Who would have thought that the BlackBerry could be used to display PowerPoint presentations? Tired of dragging around your laptop every time you do a sales presentation? Well, keep dragging that laptop around, because, even though the BlackBerry Presenter does as it is supposed to, the little unit is rather slow.
I thought it was interesting how RIM describes the process for presenting using the BlackBerry Presenter is as easy as plugging it into a projector and selecting “Present”. That is like saying Lotus was as easy as counting 1, 2, and 3. Okay, the BlackBerry Presenter is not as difficult as Lotus 1-2-3, but it is not that simplistic to set it up. And then, once you have it set up properly, finding the “Present” button could be confusing.
So, what is the BlackBerry Presenter?
It is a little device, which is only slightly thicker than your BlackBerry, that enables you to display a PowerPoint presentation from your BlackBerry device to a projector or monitor. Your BlackBerry and the Presenter are connected via Bluetooth, similar to how you would connect your earpiece.
Although you may have better luck than I did, the web installer did not install the software on my BlackBerry. Now, in my opinion this really isn’t an issue because you can download the application and install it through the BlackBerry Desktop Manager. This was my method and it worked quite well.
The other software application you will need to download is the Presenter Manager, which really serves the primary purpose of updating the firmware on the Presenter device. Because this is a fairly new device, I would recommend trying to update the firmware.
When I first got the device I manually paired it to my BlackBerry. After doing some testing, I figured out that you don’t need to take that step as the presenter application automatically tries to find BlackBerry presenters on the BlueTooth network when you select the Present option. The passcode for the BlueTooth device is display in the name.
Once you have the BlackBerry Presenter software on your BlackBerry, which you may find in the Downloads folder on your home screen, you will need a PowerPoint (.ppt file) presentation to display. Depending on your version of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), if you use one, you can open PowerPoint files in the Presenter software straight from your email.
Open the BlackBerry Presenter application on your BlackBerry, find a PowerPoint file, open it and choose “Present” from the menu. Use the wheel to scroll slides.
Where is the battery? It would be nice if the device was only slightly larger and had a good capacity battery.
Still isn’t as cool or quick as the iPhone and a Mac for presentations.