Presenting on iPad

I have read the previous posts on this topic and don’t see anything current. I am giving 3 presentations in Melbourne, Australia (traveling from South Carolina). I have hooked up my iPad to my home monitor and a projector at work via HDMI (had use a USB C hub and add a AUX-USBC adapter to the speaker jack. . ). It all worked fine.
WWYD (what would you do?) Rely on the iPad or take the MBA as insurance?
One (minor) issue is that I cannot get the iPhone to connect to keynote on the iPad to use as a remote. Not a deal breaker.

I would take the Air, but I personally wouldn’t travel with just my iPad in any case.

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Maybe you find a solution here

For international presentations I always take both my MBP and my iPad and I have or make paper backups of everything and also upload to iCloud and Dropbox. I hope for the best but prepare for the worse. The only exception is when traveling to a communist/closed country. In those instances I take paper and leave the electronics at home or with friends in another country.


I once tried to rely on an iPad and it failed terribly as the projecter wouldn’t connect even with the official Apple adaptor.

I’ve also been in situations where MacBooks cannot connect to some projectors or screens, again with official adapters.

My advice is to export to PPT and take on a USB stick just in case.


Yeah. . I’ve been trying this for days. . Cannot add the iPhone to the iPad and vice versa. Works perfectly between iPhone and MBAIR.
(thanks, tho!)

Yes I would take the MBA. Also make sure you have all possible needed cables and dongles…

(David S used to talk about this some time ago)

Thanks! I have dongles, etc a plenty.

I’ve used my ipad for presentations every week for 5 years and it has never ever once choked.

I use split screen, left side for projection and right side for my notes (only the left side projects). I use images videos and often switch between 2-3 apps. If your data is in the ipad you should have no problems.

Make sure you have a good quality cable. I have a usb-c to hdmi. Video and audio work great.


Thanks. It does sound very cool, but given the importance and distance of this presentation, I’m probably going to play it safe :slight_smile:
Are you saying you take your own HDMI cable? I do have many of various lengths and none have ever ‘quit’ on me.

I always recommend PDF in addition to PPT (and even in place of PPT). Yes also absolutely have this on a USB stick. It is the the next generation from the old days when you would still carry plastic overhead slides in addition to your computer electronic presentation … just in case the power or projector bulb would go out.

The quality of the HDMI cable and/or the adaptors being used matter. I’ve had monitors that could not be driven properly simply because the HDMI cable was sub-par.


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All good advice. Thanks.

I’ve had experienced with presenting with a small/large audience with just my iPad. This was a time that my only computer is an iPad Pro.

I make sure that I have a PPT file/PDF (stored in USB stick), an HDMI cable, an adaptor to a projector (I’ve had an experience where the only projector available only accepts VGA).

Worst part in one my talk was that none of the stuff was working, so a cameraman had to point his camera to my iPad for projection. Since the computer hooked up on the projector is 20 meters away and no one is available to control my slides.

With a small audience, I just hold up my iPad most of the time and have a large whiteboard.

My advice, bring your Macbook Air and a plethora of adaptors and a two USB stick (one for Mac and one for Windows format).

And while you’re at it don’t forget the kitchen sink.

I don’t understand the logic that the macbook will be fine and the iPad won’t? If I needed to take two devices to every presentation I’d seriously look at the reliability of my hardware. My experience tells me that mac hardware is excellent.

I normally contact the venue and ask them what display options they are using. The only thing that has caused me problems ever are dongles and cables. This has been solved by buying a good quality 4m cable which goes usb-c to hdmi and works almost anywhere with tech 10 years old or less. You can also ask the venue what connections you need.

If you wanted a complete fool proof backup export your slides to jpegs and copy onto a usb. Nearly every presentation software out there will import jpegs. The place you’re going to can open their laptop and import your slides to a new presentation and your good to go.

I’ve been doing this gig for 20+ years on a weekly basis.

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I mail any presentation to the organizers of the conference. Not my job to care about cables, dongles, equipment, etc.

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I’ll add that I’ve a different route in recent years, I use far fewer slides. Sometimes, none.

I think we have become far too dependent on slides for presentations. I may have a few slides, perhaps for a short quote or two or a graphic. I rely more on stories and illustrations to engage the audience. If I want more details delivered, I prepare PDFs and have those distributed electronically to conference participants.


I am a music teacher education and need to show video and musical examples. I do agree that less is more for many things.

My organizer has been very communicative. Because it’s Australia and I am giving a keynote speech, I am not taking any chances. I can leave my computer in Melbourne while we travel and then pick up when we return for another work engagement.

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When in Australia, don’t make the mistake I made. My host picked me up from the airport to take me to the conference center where I was scheduled to speak a few hours later. While walking downtown we stopped at a light to cross the street. When it was time to cross I instinctively looked left and proceeded into the street.

Big mistake! My host grabbed me and jerked me back onto the sidewalk just as a car came by from the right. He pointed down at the sidewalk where I saw this, “Look Right!” :slightly_smiling_face:

The advice about a ppt copy is good. Most universities will be set up for both Apple and PC but lots of businesses including conference venues only run pc.

If you’re doing the keynote, you should check. Some venues won’t let you plug your machine in and require the use of the venue’s machine.

Also, it is very cold this time of year being winter.