Use Computer Presentations Like A Pro

Remember slides? Those transparent things we used to use with an overhead for presentations? Chances are you can remember this kinder, gentler technology. Today, we live in an age of PowerPoint and computer projectors. Technology is a wonderful thing, but it must be respected. To make the most of it, use these simple tips.

Keep It Simple. With the font libraries and color spectrums available today, you might be tempted to use a little of this or a little of that to “spice” up your presentation. Don’t. Use no more than six colors on each slide. Use no more than two fonts and use them for separate functions. For example, use one for titles and the other for bulleted items.

Special Effects. You want to use special effects to enhance your presentation, not win an Oscar for effects that could give Star Wars a run for its money. Too many animations can leave your audience feeling woozy. Use effects to keep your audience entertained during transitions. For example, a partial build will allow you to reveal one point at a time.

Put yourself in their shoes. Once you have your computer and projector set up, walk to the back of the room to ensure each person will be able to see the screen – and read what’s on it.

Stand on the left. Standing on the left puts you in a natural place for people reading the screen. As people’s eyes return to the left (reading from left to right), they can see you and read the presentation. For languages that are reversed, stand to the right.

Don’t be caught in the dark. You are the show. Your audience needs to be able to see you and hear you. Ensure that you aren’t in the dark when the lights go out. To keep yourself in the light while keeping the screen in the dark, you might need to unscrew light bulbs above the screen or use dimmer lights.

Screen Savers. A presentation is no time for screen savers. Make sure you turn your screen savers off so your presentation won’t be interrupted.

Compatibility. Make sure your projector and computer are speaking the same language. Some projectors will project a smaller image based on increased resolution. Some computers aren’t compatible with some projectors. Before you show up for a presentation where you will be “borrowing” a projector, do your research. Better yet, bring your own.

Use a gadget. Using a remote mouse will give you the freedom to get away from the computer and get in front of your audience. For more umph!, use a laser pointer to point out main points in your presentation.

Arrive Early. Nothing can botch a presentation quicker than technological malfuncations. Arrive early and test everything – twice!

Have fun! Presentations are fun. They are hi-tech. Enjoy this technology knowing you have it completely under control.

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