Hit the road, Jack, but not without your IT armoury


9 Oct 2008

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Powerful mobile technology is helping road warriors make an effective business case on the move.

In times like these, travel can be seen by many as an unnecessary expense to be frowned upon. However, when your firm is aiming to hold onto loyal clients and drum up new business, getting out there and pressing the flesh is much more effective than communicating by phone or email alone.

This is where lightweight, powerful mobile technology really shines. Owner-managers are already well aware of the life-saving qualities of email on demand from great devices including the Palm Treo Pro, the BlackBerry Bold and the iPhone 3G.

In fact, the average business user seems to have grown rather attached to their smart phone, with a survey by US market research firm Studylogic last month showing that some 87pc bring their device into the bedroom at night, while some 85pc admitted to checking for email if they woke up in the middle of the night.

But what about the client meeting or the sales pitch? A smart phone alone does not a business deal make – this requires a pitch or presentation, which usually involves lugging around a laptop and projector.

A significant pointer to the increasing appetite for good business presentations is the creation of the recent World’s Best Presentation Contest 2008, where clear graphics and simple text made the most impact for venture capitalist and Entrepreneur Magazine columnist Guy Kawasaki, who was on the judging panel.

Fortunately, recent technologies mean that the road warrior can deliver this impact without the need to carry heavy equipment around. Dublin-based office equipment supplier CMS, which supplies government and educational institutes as well as commercial businesses, has had great demand for the JV10 Micro Projector, the smallest handheld projector to date.

We have all heard of the death by PowerPoint scenario, where lazy slides with Clip Art and bullet points kill all interest in a business pitch. Thankfully, this LED projector has built-in memory, so a presentation can be placed on an SD storage card and loaded onto the device, which plays most major media file types including MP3, JPEG and AVI files. In other words, you can play movies and music as part of your presentation.

Road warriors sporting a 3G iPhone, PDA or even iPod can also connect it to the micro projector and play music or movies straight from their device, which projects onto a screen or white surface.

With a 640 by 480 resolution, it works as well as a full-sized projector from a distance of around five feet, and weighing in at just 190g, it looks like the frequent business traveller can have his or her cake and eat it.

However, technology alone is not going to make the prefect presentation: inspiration is key. To get started, a good source for effective examples is SlideShare.net, where business people, academics and entrepreneurs from around the world upload their slides for all to see and download.

By Marie Boran

Pictured: projecting confidence – versatile devices, from the iPhone and BlackBerry to the lightweight JV10, can tie your smart phone into your business presentation