The “Right Stuff” in this article refers to physical things you will need, or might need, for your presentation to be successful.
The Bottom Line – PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!
It is Your Presentation. Control everything you can and have as many backup plans and devices as makes sense. No one in your audience wants to hear you can’t use your Power Point Presentation because the AV guy didn’t have the correct connections or see you walk back and forth to the computer to click the forward button to advance your slides because there is no remote control available.
No one in your audience wants to hear you can’t use your Power Point Presentation because the AV guy didn’t have the correct connections or see you walk back and forth to the computer to click the forward button to advance your slides because there is no remote control available.
Projector /LED Screen / Audio
I don’t own a projector. I’ve always had one provided by venue or sponsor of my talks.
Often, especially in smaller venues, a large LED screen is provided. One advantage of an LED is the high resolution which makes viewing slides a better audience experience. (I’m sure you’ve been to presentations where all the lights had to be dimmed or turned off so the screen could be seen.)
Be certain to arrive early and check that all is working well with the projector and the computer you’re using.
I also expect the venue or sponsor to be responsible for providing a microphone and AV system if needed for the conditions of the venue. This needs to be verified and checked out before your presentation, also.
Sending an Equipment List to the sponsoring party when the program is being discussed can save aggravation and scrambling for things later.
I’m a “mac man” and always bring my macbook pro. I’m very familiar with it and prefer it over converting my Keynote Slides (apple’s slideshow software) to PPT and using the “provided laptop.” PC users may also want to bring the equipment they know best how to operate, and how to, if necessary, fix!
PC users may also want to bring equipment they know best how to operate, and how to, if necessary, fix!
Bringing my macbook, I definitely need to have the following items. PC users need them, also.
Computer / Projector Adapters and Other Connectors
Because I use my macbook pro, I need to be a bit more concerned about making the connection to the projector than those using a PC.
If you’ll be connecting to an LED screen, an HDMI cable will be needed. If a cable is in place, an adapter may be needed to connect it to your computer. (I almost always need mine!) Projectors usually need a VGA cable and, for my mac, an adapter.
It is worthwhile for all presenters to have the ability to lengthen the cable going to the LED screen or projector in order to place the laptop in the correct position. (Ideally, you want to be to the left of the screen as the audience faces it because we read from left to right.) I have eight feet HDMI and VGA Cables.
I always bring my own remote control because I want to be able to control all functions myself.
• Forward – Back
• Sound Volume
• Infrared Light
• “B” Button to make the Screen go BLANK (so the attention of the audience goes from the screen to you, the presenter!)
• Uses an RF signal that has a range of 100 feet and works through walls and furniture; i.e. you don’t need “line of sight” to make it work!
Don’t forget to have extra batteries or your dongle, the receiver part of your remote!
Too often, there is no audio, other than the speakers on your computer or from the projector, available. Unless you have an extremely small audience, that’s a deal breaker for any audio you have planned. If audio is an important part of your presentation, and it can be, don’t be limited to those options. I purchased a small blue tooth speaker that Rocks! It can also be connected to my macbook via cable and has come in handy many times!
I use apple’s Keynote software to develop and deliver my presentations.
That presentation is backed up on a thumb drive in Keynote, PPT, and, in case the computer I might have to borrow doesn’t have the same PPT version, PDF formats.
Some backup their presentation in the cloud using a service like Dropbox. That’s a great way to back up things and a fine ‘Plan B” if there is an internet connection. Having it with you on a thumb drive is a better bet.
Bring your own bottled water.
Having your mouth sometimes go dry is part of being a speaker. It doesn’t feel good and lowers the quality and volume of your talk. Be prepared for it! Asking someone to, “Please bring me a glass of water,” is disruptive to your talk. It will probably result in ice water delivered in a sweaty glass, two things you don’t want.
The water in the bottle you bring should be at room temperature. Too hot or too cold is not good for your vocal cords.
Having a screw cap or sports cap will prevent accidental spilling on the computer, important papers, etc.
An integral part of your presentation is Your Introduction. It is not your bio, and your responsibility to write. The emcee should read it as if they wrote it. As soon as you get a gig, make this known to them and give them a copy.
Always bring a copy to the presentation. The person you originally sent it to may have lost or forgotten to bring it. Sometimes, the job has been assigned, at the last minute, or otherwise, to someone else who never received your Introduction.
Miscellaneous and Important!
• A six-foot power strip/extension cord.
• Grounded plug adapters.
• For audio connections, a cord with mini-plug connectors.
• Two small rubber door stops to level an uneven projector.
• Duct tape to keep cords in place and people from tripping over extension cords.
• Riggers tape is a stronger and more expensive tape that serves the same functions.
• Mouse, mouse dongle, and mouse pad if they are necessary for your talk.
And, of course, the other “Right Stuff” is your Fantastic Content and Awesome Delivery!
Follow this advice for bringing the “Right Stuff” to your presentations and my prediction is: Your next presentation will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!
About the Author
Fred E. Miller is a speaker, a coach, and the author of the book,
“NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”
Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their
Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.
They do this because they know:
Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.
They also know:
We perceive really great speakers to be Experts, and we like to work with Experts.
He shows them how to:
Develop, Practice, and Deliver ‘Knock Your Socks Off Presentations!’ with –
- Keynote Speaker
- Workshop Facilitator
- Breakout Sessions
- Public Speaking and Presentation Coaching
- Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!
- Crafting Your Elevator Speech, Floor by Floor with – NO SWEAT!
- Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.
- We are All Self-Employed!
Fred E. Miller