If you use video or audio clips in your presentation, as many of us do, test them before every presentation to make sure the videos and the sound work. Regardless of how many times before you might have delivered this presentation, test every time. The middle of your presentation is not the time to find out your video or audio clips are not working.
I am not a really tech savvy person so I like to keep it simple as possible. My experience is that it is easier and safer to embed your video and audio clips into you PowerPoint or Keynote presentation and set it up so they start when you go to that slide. Know what the slide before the is video (I create a setup slides) and then you can provide any explanation the audience may need to set up the video or audio and then simply click and play.
It can be risky to have a link on your slide where you click on the link and it plays the video from the internet. I have been in a number of conference rooms where there is no internet access. In some hotels the internet access for your guest room will not work in the ballrooms or conference rooms. In many hotels unless the event host pays for internet access for the conference rooms, there is none.
If your video audio clip does not work in the middle of your presentation, whether you tested it or not, move on quickly. The last thing the audience wants to endure is you spending 10 or 15 minutes complaining that the video does not work and talking about what a really good video it is while you waste valuable learning time trying to fix it. Just move on. If it is a full day presentation and there is enough time left in the day, tell the audience you will try to figure it out on a break and play the video later. If not, then either take a short break to try and fix it, or cover what is in the video verbally, or simply apologize and quickly move on. I had this happen to me at a recent full day workshop. I had tested everything earlier and in the last hour of the presentation when I played the video there was no sound. I realized pretty quickly we were not going to fix it so I talked about the key message from the video and moved on. Not ideal, but such is life as a speaker / trainer.
While we are on the topic of testing, if you are going to experiment with colour combinations on your slides for your text and slide backgrounds, test it in a classroom or conference room well before the presentation. Stand in the back of the room and see if you can even read what is on the slide with the font colours and size you have chosen. If in doubt, with no time to check it out, stick with basics like white letters on a black background with font no smaller than 32. What looks good on your laptop or your desktop computer may suck when you project it onto and 8ft by 8ft screen, especially in a large classroom or conference room.
While I recommend keeping it ‘simple’ I realize ‘simple’ is a relative term based on your level of technical skills and experience. Also depending on the type of presentation or training you are doing it may be necessary for you to have access to the internet for you and your students during the training. The key is to keep it as simple as possible, anticipate and prepare for possible problems and test it first.
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