The Presenters New Best Friend?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 by Simon Morton

Today sees the launch of a natty little app from Microsoft that has been lauded by some as the presenters new best friend.

We’ve had a nosy around the reviews and we think they may well be right, but as always getting the best from this new piece of software relies on taming the dreaded ‘tech compatibility’ issues.

If you have a Bluetooth enabled PC or laptop running Office 2013 (not RT) and a smartphone with a Windows 8 operating system you’re in luck. With one (or more correctly two) quick downloads you can now use your phone to point, advance and display the speaker notes for your presentation. Which we have to say is kinda cool for you – and fairly frustrating for those of us left milling about in the tech wastelands until it becomes available on other operating systems.

The Office Remote App will also allow you to dance gracefully around Excel spread sheets and Word documents too, should the fancy take you.

Great stuff indeed but we feel compelled to add in a couple of caveats:

We’ve previously shared our views on the over use of smartphones and therefore feel duty bound to mention that seeing the presenter ‘on the phone’ could be seen as a green light for the audience to do the same.

It’s also worth mentioning that some of the more mischievous among us have noted the possibility that this brings for audience members to ‘encourage progression’ of any particularly tedious presentations that they are subjected to. All it takes is an industrious attendee with the app and an insecure Bluetooth connection and you’ll all be enjoying coffee and Danish pastries sooner than you think…

That aside, we come out in favour of stuff that makes great presentations better. But for those of you still hawking around text heavy, egocentric slides this gizmo won’t make any difference at all. Sorry, but flashing the tech will never be as effective as an engaging presentation, in the same way that delivering cold, soggy fish and chips in a Learjet doesn’t make them taste any better.

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