Homegrown public-speaking app debuts this summer
A new iPad application, created by a Navy SEAL and a Virginia Beach pastor, will help public speakers commandeer the podium or the pulpit.
Scheduled to launch on the App Store in mid-July, PodiumPro is the first product from Magoozle, a software company founded by Sean Evangelista, a senior chief petty officer currently stationed in Hampton Roads. A SEAL since 1993, he will pursue software development full time when he retires next year.
Evangelista credits business partner Steve Swisher, pastor of Essential Church in Virginia Beach, as the visionary behind PodiumPro. Swisher, whose speaking duties include weekly sermons and various conferences, described his idea to Evangelista late last year. They sketched plans for the app and hired a programmer to produce it.
PodiumPro streamlines the tools that speakers typically fumble with, from last-minute sticky notes to cranky laptops that go on standby at the worst possible moments.
The app syncs with DropBox. It has a color-coded timer bar, which goes from green to yellow to red, so users can pace their speeches. A “present” mode deactivates the keyboard and other controls, ensuring that speakers don’t accidentally lose their place as they flip pages on their touchscreens.
PodiumPro also lets users tweak presentations up to the last possible second.
“That’s a big thing with speakers – a lot of them are working off PDFs and doing some of the edits literally minutes before,” Evangelista said. “A lot of them will get an idea beforehand, and it’s hard for them to put it in there. So they’ll write the note on a Post-it and carry it with them. You know, it’s just kind of piecemeal.”
Plans for a premium edition of PodiumPro include wireless slideshow controls and podcast capabilities.
In April, PodiumPro won second place at Start Norfolk, a business networking event where participants pitch ideas and launch companies on the spot.