General Presentation Information
There are many different options for creating multimedia presentations on CD business cards, other disc media, and websites. We will cover some of the basics here to give you a general idea of what's available.
Although we have seen many CD business cards that just contain a video file or a number of PDF files, there are much better ways to present your information to the viewers of your discs.
Adobe® Flash® CS3 Professional software is the most advanced authoring environment for creating rich, interactive content for digital, web, and mobile platforms.
We use Flash exclusively now for all our custom presentations and have hundreds of Flash templates that we can customize for your business. We can also create a simple splash page based on your website that can open PDF files as well as play video or image slideshows.
We generally create an intro animation based on your company logo, an interface design based on company website or color schema, and use client supplied content such as images, text, video, voice, music, and links. we can also create whatever type of custom content you need for your presentation and feel that a custom presentation is the best way to impress prospective clients and customers.
If you have Flash, and are proficient with it, you can buy a template license and download the source files to create your own professional business presentation. This is not for beginners as Flash has a steep learning curve. Seach Flash templates.
If you want to find out more about Flash, please visit Adobe's website - http://www.adobe.com/products/flash/
Another big "Don't" for presentations, is just dumping a video file on a disc. Yes, it can be opened and played, but you're missing out on the opportunity to make the experience more user friendly for your viewer as well as having links to your website and e-mail.
We can convert your video to Flash video (FLV) which is about 1/10th the file size of AVI or Quicktime with no noticeable quality loss (requires high-quality video file). We can also create a simple Flash interface that will play your video and can have your business banner/logo and a contact page with links to your website and e-mail. This is a much more professional choice than just burning a disc with video files on it. The Flash application will run on both Macintosh and PCs and will automatically start when inserted into a CD drive on a PC.
We also offer complete video services and can record, edit, and produce professional videos for your business including voice narration and onsite videography.
While you can just dump some PDF files on a disc, we recommend spending some time to create a master PDF file with links to sections and use an auto-launching web page or executable file to start your presentation.
If you already have a nice PDF document or group of documents that you would like to put on a CD business card or other disc media, we recommend that you have us create an auto-launching Flash interface with buttons that will open each PDF file. This splash page can have your business banner/logo and a contact page with links to your website and e-mail. This is a much more professional choice than just burning a disc with PDF files on it. This program will run on both Macintosh and PCs and will automatically start when inserted into a CD drive on a PC.
If you wish to create your own splash page to open the PDF files, there are quite a few programs out there that will create an auto-run program for you. Be aware that many of them only work on PCs and not on Macintosh computers. This website has many links to companies that sell software for auto starting CDs and creating CD presentations or startup menu pages. http://cd-autostart.qarchive.org/
PDF file creation can take place using virtually any program, including presentation generation packages like Adobe Persuasion and Microsoft PowerPoint.
Once created, these files can be distilled into PDF files that can be played full-screen right out of Acrobat Exchange®. Adding links, transition effects, bookmarks, and indexes, PDF files become very flexible media for presenting information from a wide variety of sources - GIS files, Capture scans, Quark files, vector graphics, screen captures - you name it. And the pages can be different sizes and shapes. More Info
Free Presentation Software
PowerBullet Presenter - Easy, free Flash presentations
Powerbullet is a small, simple program for creating presentations in the Flash format. You should have minimal startup time in getting your first presentation together if you're familiar with using a basic word processor.
Check our our Do-it-yourself page for more free and inexpensive graphic design software.
Online Presentation Software
We will be introducing an online presentation builder application in the near future that will allow you to upload text and images, pick colors, transitions, buttons, and backgrounds, and download your presentation for use on disc media or websites.
There are many online applications already out there that will allow you to create a professional business presentation. Some of them will only export HTML files while others will create downloadable executable presentation applications. Mashable has put together some of the better online presentation tools on their website at http://mashable.com/2008/02/16/forget-powerpoint-online-presentations/
Microsoft PowerPoint™ and Silverlight™ Presentations
While PowePoint has been commonly used for business presentations that will be delivered on a PC or projector, it is lacking in features for use on CD business cards. The newer versions of PowerPoint that come with MS Office 2003 and 2007 can be packaged to run from a CD, however there is no simple way to create a default menu that can be accessed at any time during the presentation, so we don't feel that PowerPoint presentations are really all that good for CD business cards or any disc-based presentation needs. In order to view the PowerPoint presentation, the viewer must be packaged along with the presentation. A Macintosh viewer is also necessary for Mac users which increases the file size on disc. This is an issue with CD business cards as the total file size allowed is generally 50 MB.
We recommend that you send us your PowerPoint file as an outline or story board and request a cost estimate for converting it into a professional Flash presentation that will run on both Macs and PCs and will automatically start when inserted into a CD drive on a PC. This presentation can have your business banner/logo and a contact page with links to your website and e-mail. It can contain most of the information on your website as well. Use our Presentation Estimate Request Form to receive a free estimate.
Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 enables users to quickly create high-impact, dynamic presentations, while integrating workflow and ways to easily share information. From the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface to the new graphics and formatting capabilities, Office PowerPoint 2007 puts the control in your hands to create great-looking presentations. More Info
Microsoft Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform, and cross-device plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web. More Info