OK, I did my first presentation in a 1-on-1 meeting using an iPad. It was a bit improvised, as I made a last minute decision to drop a paper copy for the new gadget. My experiences.

  • It still is a bit of a hassle to get your file presentable on an iPad. I installed the Keynote app, but this is an iPad-specific piece of software that does not import regular Keynote files and I have not (yet) designed presentations specifically for the iPad. So I went for PDF. 
  • In order to get the file on the iPad I had to upload it to Google docs, and then I used the GoodReader app to get it down on the device.
  • PDF was a bit tricky too. The PDF I created on my Windows PC did not render well on the iPad (custom fonts were invisible). It turned out, that it did not show well on a Mac either. So: import the Windows PowerPoint file into PowerPoint 2008 on the Mac, have the Mac convert it to PDF.
  • The PDF conversion was not ideal. The Mac decided to give my slides a white frame, and keep the parts of the pictures that were outside the slide borders in the page render. So I went back into PowerPoint to delete these (compress pictures) and start the process again.
  • I presented outside and the bright Tel Aviv sun light was too strong for the display of the iPad, so it was a bit hard to see. I already use big fonts om my slides, but my advice when designing for an iPad: go even bigger. The presentation view you have at a coffee table is one of an audience member in the back of the presentation venue.
  • I love the sophisticated screen controls of the iPad: scrolling, zooming, etc., but these are not useful when presenting. "Oops, let me zoom that back, oh, that's the next page, let me back up". There needs to be a way to switch to very simple page controls in a presentation mode. Ultimately I can see how zooming can be an interesting part of the iPad presentation experience (Prezi-like) though.
So, not a perfect experience, but I am learning.