Presenter's Toolbox: Apps and Gear For a Successful Presentation

November 17, 2014

presentation-checklist-titleAs someone who runs a presentation company and speaks publicly for a living, I often get asked about my arsenal of presentation tools. I thought I’d give an inside look into what I use on a consistent basis. Here's my checklist for a successful presentation:


pre-presentation-toolsI’m a huge advocate of always having a back-up plan, so I carry duplicates of many items to make sure I can get on stage with no unnecessary glitches. Here's what I use to prep and create my presentation:

-Evernote for gathering all of my thoughts, quotes, and ideas

-iA Writer is my go-to app if I choose to script out my content

-iPhoto to store all of my imagery

-Pixelmator for making last minute design edits

-Keynote is my presentation software of choice

-High Sierra backpack for carrying everything

The Presentation


I have been an Apple user for almost 20 years, so you’ll see that my tools favor that direction. Here's what I use during a speech:

-Bottled water is an essential to avoid a dry mouth

-MacBook Air for presenting

-iPad Mini (Keynote version) is my back-up option #1 to the MacBook Air

-Western Digital My Passport 1TB external drive (PDF, Keynote, and PPT versions) is my back-up option #2

-DropBox (PDF, Keynote, and PPT versions) is my back-up option #3

-Apple Mini Displayport to VGA

-PNY Mini Displayport to HDMI

-Logitech Presenter R-800 is my presenter of choice

-The Keynote Remote app on my iPhone is my presenter back-up option

-Brookstone HDMI Pocket Projector serves as a back-up projector



Fresh breath and takeaway items are absolutely essential at the end of any talk.

-Altoids (Arctic) are a must for up-and-close Q&A

-Business cards

-How to be a Presentation God (extra copies for interested parties)

-Takeaway booklet (extra copies for interested parties)

Preparing, sustaining, and ending a presentation with few to no glitches require a lot of foresight. Some of these tools will serve you well while others just may not be part of your personal style. Choose what works best for you and have fun choosing your alternatives.

Author Bio

Scott Schwertly is the author of How to Be a Presentation God and CEO ofEthos3, a Nashville, TN-based presentation boutique providingprofessional presentation design and training for national and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to branded individuals like Guy Kawasaki. If Scott is not working with his team building presentations, you will find him in the pool, on the bike, or on a long run. Scott lives in Nashville, TN with his wife and three dogs. He has a B.A. and M.B.A. from Harding University.

Follow the conversation and connect with Scott on LinkedIn or Twitter.