Danny Rocks is a speaker, a trainer and an author. He has published five DVDs designed to help users get the most out of Microsoft Office programs. Also, Danny has posted over 200 video lessons on his website.
This started as a thread on how to cope up with a dead laptop or projector in front of your audience, and what you should do to be prepared — here are Danny’s thoughts:
Yes, this has happened to me on several occasions. I have had my laptop “die on me” twice during an Advanced “Hands-on” Excel Class.
Lesson Learned: Always use a portable laptop fan — laptops throw off a lot of heat! The portable fans run off of a USB port and you can get a model that folds up and is easy to put into your bag. I have had projectors “die on me” also — they do wear out / misfunction. My philosophy is, “It is not a question of IF the equipment fails, it is a question of WHEN the equipment fails.” What do you do to recover? Here is my own preparation list:
- Always travel with a backup copy of your presentation — I use USB drives.
- Always include a “Package for CD” copy of the presentation — I keep this on the USB drive — this comes in handy when you need to use the client’s computer and they do not have the version of PowerPoint that you used to create the presentation.
- Always travel with a clean copy of your handout — can be copied and distributed if the original is lost or you require extra copies.
- Always travel with a “3 prong into 2 prong” power connector — when the client has an “ungrounded” 2 prong wall connector.
- Always travel with a 12 ‘ extension cord and a 6 prong adaptor — you may need to adjust the table for your laptop or projector.
- Always travel with your own wireless “clicker” — connected by USB.
- Always travel with your own digital clock — big enough for you to see and adaptable to various lighting conditions.
- It goes without saying – “Always OWN your content. YOU are the presentation. The equipment simply helps you to make your presentation.”
I have also found that it is wise to spend less than 5 minutes trying to adjust faulty equipment. If possible, give your audience a short break while you try to fix equipment — find a file, etc. Your audience will be “on your side” when you continue the presentation without the equipment (if you could not fix it in five minutes).
I hope that this helps you to be prepared to respond when your equipment fails the next time.
Visit Danny’s site to get several more tips, including a separate section for PowerPoint users.