Powerpoint presentations. Not once in the history of humanity has someone said “Oh man, I LOVE giving Powerpoint presentations” non-sarcastically. Really, I looked it up.
Presefy, a four-man team out of Finland, is making presenting a whole lot less painful by harnessing the power of the Interwebs to do away with some of the classic problems.
As anyone who has studied in the fine art of Giving Presentations That Aren’t Horrible can tell you, the first step in giving an engaging talk is getting the hell away from your computer. You want to talk with your audience, not at your laptop. That means using a remote control.
And using a remote control, of course, means stepping into a world of pain. Oh, you’re using someone else’s laptop at the last minute? Better track down some compatible USB drivers and hope that they don’t explode in your face. Oh, you forgot to swap out the batteries with fresh ones? Hope you didn’t want to go past the third slide.
Presefy wants to kill off the uni-purpose remote control, instead pushing the responsibility of steering to your smartphone. But here’s the special twist: because it’s all done through the browser, no special drivers or apps are required.
Here’s how it works:
- You create an account at Presefy, then upload your presentation from your computer.
- You head on over to Presefy on your phone, log in, and hit the “Play” button next to whichever presentation you’re trying to show
- You point any computer attached to any display to your channel’s unique URL (e.g http://www.presefy.com/gregkumparak). The presentation pops up on screen immediately
- You swipe from slide to slide right from the web interface on your phone, and the onscreen slides react accordingly.
Oh, and another cool trick: since it’s all being pushed over the web anyway, you can have just about as many people viewing the presentation on their own laptops as you want. No more straining to see what the slide says just because the dude who made it decided to put all of his bulletpoints in 8 pt. Comic Sans. College professors can give lectures without the folks in the back needing binoculars.
Presefy is currently free, though the team is working on a Pro plan with features like password-protected presentations, downloadable presentations, and the ability for viewers to go between slides without screwing with the main display. The service only plays friendly with Powerpoints and PDFs at the moment (folks on Keynote will have to export to something else), but the team says other formats are coming soon.
The one catch: since this is all done through the browser, you’ll want to make sure the venue you’re presenting at has solid connectivity. In a college classroom or a meeting room at your favorite VC’s office? Sure. At a tech conference with 5,000 people all chorking up the connection? This might not the best solution.