Friday, March 16, 2012

Public Speaking - Projector Set Up

When using projected visuals, or any visuals, it is important to incorporate them into your presentation from the beginning. You will want to plan your visuals to enhance your presentation. You don't want them to compete with you for attention.

Decide early what percentage of your presentation will be based on visuals. This will help you decide how to seat the audience for maximum comfort. It will also help you make screen placement decisions. A very high percentage of visual use may warrant a more central screen placement. In this case, you would stand off to the side. You don't want the audience to try to look through you to see the screen.

Make sure there are one or two spare projection bulbs with the projector and that they work. You should figure out ahead of time how to change the bulb if it does burn out. It's even better to use a projector that allows you to switch bulbs instantly if one burns out. Don't forget to check both bulbs before the presentation.

Please, oh please, locate the on/off switch before you get started. If you have faithfully checked out the bulbs, this chore would have been done automatically. Nothing will make you look worse than fumbling around with simple equipment. OK, maybe continually tripping over the microphone cord might make you look worse. You may as well write on the flip chart, (since you can't get the overhead turned on) I haven't prepared for this presentation.

Also, have a backup plan. All your bulbs may blow, the electricity may go out, or the last presenter may pick up and run off with your overheads. You should never miss a beat if you have an equipment failure. Have an exercise ready to go while you work with the equipment or take a short break and get a new piece of equipment (you already know who to call and what spare equipment is available, don't you?). If you aren't using surprise visuals, you could reproduce them in the handout material just in case all your equipment malfunctions. In any case, never lose your sense of humor and to borrow from a famous fashion designer whose name I can't remember, "Never let them see you sweat."

More tips on great presentations...

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