Pick-your-own (BlackBerry) PowerPoint

By Kate Kemp,

If your PowerPoints are often stifled by the inevitably-stressful hit-and-miss set-up, BlackBerry Presenter promises to soothe your woes by beaming slides straight from your smartphone. This unique presentation partner is pitched at those who find travelling with a laptop too cumbersome or the urge to present too strong to hang around for a computer to boot-up.

blackberry presenterPerhaps you’re one of those people compelled to draw on a whiteboard to illustrate your point in every meeting or bring a boardroom’s-worth of handouts to every social occasion?? Well, you may have found your perfect accomplice in this nifty RIM module.

This portable PowerPointer could certainly reassure those who make presentations so infrequently they get bamboozled by the technology required to make it all happen. Or suit travelling academics doing the rounds of trade shows imparting wisdom peppered by pie chart transitions.

The actual Presenter looks pretty smart and, although badged as a PowerPoint accessory, also beams PDFs and other image files from your BlackBerry via Bluetooth – potentially making it more of a draw than first thought. It basically bridges the gap between your presentation file and a monitor/projector. Simply hook up via your “video output device” and a VGA cable or S-Video cable, power on, point and go.

With BlackBerrys now as common in the local sweetshop as in Alan Sugar’s boardroom, we’re glad its traditional business audience hasn’t been ignored. Weighing just 140 grams and measuring a diminutive 3.4 x 2.4 x 0.9 inches, you can tuck the Presenter into your briefcase on call for when you get the impulse to present.

Simply plug it into your smartphone to view slides on the BlackBerry screen. Then use your phone as a remote controller to flick between pages and refer to your notes as you go. If delivering a bland presentation is your idea of a boardroom faux-pas, you’ll be relived to learn that BlackBerry Presenter also supports 24 animations and 55 transition styles so you can apply your trademark effects even when you’re away from your desk.

It’s ironic that the people who crumple into a nervous wreck when they leave their laptop redundant are precisely those to whom the Presenter is likely to appeal. Undoubtedly an asset to slideshows everywhere, whether its target audience will be clamouring to snap it up or sat at the back trying to sleep with their eyes open is