5 Ways to Share a Business Presentation from an iPhone or iPad
With the right apps and equipment, it’s easy to share a presentation stored on your iPhone or iPad. / Credit: Shutterstock

It's easy to share a business presentation from your laptop: Just plug your machine into a projector or a large external monitor. But why lug around a heavy laptop when you can present directly from your iPhone or iPad? With the right apps and equipment, it's easy to share a presentation stored on your phone or tablet with a small or medium-size group.

There are a few different ways to do it. You could use one of several Lightning adapter cables to attach a newer iPhone or iPad to a projector, or even directly to a large monitor or TV display. Another option is to use iOS' built-in support for Apple AirPlay, a feature that lets you stream content wirelessly from your iPhone or iPad directly to a TV — but to make it work, you'll need to purchase an Apple TV device. And for the adventurous, there is a way to mirror the screen of an older iPhone onto a TV using a 30-pin-to-HDMI adapter, but only if you're willing to jailbreak your phone. Not every solution is right for every user, so read on for five ways to share business presentations from your iPhone.

1. AirPlay

If you're looking for a hands-off solution for wireless streaming of video presentations, slideshows and other content from your iPhone or iPad to a TV, AirPlay is it. But you'll need to meet a few requirements to use the feature. First, you'll need a device running iOS version 5 or higher. That includes the iPhone 3GS and all later iterations, or any iPad. You'll also need an Apple TV set-top box, which is sold separately for $99. Apple TV is a device used primarily to view movies and TV shows, but it's also handy for business presentations because it lets you mirror your iPhone's screen onto a TV.

To use the feature, set up your Apple TV and navigate to the Settings menu, and then activate AirPlay. Assuming the Apple TV and your iPhone or iPad are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, your iOS device should automatically identify the Apple TV. Finally, activate AirPlay on your iPhone or iPad to start presenting.

2. Projector

Older projectors usually connect to computers via a VGA port, while newer projectors mostly connect via an HDMI port. However, the iPhone has neither of those. But if you have a newer iPhone (5 or 5s) or a newer iPad (4th generation or iPad Air), there are still ways to link your iOS device directly to a projector and beam your business presentation onto a wall. To do so, you'll need to purchase an adapter — either a Lightning-to-HDMI or Lightning-to-VGA, depending on the type of projector. Using a projector has definite advantages over connecting your smartphone to a digital display, the most important of which is that it allows you to display your business presentation at any size, and on just about any wall or flat surface, giving you the versatility to address larger groups.

3. TV or monitor

When a large monitor or TV display is available, you may not have to mess with projectors, secondary computers or special app configurations. With the right cables, you can connect your iPhone or iPad directly to the secondary display to mirror your screen and get right to business. Apple sells Lightning-to-HDMI adapters that will do the trick. This cable plugs directly into your phone or tablet's Lightning charging port on one end, and features a full-size HDMI port on the other end. From there, a regular HDMI cable can be used as a bridge between your iOS device and a larger digital display.

4. DisplayOut

Unlike newer iPhones and iPads, whose Lightning ports allow for easy screen mirroring with the right adapter, older models are equipped with Apple's 30-pin port. Apple does sell 30-pin-to-HDMI adapters, but they support video playback only, so you can't share Keynote slideshows and content from other apps. But there is still a way to mirror the screen of your older iPhone or iPad on a TV, without shelling out for upgrades: Just connect your device to the TV using a 30-pin-to-HDMI adapter, and then download and run the DisplayOut app.

There's a catch: DisplayOut is not available in the App Store. To run the app, you'll need to jailbreak your iPhone. Jailbreaking allows you to tweak certain settings on your iPhone, and install unauthorized apps. It's great for power users, but can potentially open up your phone to malware and security risks if you're not careful. Still, DisplayOut is a decent solution for adventurous and tech-savvy iPhone users who haven't upgraded in a while. To learn how to jailbreak your iPhone and download jailbroken apps, check out a full guideon our sister site Laptop Mag.

5. Pocket projector

If you're tired of fussing with apps, cables and accessories, there may be an easier, if more expensive, solution: a miniature projector designed specifically for your phone, such as the iKeek Pico Projector, which is compatible with the iPhone 5 and 5s. (Other projectors are available for older iPhone models.) These pocket-size projectors are simple: Just plug in your phone and turn it on to beam content directly onto a nearby wall. Some models can even wirelessly acquire images and video files from your phone, so you can navigate through your presentation without being chained to the projector.