Special Tips for Laptop Presentations

Girl hands typing on laptop on wooden table at night

If you are presenting, odds are you are using your laptop either to walk the listeners through content in a small group, or projected on a screen to a larger group, or online when speaking with a virtual group. It’s just how we present these days. But so many people stumble over the technology, which at best makes them look unprepared and flustered. With a little common sense you can make sure technology stays in the background, where it belongs.

Follow these suggestions to make the most of your visual presentations:

  • Place your presentation (or a shortcut) on your computer desktop so you can find it quickly.
  • Replace personal desktop graphics with a businesslike background. No one needs to see your work space, projects, or pets.
  • Turn off screen savers, instant messaging notices, automatic updates and sleep functions.
  • Double-check hyperlinks to be sure they are all working, especially if you are moving your presentation from a desktop to a laptop.
  • Check for compatibility with the projector ahead of time if possible.
  • Set up your presentation on a break or before your session begins whenever possible.
  • If your slides look dull, you probably have an old bulb in the projector. It might help to turn off lights in front of the screen. Don’t darken the room completely.
  • Check your internet connectivity if needed.
  • Plug in the laptop; don’t rely on the battery.
  • Use a wireless slide advancer whenever possible, instead of having someone else advance your slides.
  • Keep water or coffee away from your laptop.
  • Always have a backup plan; your presentation on Flash Drive, intranet, or send a copy to a colleague who will be present. A hard copy will save you if all else fails.
  • Compress pictures and limit the file size when on the road so that it can fit on a flash drive.
  • After your presentation, be sure to pack all your cords and cables, and flash drive if you are using it.
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