A Quick Tip for Presentations Showing Mobile Devices

Showing a webcam on your desktop

I went along to see Leon Bambrick and Joseph Cooney at the Queensland MSDN User Group meeting last night. The attendance was amazing - they had to open up a partition to the adjacent room and every seat was filled.

Leon and Joseph spoke about ASP.NET MVC 3 with a particular focus on the tooling around it, and delivering sites for mobile devices.

One slightly off-topic tip I did pick up was from Joseph when he needed to show his MVC site on different mobile devices. It's a simple tip, but very effective.

Tip: To show a mobile device, use a webcam:

  1. Hook up a USB webcam to your presentation laptop
  2. Point the webcam at the mobile device on your desk
  3. Show the webcam screen on your computer/projector (I recommend WebcamViewer)
Pretty easy, huh?

The key point for me is that using a camera pointed at an actual device gives maximum believability.

You can use an emulator or a browser with a spoofed user-agent string, but it won't engender as much trust with the audience. In particular, using a browser or emulator with the full power of your computer behind it can make things appear nicer than they actually are; particularly when it comes to site performance and demonstrating a touch device with a mouse.

For more presentation tips, see the SSW Rules to Better Powerpoint Presentations.

Damian Brady

I'm an Australian developer, speaker, and author specialising in DevOps, MLOps, developer process, and software architecture. I love Azure DevOps, GitHub Actions, and reducing process waste.