Giving a presentation can be stressful, so dealing with technology issues at the last minute is the last thing you want when attempting a professional delivery. The following technology preparedness checklist can help you make a good impression rather than forcing the audience to sit through on-the-fly troubleshooting.
A presenter should test the presentation where they are going to deliver it in advance.
Here’s what to do:
Hardware/Software Preparation Checklist
- Run a “dress rehearsal” by testing any new hardware against the presentation delivery workflow. If this is the first time you’ve presented in a particular environment, run through loading your presentation and making sure the whole thing works correctly.
- Ensure you have working login credentials for the presentation device and network, and test them in advance. Some computers will run a time-consuming new account setup script the first time a user logs into a device with network credentials.
- Be sure the presentation device is running the most recent software updates. This will avoid surprise “update needed” popups and forced updates that can derail presentations.
- Disable screen savers, phone calling and background messaging programs to avoid unwanted interruptions. Turn off any other disruptive applications you can identify.
- Ensure the presentation device is compatible with the screen mirroring monitor or projector, and make sure you have all the necessary adapters and cables. Check in advance to see if you’re using an AppleTV, Miracast, Roku, WiDi or direct cable connection for monitor/TV/projector access. Make sure your device is compatible with the connection platform. Don’t rely on the IT staff to have all of the necessary cables ready.
- Know your device’s screen mirroring shortcuts. For example, Windows devices use “Windows Key + P.”
- Make sure audio playback works on the presentation device if you’re using sound in your presentation. Working video does not guarantee working audio.
Software Compatibility Checklist
- Ensure your presentation files are compatible with the presentation device’s software. For example, if you’ve prepared a speech in Keynote, you may need to convert it to PowerPoint.
- Check for embedded media file compatibility. For example, an embedded .MOV file may work on the PC on which you created the presentation, but it might not work on the presentation device. If you’re sure you’ll have internet access, you can link to or insert the videos from website sources to remove compatibility issues.
- Run through the presentation and check for formatting issues on the presentation device. The presentation device may be using a different version of the software and thus may display differently. Avoid using custom fonts, and stick to the five-by-five text rule to work around formatting changes.
Presentation Access Checklist
- Make sure you can load your necessary files onto the desired presentation device. PowerPoint files may not embed all linked content, so be sure to move all the necessary media files with the presentation file. Test it on another device if you can.
- Have two data copies of your presentation ready in case one fails. Store copies on a flash drive and external hard drive, an optical disc and a portable drive, or a flash drive and cloud storage. If you’re bringing your own device, have a copy on external storage just in case you need to present on a different device.
- Avoid internet dependencies if at all possible.
The more familiar you become with a given presentation environment, the better able you will be to pinpoint the most important factors to check on before a presentation. The experts at MPA can also help your business streamline its presentation hardware and software configuration through productivity consulting and desktop management. Contact us today to find out more.