How to Avoid Scary Technical Glitches When Presenting
No matter how hard you might try to avoid it, at some stage throughout your business journey you will need to present to an audience. There is always an element of anxiety around any presentation, hoping that it will run smoothly.
You can practise a few wacky pre-meeting rituals like only eating blue M&M’s before presenting or doing a special dance in the bathroom beforehand, there is nothing wrong with either of these. In my case, I like to make sure I have ticked these tried and tested items off my list beforehand.
1. What format should your presentation be created in?
Have you ever attended a meeting or event and the presentation doesn’t fill the entire screen? Or worse still, words and images are cut off? This happens when a presentation is created in a different format to that of the presentation equipment. Avoid this by asking what format your presentation should be created in? The most common formats are 16:9 or 4:3, both options can be found in the page set-up of PowerPoint.
2. Confirm the time of your arrival, audio visual check and presentation.
Knowing when to arrive will help you plan for your presentation. If possible, an audio visual check is a great idea to calm those pre-presentation nerves. It allows you to test your presentation, walk the stage and get familiar with the space. It’s also a good idea to re-confirm the time of your presentation the week prior as time shifts are common, especially when it comes to large conferences.
3. Confirm the location of your presentation.
Do you know how long it will take you to get there? Do you know where to park? Do you know which level the meeting room is located on? Knowing this in advance can avoid a rushed and frantic arrival. I will usually visit the venue days before my presentation to see the room I will be presenting in. It’s amazing how much being able to visualise the space helps you prepare.
4. What audio visual equipment will you be provided with?
Knowing what audio visual equipment is available to you is essential when planning your presentation. I like to know if there will be a lectern, what type of microphones are available (lapel, hand held) and if a remote clicker will be provided. Another nice thing to know is if there will be a presenter screen aka foldback monitor on stage, this allows you to see what slide you are up in your presentation.
5. Bring a copy of the fonts used in your presentation.
Do you use specialty fonts? If so, take a copy of the font files with you as more often than not you will load your presentation on another computer that may not have your fonts installed. When specialty fonts are not installed on the presentation computer, it can have a huge impact on the way your presentation appears on screen.
6. Have you converted each of your PowerPoint slides to jpeg’s?
You can avoid point number five all together by saving your PowerPoint slides as high resolution jpeg images. Then, simply insert your individual jpegs back into PowerPoint as background images. Why do this? It ensures the integrity of your presentation is maintained and you don’t have to worry about fonts or formatting. If your slides are shared after a meeting or conference they will appear exactly as you intended them to and better yet, they are unable to be edited by anyone else.
7. Do you have multiple copies?
Three. Three is the minimum number of USB’s I bring along with my presentation on them. Yes, it happens, USB’s get corrupted and you certainly don’t want this happening before an important meeting. I would also go so far as to say that each USB should be blank with no other files on it. As the queen of presentation backup’s I also have an online version sitting in the cloud, you know, just in case.
Presenting to an audience gets most of us a little nervous so eliminate any unnecessary stress on the day and I wish you all the very best for your next presentation.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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