Best Prompter: The App to Prompt Your Pitch

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With Best Prompter, you won’t be the dork reading your speech from notecards...

Just two weeks ago I found myself in front of a rather geeky group of people pitching an Internet startup project in a competition — and reading my notes from a little spiral notebook. I felt like a dinosaur, even though all the other (younger) teams were reading from paper too…

Still, I hold myself to a geekier standard, so when I saw Best Prompter a few days later, I decided to test it so I would never again be a dorky dinosaur when public speaking.

Using the app on the iPhone is perfect if you’re the kind of speaker who can just glance down at your notes, pick out a keyword or two, and then communicate your complete idea.

It works for iPad too, which, with all that extra space, would let you get more detailed. Or you could just make your few keywords HUGE.

With Best Prompter you can easily format your text — font, size, color, bold, italics, bulleted lists, section dividers, etc. — so you can organize your ideas into chunks and make certain words stand out, so you can easily pick out the key concepts.

Once you’re in front of that crowd, you can manually scroll through your notes, or set the app to scroll your text (10 speeds to choose from).

You can choose a background color (which seems kind of superfluous). You can also make your text display mirrored (backwards) because… I have no idea.

This app has a tiny learning curve because its icons are not that intuitively or logically placed and they’re kind of hard to read because of the silly fake leather or whatever that is (at least you can scroll in full-screen mode, which is nice and clean). Plus there’s lots of redundancy (at least 3 different places to change text size). So the learning curve is more about spending time tapping everything to see what it does than about having to learn something complex. But if you speak a lot, the final result is worth the few minutes you’ll spend fiddling around with it.

Before typing text on a new page, choose a style (or styles) from the row of icons at the bottom. Don’t be freaked out by the codes. For example, you’ll tap the H1 style (Header 1), and the cursor will be placed in between the codes, so whatever you type in between the codes picks up that style. It’s a little awkward at first, but it takes very little time to get used to working with visible codes.

With the Pro version ($3.99) you can record your practice sessions. But why not just let the native iPhone app Voice Memos record in the background while you read your notes?

Cowgirl App is an app review site founded by Pamela Poole and Samantha Villenave. Pam is a tech blogger (with work on ReadWrite, GigaOm and HuffPo) and a translator. She reviews iOS apps. Sam is a writer and artist who brings exposure to the visual art community through Art+Talk Hangouts on Air and the monthly #FirstFridayArtWalk on Google+. She covers Android and iPad apps.

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