Preaching or Presenting from an iPad

So I was reading online and saw a post from someone on the top ten things you MUST do when preaching from an iPad.  I thought some were good, others seemed off… so here’s my ‘checklist’ for preaching from my iPad.  Since preaching is not much different than many other presentations… this may be useful for those presenting from ipad’s in other situations.

goodread1) I always write my sermons using Microsoft Word.  I save my file format in the Word 97-2003 format for preaching from.  This allows two things, I can edit it on the computer or ipad (using QuickOffice)  and when I preach from it, I find the formatting displays better.  Some choose to save their sermons in PDF… I prefer to have mine easier to edit.

2) I save my sermon onto my dropbox account.  Don’t have dropbox? it’s an online file storage tool that allows you to access files wherever you are… essentially a USB key without the USB key.  If you wan’t to try it out… click here.

3) I open the file in dropbox on my ipad, and from the dropbox app I choose the file, and then in the top right I choose ‘open in’ and the app I use is GoodReader.  GoodReader opens and displays most file formats.  You can find GoodReader at or in the Apple App store.  If you’re working with a PDF format you can mark up your PDF using GoodReader to write in notes and add highlighting.    You can access dropbox directly in GoodReader, I just like doing it this way, as I find it a bit simpler flow wise.

4) Before preaching, make sure GoodReader is open.

5) THere are some optimal settings for preaching.  Some suggest turning off any passcode, etc.  I’ve toyed with that, but what I find works best for me is to leave it with my everyday settings.  I scroll as I read/reference my notes.   I don’t like leaving my iPad unlocked because if I leave it on the pulpit for some reason, I want it locked so no one can access my files, contact list, etc.

6) Turn the volume down.

7) Turn off notifications…  Apple’s Do Not Disturb feature works nicely.  I use Airplane mode at times, but find when I unlock the screen I get a notification.

8) If you can’t handle the orientation rotating, turn on the rotation lock.

9) Keep your ipad lighting at an appropriate level so that you don’t get a glow from the ipad, but bright enough you can see.

10) If I’ve been using the ipad for lots of media, games,etc. I close down all the apps prior to preaching.

11) IF I’m skyping with a missionary, or want to display something from my ipad on the projector screen. I use a program such as Reflector or AirServer on the computer, ensure I have a strong wifi connection  and then use Airplay to project it onto the screen.  Some people use AppleTV, but I hate switching sources on a projector… to me it’s slow, and open to problems such as not finding the signal, etc.

12) Explore what works for you and revisit it.  Apps are updated, things change, needs shift.  Spend some time asking others what they’re doing and using for preaching from an iPad.  One option I watch is a Powerpoint remote where I can view notes, and control powerpoint slides.  To me this has promise… at some point I might try it.   I’ve also looked at trying the teleprompter apps I’ve seen.  Someone else is innovating and has created an app called PodiumCue.

13) Don’t try a new arrangement without ‘playing with it’ first.  Don’t work out the kinks of using the iPad while preaching or presenting.   Try new things, just do it while practicing/rehearsing or just trying things out.

14) Don’t settle.  I think the key for me is until I’m satisfied and I can do everything I want the way I want it, I’m going to keep trying to make things work the way I want them too.

So there are some thoughts on presenting/preaching.  Hope they’re helpful and I look forward to hearing your ideas on presenting from an iPad.