How to Make Your Presentation Heard
It's a very exciting day. You've just been selected to give an important presentation at the biggest conference of the year, and you have a million things on your "to do" list prior to the big day. You have to work on your Power Point presentation, complete with flashy graphics and sound effects. It will be a great presentation, unless no one hears it. To ensure you can be heard during your important presentation, make sure your laptop computer is connected through the audio jack to your stereo speakers. However, before the big day you need to plan your presentation thoroughly.
First, you need to determine how many people and what the size of the room you'll be giving the presentation in. If you're giving a presentation in a small conference room, you may be able to utilize the internal speakers in your laptop. This would be effective for a small group of up to 10 people, seated in close proximity to the laptop.
If the presentation is in a large room, like a hotel ballroom or large conference room, you will need special stereo speakers in order to be heard by several hundred people. However, a laptop with a sound card should be able to handle the task.
For a large conference room, or ballroom, you should find out if the hotel or conference center has an existing sound system. If they do, inquire to see if you need anything in addition to an audio cord to interface with the sound system.
If they do not have a built in sound system, you will need to use stereo speakers. The speakers that you select need to be powerful enough to be heard by all the people in attendance. If you need to be heard by 200 people or more, a pair of 300 watt stereo speakers connected to your laptop will sufficiently handle your needs.
Take Care of Projection Needs
In addition to the audio needs, you need to ensure that if you need to project anything, you have a projector, and somewhere to project the images. Many times, the conference facility will have a screen, or you may be able to project on a blank wall.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Now that you know what is needed for your presentation, all you need to do is practice the presentation. If you can use the room you will be doing your presentation in that will be a big help. By being in the venue beforehand, you can get use to layout and the acoustics. Although keep in mind that an empty building sounds different than a building with 500 people in it!
For the practice session, try to make it as realistic as possible, complete with audience. Even doing the presentation in front of 3 co-workers can be helpful. You can complete your presentation, and they can give you valuable feedback on visual and audio content, as well as pace of the presentation. When doing the rehearsal presentation, make sure you set up and tear down the stereo speakers and laptop, as if it were the real presentation. That way in case you need to tear down within a set time frame, you will know what to do and how long it will take.
Your presentation is set. Now go out and wow the conference attendees, with the knowledge that your messages will be heard.
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