Take Charge of your Technology: 9 Tips to Help Avoid a Disaster

I just recently did a presentation that went totally wrong. So, wrong, that I scrapped the entire thing and just went Old School – without the PowerPoint.  I just relied on my good ‘ol voice and charming style. 😉

Technology is supposed to make your life easier. But, if you’ve dealt with technology for any longer than a week, you will know that sometimes technology isn’t your best friend – and it can turn your otherwise wonderful presentation into a disaster. Your fast Internet connection may not be available. The bulb of your projector may blow. The scenarios are endless. Here are some tips to make sure you stay one step ahead of these technology disasters:

  1. Have a wireless Internet card available.
  2. Bring a cable adapter/dongle (yes, that’s a real term).
  3. Have PowerPoint printouts in case your projector blows or laptop refuses to cooperate.
  4. Bring your presentation on USB in case you have to use another laptop.
  5. Know your presentation room – try to visit your speaking area at least 24 hours in advance.
  6. Get the names and contact numbers of the AV department.
  7. Enlist a pal to help you set up.
  8. Arrive early!!  You don’t want to feel rushed and panicked when you have to prepare for your setup.
  9. Fall back on the Old School – the voice is a powerful thing!

What was your worst technology disaster?  What tips did you learn from it?

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2 Responses to Take Charge of your Technology: 9 Tips to Help Avoid a Disaster

  1. Maria Florio says:

    Very true. Back up plans are always necessary. I can’t recall ever having a disaster with my pc during a presentation, but I have lost data and almost my pc once. After my first loss (all my papers from my first two years of undergrad, saved on two floppies) I applied back-up saves of everything!!!
    As for your topic, presentations, I would agree that voice is a powerful thing. Arriving early and knowing the area you will present in are also both super important, especially to help keep the nerves down and feel at ease if something does go awry. I would also add to never rely solely on a machine.

    • speakingtall says:

      Exactly — Don’t rely solely on a machine. That was my problem when I gave a recent presentation. I had practiced it so much with the PowerPoint, that I was completely clueless when I was unable to use the projector.

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