I’ve been preaching, teaching, and presenting from my iPad 2 tablet for well over a year now. Here’s a few tips I’ve learned while using the iPad tablet for public speaking, preaching, and teaching:
1) FIND THE RIGHT APP
Most preachers I know use some sort of word processing app to create their sermons and presentations. QuickOffice and Pages are two of the most popular. I use QuickOffice, because it can support Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Excel documents. Pages has a few more formatting options, but it only supports Word Documents. Creating any document on a tablet is difficult because it’s tough to hunt and peck a large document. I actually type my rough draft on my laptop in Microsoft Word, then transfer it to the tablet where I tweak it as needed. This saves a lot of time and headache for me.
I have all my lessons and sermons in QuickOffice, but when I speak, I actually use a teleprompter app called PrompterPro. I LOVE this app! I copy the text from my document and paste it into the PrompterPro app. I can then adjust certain font sizes, spacing, and even text color. During the presentation, it gives me a timer at the top of the screen to show me exactly how long I’ve been speaking, AND it will record my presentation in a fairly high quality file. I purchased the app for 3.99 a year or so ago. There are several other teleprompting apps, but this one had the most features at the time. Here’s a shot of what I see when speaking:
2) ADJUST THE SETTINGS PROPERLY
Be sure to always shut off your screen auto lock. If you go into “SETTINGS”, select “GENERAL” then select “AUTO LOCK” you’ll have the option to set it to “NEVER”. Be sure to do that so the screen doesn’t go black on you in the middle of your presentation.
Also, a pet peeve of mine is seeing the white glow of the tablet shining on the face of the speaker, or worse…seeing the reflection of the screen in their glasses. This can be fixed very easily. If you choose to use the PrompterPro app I’ve recommended, the background is automatically black so it’s not an issue. But if you use some sort of word processing app, your background will be white and it will shine like the noonday sun. Although an illuminating glow above your head might seem heavenly, from below your head it just looks creepy. I guess if you include a ghost story in your presentation perhaps it would be a valuable commodity. Here’s how you can fix this:
Enter the SETTINGS screen. Select “GENERAL” then scroll down in the right-hand column. You should see “ACCESIBILITY.” Select it. You should then see an option to “INVERT COLORS.” Turn it to “ON.” You’ll notice everything immediately looks black. Your usual screens will look funny, but, when you open your word processor file to speak from, your background will be black instead of white and you won’t have the distracting glare or, if you wear glasses, that distracting reflection for all to see. Here’s a shot of a Word Document with the inverted colors:
Also, if you have a wi-fi or 3g connected tablet, disconnect the internet connection. This will keep pop-ups from jumping in on you during the presentation. The simplest way to do this is to turn on the AIRPLANE MODE in the SETTINGS screen. Be sure to turn the volume down, as well.
3) APPLE VS. ANDROID—choosing the proper tablet
I am NOT an Apple fanboy. I prefer Android through and through. But, I speak from an iPad (although I cover up the Apple icon on the back just b/c I dislike it). But here’s why I use it: the iPad simply scrolls more smoothly than any current Android tablets.
As I was researching which tablet to buy, this became very apparent. If you scroll an android tablet slowly, you’ll notice a slight jump in the icon or text. When you speed up your swipe, it causes text to blur quite significantly. The iPad has a much smoother movement that doesn’t blur the text as significantly. This is the main reason I went with the iPad.
Although, I recently purchased the Galaxy s3 as my phone, and it is the first Android OS I’ve seen that scrolls as smoothly as the iPad. But the tablets I’ve checked out have yet to reach this capability. I haven’t researched the Windows Surface, so I can’t speak to its scrolling and swiping capabilities. Perhaps someone who owns one might comment.
4) KEEP YOUR FILES IN THE CLOUD
Be sure to open a cloud account to store all your presentations, messages, and lessons. If you only keep them on your tablet and the tablet dies at some point, you run the risk of losing everything. Also, if you have limited storage on your tablet, you can save space by keeping files in the cloud and grabbing them as needed.
Apple now has it’s own free cloud program, and if you have an iPad, it will likely prompt you to set up an account from time to time. I use http://www.dropbox.com mostly, but http://www.box.com is also available. All you have to do is head there and open an account. It’s totally free. Then when you create a file, save it to your cloud site, and you can pull it as needed to your tablet when you’re ready.
The greatest convenience of a tablet for me is the fact that I can have ALL my messages, lessons, and presentations on one device. A few years ago, I had to carry a large file box with all my handwritten presentations anywhere I went if I were speaking more than a few times. Now, it’s all at my fingertips in a nice compact tablet. And being able to record and time my presentations has become an absolute necessity for me now.
I hope this helps, happy speaking!