When preparing for a business presentation at a conference, you get a great chance to watch other speakers and learn other aspects related to your business. However, you may have noticed some real issues at some conferences where speakers seem ill prepared to present. This, inevitably, takes away from their message and credibility; to counter this, it is in your best interest to walk onto the podium prepared, especially when it comes to the technology side.
Business presentations carry two technical issues that many speakers should be aware of; connecting to the projector and using video during the presentation. So, how can you leverage technology to offer the best business presentations?
Check Projector Connection
Show up early and test your connections as well as your presentation well before the scheduled speaking time. Always try to make your way to the presentation room at least half an hour before your scheduled time spot – one hour if you are the keynote speaker. This will help you learn how everything is interconnected, like computer hookups, projection equipment and virtual meeting software. By doing so, you will be able to calm your nerves a little bit.
Showing up five minutes before your presentation spells doom. In the flurry of activities, trying to get everything connected, problems will happen, eventually affecting your presentation.
Upgrade Your Equipment
Stepping into the presentation room with a laptop older than 5 years is another big mistake. Unfortunately, that is ancient technology in today’s technological age, and if you are being paid for talks, then the tools of your trade should at least reflect the same quality you will present. No artisan would allow his tools to get rusty, imprecise and old; instead, they take exceptional care of their tools since these are a reflection of their work and craft.
Here’s the main point: the older your laptop is, the more trouble you can expect as you attempt to connect it to any projector. In most cases, the programs running in the background will overwhelm the older laptop’s lesser RAM capabilities. In a nutshell, your older computer becomes less responsive since it has more “stuff” on it, creating more problems for you.
For example, using an older computer may see you waste as much as 15 precious minutes of your presentation as you try to CTL+F7 your laptop to a projector. By then, you’ve lost your audience and they will walk out without seeing a slide or hearing a word. Make sure your tools are as sharp as your skills.
Embedding Video in Your Presentations
In most cases, organizers will ask if you have a video that you will be using during your presentation. Many speakers prefer the no video option because they have trouble getting it to work – which comes back to preparation.
If you cannot include video into your presentation and relying on an active internet connection to stream it, you are making two horrible mistakes. You cannot rely even on the best internet connection and you cannot rely on video that has not been embedded, tried and tested. Using video outside of your presentation, which requires you to open another program, can become a distraction that will take valuable time and continuity from your talk.
Mitigating possible presentation problems is a huge part of getting prepared. To be prepared, have a business presentation kit that includes business cards, a presentation remote and spare batteries, a power cord, charging cables, and a USB drive with your presentation. Contingency planning is all about planning and anticipating possible issues and dealing with them even before they occur; once you present a repeatable performance (in practice), you can rest assured that you are prepared for anything – and you will do fine.
Finally, don’t forget to encourage interaction during your speech. People who are listening to you will be more engaged and attentive to what your topic is and who know you might even conclude a few partnerships at the end of the day.