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Review: "Adobe PRESENTER -- the Name Says It All!"
https://www.trustradius.com/corporate-learning-managementAdobe PresenterUnspecified7.727101
Laura Gillenwater profile photo
Updated May 08, 2017

Review: "Adobe PRESENTER -- the Name Says It All!"

Score 8 out of 101
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Overall Satisfaction with Adobe Presenter

Our organization generally uses this tool when what we're trying to create is the asynchronous, online version of someone getting up in front of a large group and making a presentation (rather than trying to do real "training"). As such, we've used it to announce new product features or give general overviews of new products (to be viewed as "pre-work" for an upcoming training session), do short overview demos of new systems (more of a "here's what it can do" than "here's how to do it," although it could be used for micro-learning, if the tasks are very short and simple), and to convey some basic on-boarding info, such as general benefits and compensation info. The vast majority of the Adobe Presenter users in our U.S. organization are in one of our learning and development departments, although, occasionally, it's been used by a few people in other departments (although I can't say exactly which, off-hand).
  • This tool is great for allowing anyone already familiar with PowerPoint to convey reasonably simple and short content asynchronously. It's quick and easy to learn how to use it and even allows for some basic types of quiz questions.
  • You can publish it to your company's Adobe server (if you have one) or as a SCORM package to upload to a traditional LMS.
  • It gives you the choice of recording audio within its own PowerPoint ribbon (not my method of choice) or to import and sync audio created outside of Presenter (which I prefer, because it's easier to edit and maintain.)
  • I also love that it comes with Adobe Presenter Video Express, which can be used within the Presenter ribbon or as a stand-alone application. It's a very easy way to create short system demos with narration, and allows for zooming and panning, as well as allowing you to intersperse, or even simultaneously show, webcam video.
  • I don't know if this qualifies as a "con," per se, but it's important not to try and use this as a full-fledged e-learning authoring tool, as the opportunities it affords for effective practice and feedback is minimal. It's a well-named product, since "Presenter" really is best used for "presentations," rather than bona fide training.
  • There's no real "programming" ability (like being able to use custom actions and variables).
  • I also wish that, when syncing animations to audio narration, if you make a mistake mid-way through a slide, you could re-do just from where you made the mistake on forward, rather than having to resync the whole slide.
  • Better audio editing capabilities within the product would make it feel less "necessary" to me to use an external audio editing product.
  • It's also not the cheapest of the tools that does this kind of thing. For example, SNAP, by Trivantis, does many of the same things at about a tenth the cost.
  • We don't really measure the ROI of this tool directly or in any kind of "hard numbers" way.
  • However, I will say that its ease and speed of use (compared to some of our more full-featured e-learning authoring tools) does allow us to create more deliverables more quickly, which has a (non-quantified) positive ROI in terms of L&D staffing and throughput.
  • Also, the fact that it's PowerPoint-based means that we can have subject-matter experts create the initial draft of the underlying content, saving L&D "specialist" time for just doing stuff that may require greater expertise, like tweaking the content for better instructional design, creating the quiz questions (if any), recording the narration, and doing the other more "technical" Adobe-Presenter-specific things.
  • It also saves the company money in that we don't have to provide the subject-matter expert with Adobe Presenter licences for them to be able to substantially contribute to the creation of the module.
I compared Adobe Presenter to Brainshark many years ago and found that I vastly preferred Presenter because it had much better quality audio (Brainshark used telephones to record audio at that point, although that may have changed over the years) and was easier and more intuitive to use (at least to me. I also looked at Snap, but that wasn't quite as full-featured, although it was vastly less expensive. Another main reason why we use Adobe Presenter is that my company is pretty deeply invested in Adobe products and we have our own hosted Adobe server, which we can easily publish to via Adobe Presenter.

As I mentioned earlier, it's best used for "presentations," rather than bona fide "training." That's why we tend to use it when the information is relatively simple and/or doesn't need to be fully internalized or mastered (which would require providing opportunities for practice and feedback and a more engaging, interactive learning experience). However, it can be used as part of a blended-learning solution, with some information provided via an Adobe Presenter module first, and then some kind of instructor-led session as a follow-up, which would include more role-specific info, as well as practice and feedback opportunities.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, Adobe Presenter Video Express is great for creating quick overview demos about a new system -- more of a "see what it can do" type thing than a "here's how you do it" thing (unless the "it" is very simple and the video is used more as a microlearning/performance support type of offering).

Using Adobe Presenter

110 - Mostly in Learning & Development, with a few Underwriting and other business area SMEs. I don't have a list of everyone in the global organization who has a license, so I can't say more precisely.
2 - Someone who uses Adobe Presenter and is familiar with its functionality, etc. Best if it's someone who's also knowledgeable in instructional design, so they can help others assess if Adobe Presenter really is the best tool to be using (and, if so, whether they should use Adobe Presenter itself, or the Adobe Presenter Video Express app that's included with it, instead).
  • Product enhancements, changes, roll-outs
  • System enhancements, changes, roll-outs
  • HR-related onboarding information
  • To create an "explainer video" that looks like it could have been created in something like VideoScribe, but without the hassle of trying to find images that VideoScribe can draw and other limits of VideoScribe.
  • Capture knowledge from SMEs
My company is pretty invested in the Adobe ecosystem and is unlikely to change that in the foreseeable future. Also, Adobe Presenter is a very valuable tool and, with the new subscription model and the pricing we have, a relatively modest expense now. It's also fairly easy to learn and use, so it is starting to spread beyond the sphere of the various Learning & Development departments.

Evaluating Adobe Presenter and Competitors

  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
This would probably be a toss-up between features and usability. The fact that it's PowerPoint-based allows us to easily work with SMEs to create an end product. The fact that it's easy to use means we can get new users up and running quickly and can produce things with a quicker turnaround time. And the fact that we can easily publish output directly to our Adobe server makes deploying modules quick and relatively hassle-free.
This is a tricky questions because, at this point, my company is heavily invested in Adobe and tends to stick with Adobe products when Adobe has an offering for a particular type of software need. We originally did the evaluation process almost 10 years ago (back when the product was called Breeze Presenter) and there weren't very many competitors at the time. If I had the option to go outside of the "Adobeverse," I'd be interested in learning more about Articulate's offering in this space, since the main thing that Adobe Presenter has going against it (in my mind) is Adobe, which I find to be a pretty unsupportive company for the end user (they charge exorbitant amounts of money for service contracts and then provide very mediocre service, and their website is downright "user hostile," which I find ironic for a company that also makes web design products.

Adobe Presenter Support

I think I pretty much answered this earlier....premium support is extremely expensive and online support can be difficult to navigate. Although, to be fair, when it comes to Presenter (compared to, say, Captivate), there isn't too frequent a need for support, since Presenter is a rather simple tool to use.
ProsCons
None
Poor followup
Problems left unsolved
Difficult to get immediate help
Slow Initial Response
No - Adobe customer support is outrageously expensive and, what little experience I had with it in the past was very unimpressive. Mostly, I have to resort to going to the online user community for help. And Adobe's website, as I mentioned earlier, is downright "user hostile" -- finding information there can be extremely challenging. I think that support is one of Adobe's weakest areas (although I can't, in all fairness, rate the current quality of their premium support, since we haven't had it for a long time).
No, I can't. I wish I could, because I'd love to get the 5 bonus points, and it doesn't seem fair to deprive the review writer of the points when the failure is on the vendor's end! I mean, it's not like I wouldn't be willing to describe a time when Adobe provided me with exceptional support for this product, but it just hasn't happened!

Using Adobe Presenter

For all of the reasons I mentioned earlier. Overall, it's quite easy to create basic presentations with and to publish output with, either to an Adobe server, an LMS, or, I think, as stand-alone module. But there are some areas for improvement and better in-product help and explanations would be helpful, as well.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
None
  • It's easy to import audio files.
  • It's relatively easy to sync audio to PowerPoint animations.
  • It's relatively easy to use Adobe Presenter Video Express to create quick systems demos.
  • Most PowerPoint animations and buttons work well after being published as an Adobe Presenter presentation.
  • It's pretty easy to publish the finished product to an Adobe server (especially for modules that don't include any quiz questions or detailed tracking).
  • It's easy to choose to publish as either a swf or to HTML5 or both, making it easy to make mobile-friendly.
  • Editing audio recorded from within Adobe Presenter can be difficult because of the way that it treats it as one long audio file and because the options are fairly limited.
  • The test-creation mechanisms can be difficult to get working right, especially in terms of how it works if the end user wants to navigate among slides using the Outline tab.
  • Sometimes that skin/player choices don't seem to want to "take" right and setting labels and such in the presenter (not Presenter) settings can be hard to get to look and work as intended.