Zoho Showtime App

Check out Zoho's Showtime presentation app here:


This is a plug-in for presentation creation software like PowerPoint and a companion mobile app to faciliate audience feedback online in real time. It is an interesting concept: allow your audience to freely access your slide deck on their own devices as you deliver your presentation -- to move forward, back and through your slides at their own speed -- and "like", not "like" or otherwise comment on your individual slides and text questions in realtime to you the speaker.

This seems a little like focus grouping your deck as you give your presentation, which may be a little late in the game. It is good to get feedback on which slides seemed to resonate most with the audience, but the approach carries with it troubling implications for your presentation event. For example:

- You have enough to worry about standing and delivering your presentation and reaching your audience. Stage managing a live technology platform and managing message flow while you are trying to present is a distraction you don't need.

- As several commenters have already observed, relying on a stable internet connection during a live presentation is always risky.

- This technology app shifts all the focus to your deck and takes it away from you and your message. The deck is normally one of the least important part of your presentation and this platform encourages your audience to look at their devices, not you and to read rather than listen.

- It creates artificial distance between you and your audience.

- The audience can now be literally on different pages and not "on the same page" as you proceed through the presentation.

- It has the pseudo scientific appeal of quantifiable "data" but what is being measured, how representative it is, how actionable it is, etc. is not at all clear.

- You have to upload your deck to their cloud which you may not want to do for highly confidential/sensitive content.

I can see some value when you are giving a live presentation to an assembled group and have multiple remote listeners to your presentation who can't actually see you (as a type of supplement to WebEx). This functionality may keep the remote listeners more engaged than they might otherwise be and allow you to have a way to recieve and gage feedback from them that you might othewise miss by not being able to observe them. It may also be an interesting way to work collaboratively this way on a presentation -- in dress rehearsal -- with a group of remote particpants.

But it may be more trouble than its worth for use during a straightforward presentation you are giving on your own. It's greatest value may be in simply serving as a reminder of those quesitons you should be asking your audience anyway and things you should be mindful of in terms of making sure you are engaging your audience at every step.

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