The iPad serves as a great presentation tool, thanks to Keynote or the many apps that play PowerPoint presentations. Neither of those options make creating presentations on the iPad convenient.
Enter Haiku Deck, a simple and beautiful presentation tool for the Apple iPad.
Simplicity, easy importing of creative commons images, and elegant templates that focus on the ideas and not the tool or the text mark this app’s three greatest strengths.
I learned the hard way that using PowerPoint to present ideas to an audience doesn’t make a person a skillful communicator. In the early days my congregation began revolting as I bored them with terrible slides with in-your-face transitions and fonts. The presenter and the message should always sit center stage in any presentation, not the glitzy transitions and cool fonts. In fact, those things hinder good communication most of the time.
Haiku Deck helps reduce the problem of overdone presentations with a very simple interface that presents a couple of lines of text, an image and that’s it. A Haiku Deck presentation, or “deck” as they call them, will never slap the audience in the face with glitz.
Open Haiku Deck and it takes the user through a series of tutorial screens. They help the user learn how to use the simple interface. Within a few minutes I started creating a presentation that I plan to use in a class I teach each Wednesday night at my church. It makes organizing main ideas of a “deck” easy and simple.
Easily Use Creative Commons Images
Most of us struggle to find useful images to support our presentations’ ideas. Haiku Deck searches the web for creative commons images. The user can set Haiku Deck to find only images usable for commercial settings.
I type the words on the slide that make the point I’m making. For example, if I’m talking about forgiveness, then I type that into the slide. I hit the image button and it starts finding pictures tagged with the word forgiveness. Maybe I want to hone my search. I can enter other words, like “frown” to find an image of someone who looks sorry. Finally, after finding the image, I can choose one of a number of predefined layouts.
If I want, I can add my own images either via the Camera Roll or the iPad 2 or New iPad camera. Save images from other programs or the web to the Camera Roll and then import them into Haiku Deck using the camera button on the image search screen.
I can also pick just a solid color background If I want to go even simpler.
Each layout offers a large font line of text and a smaller font line of text. The various arrangements place the text in different layouts so the presentation creator can keep the text off the main part of the chosen image.
Since the presentation shouldn’t upstage the presenter, the included templates fit the style of the app nicely, meaning they’re all very simple. If I want, I can purchase others in the app for $1.99 each or the Theme Pack for $14.99. For now, I’m running with the templates included in the free app (iTunes link). If I keep using Haiku Deck, I’ll get the add-on templates to keep the presentations fresh.
Once I finish the “deck” I can then present it over a projector or monitor connected to an Apple TV or via one of Apple’s adapters. I can also share the presentation via email, Twitter or Facebook. The presentation gets exported and sent via a link to one of the services.
To see what a finished product looks like in a web browser, check out a presentation I made for my class at church.
The app limits what I can do. It’s not a full-featured presentation tool like Keynote or PowerPoint. There’s no way to use video, which I really like to do in my presentations. Also, I can’t share lists or bullet points, which might make my presentations better most of the time. Sometimes, you need to share lists and I’d like the option to include them. I’d also like to define different colors for solid colored backgrounds.