Technology for your Presentation

Presentation Technology Gone Wild!

If I mess up the tech for this presentation we will all learn the most valuable lesson possible:  That is to avoid the temptation to use unnecessary technology in a presentation.   Technology helps if it truly enhances the message but too often tech gets in the way of a making a more personal connection with your audience.  (If you are not a dynamic speaker and you darken the room for your PowerPoint don’t be surprised if they fall asleep.
Technology can take the speaker’s focus off the Audience .  Here is an imaginative example of how Abe Lincoln almost made this mistake.  Lets imagine Lincoln practiced his Power Point for a small audience in Thurmont VA (possibly one train stop before Gettysburg)  See Gettysburg PowerPoint  Had Abe not gotten feedback  after that technical dry run he might have been totally forgotten as an Orator.
Often technology gets in the way of audience feedback. Equipment set up and break down too often conflicts with valuable audience connection time before or after the speech. Connection with your audience starts they feel understood. So shut up when appropriate! Present with your ears, your eyes and your heart.  In one and one sales, connections are made when the client is talking. Closing sales is more dependent on your incite full probing questions than with your memorized Institutional.  The person in control is the one asking the questions, not necessarily the one who is talking.
Technology can help your presentation when:  You need to prove something hard to believe.  Your Audience cannot otherwise visualize an important point of your topic.   Video interviews with people not present may help you relate to the person with this issue and believe it was solved.   Technology might keep your presentation on topic and contained in the time frame.  It can help the audience follow along or catch back up if they (or you) got sidetracked during your presentation.
Visuals help when teaching.    I hear and I forget, I see and I remember. I do and I understand. (However maybe the visual does not need to be high tech).
Presentation Technology Checklist:
Choose content and find visual sources
Post your presentation on your blog so the audience can review and share what they learned. This copy makes great a plan B if your presentation or source is lost n route.
Power, and Power cords.  Bring some spares of various length in your car.  Tape them to the floor or somebody can accidentally interrupt your presentation and break your equipment.
Your phone, tablet are great for presentation source devices.  (Laptops might work but not as reliably as a tablet).
Pre-test the connections at home
On site tech dry run
Variables, weather, power, batteries, bandwidth, sound amplification connections?
Plan B for total tech failure, (paper).  Paper has some real advantages over projection.
Store a copy of your presentation off line in local device memory but test your Internet connection early just in case.
Connections. test what goes where actually works.  Projectors may not have your connection.  Most current presentation enlargement devices have VGA and or  HDMI.  However most MAC devices have neither. Most of us will need to bring an adapter from our device to VGA or HDMI.  HDMI can pass sound to the system whil eVGA cables need a second connection to amplify your sound.
As a speaker you may need to bring your own VGA and HDMI source connections.  See these links Apple VGA Connection?Apple device projection Compatibility ChartSamsung Galaxy video mirroring dongleSamsung Cable Amazon  Motorola Androids and some LG may have a built in Micro HDMI connection.  Camcorders may have mini HDMI, Old equipment may use RCA jacks. Know and test before hand.
WiFi for Skype may work in the Dry Run but once the room is full of WiFi users it can fail.  Always have a Plan B for conferencing the remote location.  Can the message be pre-recorded for example?
Dropbox and or Evernote sync are great for syncing media to another computer or tablet.
Before your presentation contact the local tech support as early as practical,  Upon arrival arrives or a few days before.
Once you are all set up:  Relax and meet the wonderful individuals in your audience.
One final tangential sidebar:  With the same connections used for for your presentation you can  Convert Your SmartPhone Into a Fully Functional Desktop.  With this flexibility in your tablet or your smartphone do you really need a laptop?   See related post
Jim Ensign, Trusted CTO
Jim Ensign, TrustedCTO

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