10 Tips to Do Presentations Like Me: Learn Your PC

Tip #4: Learn how to use your PC (or the PC you’ll be using for the presentation)

I have to admit it – it bugs me when someone stands up in front of everyone – especially at a tech conference – accidentally moves to the next slide … and can’t figure out how to go back to the previous slide.

They get all flustered, blame “technology,” and finally decide to solve the problem by getting out of presentation mode, finding the proper slide, then restarting the presentation. Or by just skipping that slide.

I get it – when we’re standing up in front of people giving a presentation, it’s weird – and we sometimes get a bit flustered when things go wrong. That makes sense.

Because of that, I’d suggest this – take 10 minutes to figure out that PC, and the software you’re using for the presentation. Find all the different ways to advance slides (spacebar, arrow keys, etc). Figure out how to go back to the previous slide (as in the left/right arrow keys).

If you’re planning to do some slightly advanced stuff like playing a video, either in-presentation or not, make sure you test it multiple times – in your office AND on stage. Make sure you know how to turn up the audio.

Do this little bit of prep work, and you’ll look that much more confident and knowledgeable. That weird feeling you get when you’re doing a speaking gig? It’ll still be there (the only way to get rid of that is lots of experience or being an uber-extrovert) … but at least you’ll know how to go back to that slide you just skipped!

  • http://jimmythegeek.livejournal.com Jimmy the Geek

    You’ve hit the nail on the head, David. I’ve seen quite a few presentations where this was the case!

    An idea I’d like to pass along is to have an alternative to online videos/links/documents/things that require an online connection. Quite often, when a conference has free WiFi access, there are so many attendees trying to access (or forgetting to turn off smart phones’ wireless) that the limits of the network are reached and access to those online resources is impossible!

    If it’s at all possible, download the videos & embed them into your presentation, and provide the links either in the slide deck or in a handout.