A presentation on a large screen is an excellent tool for passing on information. I consciously use the word ‘tool’ here. Regularly I see that the projector is necessary.
The speaker tells his story mainly by showing dozens of slides full of numbers and bullet points. The speaker degrades himself to ‘the one that clicks to the next slide.’ This makes the story emotionless and impersonal. That can never be the intention of a good presentation. I’ve even seen speakers panic when the beamer didn’t work: ‘But now I can’t tell my story!’
Of course, if you’ve made a beautiful digital presentation, it’s annoying if you can’t use it. But if you really can’t tell your story without digital tools, what’s the point of standing on that stage? Without the added value of your personal and physical presence, you might as well have mailed those pictures.
Use a digital presentation to support your story. During the preparation, choose carefully what information you want to show the audience on screen. And don’t use your PowerPoint as a cheat sheet you put together the night before.
Contact the organization in advance and ask how you can deliver the presentation. Do you use your laptop, or do you prefer to put the presentation on a USB stick and use the laptop that is present there? Also, ask for the resolution of the beamer and adjust your slides accordingly. This way, you avoid black edges on your slide. For the same reason, also avoid pictures standing upright.
Nowadays, with special software like Keynote or Google Drive, you can even use your smartphone or iPad for a beamer presentation. Sometimes you can use your smartwatch as a clicker. These developments are happening faster than I can write, so explore the possibilities and see what suits you best.
PowerPoint has become a common name for ‘digital presentation’. Besides PowerPoint, there are several similar programs you can use, such as Prezi, Haiku Deck, Kingsoft Presentation, and Pixxa Perspective. You can even follow specialized training courses for the effective use of digital presentations. Some companies can create a beautiful digital presentation for you to tell your story. If you need to make an important presentation, where the stakes are high, it is undoubtedly advisable to develop a digital presentation together with such a professional partner.
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If there is a projector, always check where you can stand. Sometimes you don’t feel or see that the projector light is on your head. If that happens, it looks weird. You will engage an audience, but not with your story.
Beware of this: A projector in front of you is a no go for a speaker. Check what the situation is when you have to give a speech. Some people will never learn, this happens all the time. A projector should be aside or above the stage.
This is my message to all the event organizers out there.