It’s harder to keep your audience engaged when everyone is scattered across multiple remote locations, so speaking non-stop for a half hour, then saving Q&A until the end may not be the best approach.  Take polls or surveys, ask questions, or solicit input at various points throughout the presentation.  This type of ongoing interaction will keep attendees interested until the end of your session.

4.  Eliminate Background Noises

Your cell phone rings.  An email or pending appointment alert sets off a loud chime.  A colleague enters your office, without knocking, and begins speaking.  Day-to-day background noise in your office can be annoying and distracting to your audience – and your microphone will pick up all of it.  Be sure to turn of any phones, intercoms, alerts, or other noise-making mechanisms, and hang a “do not disturb” sign on your door, before you start presenting.

5. Check Your Equipment Ahead of Time

If your equipment fails while you’re presenting in person, you’ve got other ways to communicate.  But when you’re hosting a Webcast, your options are limited in the event of a technical disaster.  That’s why its so important to do a “test run” of your presentation several hours before your session, to ensure that your slides have uploaded properly, and that your microphone and other equipment are all in working order.

Want more valuable tips on effective presentation creation and delivery?  Visit our Web site at

SlideRocket Presentation Tip – 5 Things You Need To Know Before Presenting

By Nat Robinson on November 16, 2009
SlideRocket Tips Are Go For Launch

SlideRocket Tips Are Go For Launch

It’s no secret that the best presenters are the ones who are most prepared.  A little advance legwork can go a very long way when it comes to delivering a compelling, memorable, high-impact presentation.

Here are the five key things you need to know before you present:

1. Know Your Audience

Want to make sure you presentation packs a punch?  Then, create it from the perspective of your audience.  Why is this topic important to them?  What are they looking to learn or take away from the session?  What points will they find most interesting or relevant?  By taking the time to gather a little insight about the people you’ll be presenting to, you can ensure that your content is as beneficial as possible to everyone who attends.

2. Know Your Material

If you aren’t familiar with the content you are presenting, you may lack confidence during your delivery, or end up reading directly from notes to avoid making mistakes.  This can cause your audience to question your credibility, or to become disengaged.  But, knowing your material thoroughly beforehand will help you speak with conviction, and present yourself as an authority on the topic you are covering.

3.  Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Don’t give into the temptation to try something new, just for the sake of “shaking things up”.  Stick to what your good at, and deliver your presentation in a way that plays up your proven strengths.  For example, if you don’t have a knack for comedic timing, avoid jokes and, instead, go with a more straight-forward delivery.  Of, if you’re particularly effective at soliciting audience participation, chose a format that promotes high levels of interaction.

4. Know Your Space

The forum will have a huge effect on how your presentation should be structured, so be sure to check out the room you’ll be presenting in before you put your slides together.    Will you have space to walk around, or will be stuck behind a podium?  Will the audience be sitting classroom-style, or around a boardroom table?  Is there room for a projector and large screen, or will you have to rely on handouts? It’s also very important to visit the room several hours before your scheduled speech, to make sure all equipment, such as microphones and projectors, are working properly.

5. Know What “Plan B” Is

Disaster can strike at any time before or during your presentation.  You’ll need to know – in advance – how you will handle certain catastrophes.  What happens if your A/V equipment breaks?  What will you do if only three people show up, when you were expecting 40?  How do you handle audience questions that you do not know the answer to?  Anticipating and preparing for situations like these can help keep things on track and running smoothly, no matter what happens.

Want more valuable tips on effective presentation creation and delivery?  Check back here every Tuesday morning for a new presentation tip.


By Nat Robinson on April 29, 2009
Remotes are an important part of a well delivered presentation.

Remotes are an important part of a well delivered presentation.

A lot of presenters like to use remotes or clickers to advance their slides (and slide builds) as they present. It gives them the opportunity to unchain from the laptop, maybe walk around a bit to get their communicative juices flowing, and more importantly focus on engaging the audience with the story they’re telling.

Remotes come in different form factors and use technologies like Bluetooth, Wifi, IR (requires line of site) or RF to capture and transmit a keyboard command to your presentation software telling it what to do next. They generally all allow you to start, advance, rewind, blank the screen or end your presentation, and some have integrated laser pointers or timers that will let you pace your presentation appropriately.

A relatively new category of remotes will let you use your mobile phone to control your presentation. Apple has a Wifi iPhone client for Keynote and Salling Software has one for Mac OS and Windows that works with a good number of popular phones.

Remotes are made by such reputable brands as Logitech, Targus, Keyspan, Toshiba, Griffin and Kensington, offering a selection of models and prices to suit your needs. You can find many of them on If you’re looking for a recommendation, we agree with Garr Reynolds, smaller and simpler is better, you want a remote to be virtually invisible and enhance your presentation delivery, not detract from it.

When using remotes with SlideRocket we’ve found the best results are achieved with the Offline Player (the SlideRocket AIR client that lets you synchronize presentations to your desktop) but we’ve also had good results using the online client in different browsers including FireFox, Chrome, Safari and IE.

If you use a remote with SlideRocket and would like to share your results please comment below or post a note in our Support Forums or see our Remote Help for known issues . Happy clicking!