There are many benefits available to you when you publish your presentation online. Your presentation can contain hyperlinks to appropriate Web sites anywhere on the Internet. In addition, your audience is not limited to viewing your presentation in a linear format ”from slide one, to slide two, to slide three, and so on. Individuals can quickly jump to only the topics in which they are interested, if you have provided the appropriate links. An added bonus is that your audience can view your presentation at any time, from any location, without your assistance.
Although you can save any PowerPoint presentation file as a Web page, taking advantage of already completed work, some of the more advanced PowerPoint features, such as animation and sound, may not perform as desired for all your viewers . You need to carefully consider incorporating these features before adding them to an Internet presentation. You should know your target audience's limitations for viewing special effects, large multimedia clips, and complex graphics. For optimum results on the Web, you should design the presentation specifically for the Internet medium.
The Internet offers unique benefits and limitations for a presentation. For the best results, you should keep a few guidelines in mind when you're creating a presentation that will be viewed on the Internet. The next two sections outline the limitations and benefits you need to remember.
Unlike standard presentations that rely on a projection screen or printout, the Internet doesn't provide a consistent canvas for your presentation. You must pay attention to the typical hardware and connection limitations of your target audience, as well as the software the viewers will be using. Does your average viewer have a 56K modem and 16-color screen display or a T1 communication line and a true- color screen display? The impact of your presentation depends on how well you target the capabilities of your viewers' machines.
You should estimate the page download times and what presentation hardware is likely to be needed. In general, the fancier the presentation, the longer it will take to view it. Using animation, for example, means that the people in your audience must install a special PowerPoint viewer to work with their Web browsers. Most of the time, audience participants don't want to go to the trouble. Therefore, for most projects, you should stay away from animation and large multimedia files. The use of sound, another effective presentation component, depends on an active sound card. Sound cards are not always available in the corporate world and are rare in the educational arena (although it does seem that sooner or later everyone will have these capabilities).
The most compelling benefit of the Internet is being able to gather knowledge from resources around the world. You can greatly enhance your presentation by supplying links to other relevant Internet resources. For example, a presentation on Corvettes can have links to major magazines, company fact sheets, and where to find those hard-to-find parts , as shown in Figure 30.2.
Figure 30.2. A presentation designed for the Web about Corvettes has links to other Web sites that may contain useful information.
A Web presentation can be more dynamic than an auditorium demonstration because it's not constrained by the one-way dialogue usually associated with standard presentations. On the Internet, the audience is encouraged to interact with the presentation. You can also change the dynamics of the presentation experience; the slide order, for example, could be constructed in a tree hierarchy as opposed to a linear progression.