Apps

Let Your Slides — And Voice — Do the Talking with PenXY

Written by Tara Thomas
Buffer

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Who doesn’t love PowerPoint or Keynote as a way to organize your thoughts and ideas with visuals quickly?  Today’s business climate is definitely a meeting culture, where concepts just seem to be better communicated with visual aids.  But when you follow the “rules” for high-concept, single-thought slides, a presentation emailed or downloaded loses much of its pizazz and impact.  Enter PenXY, an easy way to get your slides and visuals, along with your voice and timing, into the cloud.  No production studios and fancy mics necessary.  Just use your mobile to record audio and upload slides to their site in the cloud. Share socially, use for event follow up or e-learning, or even for-profit training.  It’s a great way to port your slides with voice — and big ideas — around the Interwebs.

Here at The Meeting Pool we love tech that helps to enliven presentations and makes sharing information easier.  So, we sat down with PenXY to check out what they’re doing to bring life to presentations.

1. What inspired your company to create this new tech?

Organizing conferences and seminars is hard work and engaging online communities is becoming an increasingly important strategy, allowing to leverage social networks to increase reach and generate revenue.  But video recordings aren’t living up to expectations. They’re hard to navigate, too big to stream to mobile devices and, worst of all, take several days to become available. By that time, no one wants to share it.  So we decided to make another way to automatically record live slide presentations.

2. What is the story behind the name?

We were looking for the descriptive name that would explain how does final product looks. However, we discovered that using narrated slideshow is not a good idea, as people start thinking that we are making outdated screen capturing-based videos of presentations. So we picked Talking Slides, as it was descriptive and highlights the coolest feature – structure of original slide deck.  Soon we decided to look for a shorter name with some educational association, like Pen or XY, and the name and PenXY was born. We found that penxy.com domain name was available and decided to go with it.

3. Coolest feature?

Every person has their own background, experience, etc. That is why it is impossible to make video recording presentation that would keep the attention of an experienced professional or graduate student. Video recordings are often “one size fits all” type of content.   Talking slides are automatically structured according to the original slide deck, so they preserve its speed and simplicity: you can skip forward in the recording, jumping to the next slide with one click or tap. Basically, it combines the easy navigation of a slide deck with an ability to listen to a piece of presenter’s speech behind any given slide!

4. What are the advantages of using PenXY?

It is a new way to automatically record your speakers’ presentations as talking slides.  Compared to videos, it provide viewers with fantastic experience by allowing them to:

  • Skip forward in the recording, jumping to the next slide with one click (coolest feature).
  • Access and share recording just seconds after the speaker is finished. This way event organizer can easily leverage in-person audience to get more visibility and encourage them to share the recording with one click.
  • View recordings from a mobile device using even wireless internet. The recording stored as 3 files: presentation, audio and slides timeline. That is why average 1h recording file size is about 50 Mb compared to 0.5 Gb for video.
  • Platform has built-in features to host, share, follow and monetize content. This way organizers are able to forget about servers and all other technical stuff.

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5. Any big plans in mind for PenXY and your company?

We are planning to leverage advantages of our lightweight recording file format:

  1. Providing one-click features to edit including functionality like cut, update presentation, and update audio.
  2. Putting video demos and interactive quizzes into recordings.
  3. Providing viewing reach analytics (how long people were watching the recording, which slide was skipped the most, etc.)

Also we are going to continue improving the recording process, making it turn-key by supporting audio capturing both from laptop or mobile app, plus we’re adding cloud storage integration (like Dropbox) to simplify the presentation uploading process, etc.

The big vision is to erase the boundary between live presentation recording and rich e-learning courses by allowing presenters to build one from Talking Slides. That would work the following way:

  1. Organizer have an event recorded with PenXY.
  2. (S)he leverages in-person audience and gets traffic from social media.
  3. Organizer picks most popular recordings and improves them using PenXY editing features working closely with the speaker.
  4. Organizer can also begin selling the courses online, sharing revenues with speakers.

PenXyPenXY sounds like a great way to distribute your presos.  Let us know if you try it.

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Tara is CMO and Co-Founder of The Meeting Pool, and a round-the-clock marketeer who works with tech companies on marketing activities including branding, events, social media, public relations, communications, strategy, and operations. Her background in the marketing of technology applications and online services spans a broad set of technologies including software-as-a-service, B2B, enterprise, financial services, publishing, real estate, and automotive markets. She has over 15 years of expertise managing strategic event marketing programs for companies including The Television Bureau of Advertising, Oracle, IPIX and The Cobalt Group, a leader in the automotive marketing space. Most recently at Certain, Inc., Thomas oversaw a myriad of strategic marketing initiatives that were essential to Certain’s growth.
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