Special Tips for Laptop Presentations

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    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.