The big day is coming up. You’ve just been selected to give THE important presentation at the largest meeting of the year, and you have to on your list before the event arrives. You still need to complete your PowerPoint presentation, incorporating the flashy graphics you’ve been known for. It’s going to be another great presentation, but only if it’s heard by this much larger crowd than you’re accustomed to. Btw, you will be using your own laptop on stage.
The first step to giving a presentation with your own laptop is to ensure that the attendees can hear any sounds in your presentations. Make sure your laptop computer is connected from its audio output to the event location’s speaker system. However, before the big day arrives you need to plan your presentation thoroughly and ensure your PowerPoint slides are ready to go.
Size of Audience and Size of Room
Determining how many people will be in attendance and how much presentation space is a great recommendation for preparing yourself to present. If you are giving the presentation in a small conference room you may be able to utilize the internal speakers in your laptop or a small Bluetooth mobile speaker. This would be great for a really small group of up to approximately 10 people, seated in rather close proximity to the laptop or speaker.
If the room is slightly larger than a small breakout room, and you will have more than a few dozen people attending for your presentation, a larger system will be required such as two speakers on stands with a mixer.
If the presentation is in a much large room similar to a hotel ballroom or large conference hall, it’s more than likely to step up to a line-array speaker system. However, a laptop with a sound card will be able to help in distributing the sound to the speaker system, along with other items such as a DI to name one piece.
Large conference rooms or ballrooms inside of a hotel or conference center may have an existing sound system. If they do, inquire about needing anything in addition to an audio cord for interfacing with the sound system. If there is not a built-in sound system, your event production partner will need to install a custom speaker system for event usage. The speakers that the provider selects should be powerful enough to be heard by all the people in attendance with perfect clarity.
Take Care of Projection Needs
In addition to the audio needs, it’s best to ensure before the presentation that you have access to a projector and somewhere to project the images for viewing. Typically, the conference or event facility will have a screen, or you may be able to project on blank wall space.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Now that you know how to review the event location for requirements to make sure your presentation is the toast of the meeting, you need to practice the presentation and rock it like a pro. If you can practice in the meeting’s location before the event begins, that will help you prepare in the natural environment. By rehearsing inside the venue beforehand, you will get acclimated to the venue’s layout, equipment quirks, if any, and acoustics. However, keep in mind that empty facilities sounds will have different acoustics than a building with 1000 people in it!
For the practice sessions, try to make them as realistic as possible by inviting co-workers to help provide tips and improvement clues. You can go over the entire presentation, and then they can give you valuable feedback on how to improve the visual and audio content or delivery of the subject, including the pace and rhythm of the presentation.
Your presentation is ready to go. You’ve practiced making it perfect. Now it’s time to go out and wow the conference attendees with the knowledge and confidence that your messages will be heard.