Nothing is worse than a well-prepared presentation riddled with preventable mishaps. A well thought out presentation can be ruined by simple technical errors with presentation equipment, but there are ways to minimize the chances of error. Learning how to better use the available presentation equipment makes presentations more effective, entertaining and informative.
Before embarking on a presentation, it is important to know what equipment is available to you. Once you know the venue for your presentation, call ahead to find out what equipment may be in the room or available for loan. Make an early request to reserve the proper materials for your presentation. If no materials are available, it may be possible to find local companies that rent presentation equipment.
Flip Charts and White Boards
Visual aids help audiences comprehend and retain information at higher rates than an oral presentation alone. White boards and flip charts are another helpful tool for effective presentations. Buy a fresh pack of markers for your presentation to avoid running out of ink. Using multiple colors will also increase the visual appeal of your presentation and keep your audience interested in the material. Write neatly and in large letters to ensure that your entire audience can see the information you display.
Digital projectors can be your best friend or worst enemy, as they are complex to set up and prone to mechanical failure. It is always best to arrive early for your presentation to set up the projector and ensure it is in working order. You should run through your projection slides to make sure they are easily visible to your audience. If any text is difficult to see, take a moment to increase the font size. Projector bulbs can burn out unexpectedly, so it is always a good idea to have a back up plan for your presentation. Have some handouts ready or rely on available white boards or flip charts to keep your presentation on the right track.
Audio and Video
If working with a large audience, you may be required to use a microphone. If you are supplied with a lapel microphone, position it near the neck of your shirt, and make sure it has been charged fully to avoid accidental loss of audio. If you bring audio samples or video, cue any tapes or discs to the exact moment you want them to begin; this will keep your presentation smooth.
Arrive and Plan Ahead
On the day of your big presentation, you should arrive early to test any equipment used in your presentation. If any equipment malfunctions, you may have enough time to seek repair. If repair is impossible, you must find alternatives to your original plan. For important presentations, having a back-up plan is necessary.
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