Get 5 quick tips for eliminating technology mistakes and successfully using computers in presentations.
When technology in meetings fail, some audience members think, “Another silly technology gaffe.” That’s your mother; she was in the audience. Your boss, co-workers, and freshman physics professor are thinking, “Tsk tsk tsk. Someone didn’t prepare.” Don’t let that someone be you!.
How to Use Your Computer in a Presentation
Even if you’re a great presenter, your computer isn’t. Rehearse your presentation step by step, and make sure the technology is working.
Before your presentation, shut down all the applications on your machine, including your virus checkers, firewalls, alarms, to-do lists, calendars, and anything else that might delight and surprise you with a helpful little message at exactly the wrong time.
Tip #1: Prepare Your Computer for the Presentation
Turn off your screen saver. Turn off auto-sleep. Turn off auto-hibernation. If you’re on a laptop with different settings when it’s plugged in versus when it’s running on battery, change the settings for whichever mode you’ll use during the presentation live. Even better, change the settings for both modes.
Start up every application you’ll need before you start. Minimize them to the task bar or dock. When you need them, a single click gets you there. If you plan to visit websites, clear your browser history. That way, you won’t type a web address and have your browser take you to an unrelated site you visited with a similar name.
Tip #2: Have Websites Ready to Go
Even better, open every page you’ll use in a different tab, so you’re already up and running. Bookmarks are not enough; your audience doesn’t want to wait while the bookmark loads. Besides, you’ll accidentally bookmark the wrong page and end up with your audience wondering what your favorite Poodle grooming site has to do with your presentation.