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An employee at the Czech National Bank presents an application called "Czech Money" on an iPad.


The new iPad's brilliantly clear Retina display and its travel-friendly size help make this third-generation tablet one of the most useful sales tools on the market. Presentations pop on the high-resolution screen.

But most users only scratch the surface. Here are six tips to help you make better iPad presentations:

1. Play to the iPad's strengths.

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Keep presentations simple. For text, images and other content, bigger is usually better for getting the message across on the iPad screen, which is slightly larger than nine and a half inches across diagonally.

If you really need to have highly detailed slides, consider passing the device around the room to let your clients have a closer look.

2. Use a projector for larger groups.

iPads can be handy for one-on-one demos, but try using a projector for larger groups. ViewSonic, Dell, Optoma and other companies make portable projectors that are compatible with tablets.

At $349 (U.S.), the ViewSonic PJD5123 can be worth the price because it combines high picture quality with portability. Some users, however, might find it heavy (it weighs 2.2 kilograms). If a lightweight device is an absolute priority then the Dell M110 – which weighs less than a fifth of a kilo – might be worth the higher cost (about $540).

You can also wirelessly stream a presentation on your iPad to an HDTV using Apple TV and AirPlay. Connect the Apple TV device to the TV, get access to a Wi-Fi connection and work with the AirPlay app on your iPad.

3. Try a remote.

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Flipping through slides by hand can be distracting to an audience. But by turning your iPhone into a remote, you can move around and give touch-free presentations.

For basic presentations using Keynote – Apple's version of Microsoft PowerPoint – it's possible to use the iPhone as a remote with Keynote Remote, which is available for 99 cents from the iTunes App Store. For more advanced presentations, 2Screens Presentation Expert ($4.99 plus $2.99 for the 2Screens Remote app) can be used with an iPhone remote for viewing slide shows, documents or taking on-screen notes. It also can turn the iPhone into an on-screen laser pointer.

Microsoft PowerPoint, once the de facto standard for business presentations, is no longer the only tool to use. Two alternatives are Web-based slide show apps Prezi and SlideRocket. Both include HTML5 presentation players built specifically for the iPad, including such features as multi-touch gestures.

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If you're still tied to using PowerPoint, you can access Microsoft Office content on the iPad using apps such as Quickoffice Pro ($19.99), which also doubles as a presentation and editing tool.

5. Add interactivity with a live whiteboard.

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Make staid PDFs, documents and simple presentations more interactive by turning the iPad into an electronic whiteboard. Apps such as Air Sketch ($9.99) and Power Presenter ($1.99) let users put notes on documents, websites and slide shows. It's a way to record brainstorming sessions or get audience feedback.

For more stylish notations, try using an iPad stylus such as the Pogo Sketch Plus ($14.95) from Ten One Design.

6. Master on-the-go design with improvised graphics.

A tablet's smaller screen and inability to switch between applications quickly can leave some professionals wanting to craft presentations on a laptop or desktop. But the iPad does include tools for drawing improvised presentations.

For making quick, clean flowcharts and other presentation graphics, consider apps such as TouchDraw ($8.99) or the more richly featured OmniGraffle ($49.99), which offers diagramming, templates and freehand drawing tools to illustrate business processes.

Jonathan Blum is a freelance writer and the principal of Blumsday LLC, a Web-based content company specializing in technology news.

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