Unless you’ve mastered telepathy, you will probably need some speakers. The size and number of speakers depends on the crowd size and venue, and the type of speakers depends on what you want to accomplish: A rock band and a keynote speaker have very different needs.
Not every presentation requires a visual aid, but it’s generally a good idea to break up a talk with something on which your audience can focus. (Many speakers feel less nervous knowing they won’t be the only object of attention!) If your presentation is outdoors, a projector will require some special attention: Either wait until it’s dark outside or utilize a tent or canopy to shade the area. It’s also hard to go wrong with a good old fashioned paper handout, especially if it’s well designed, germane and concise. No one wants to flip through pages of text dotted with irrelevant clip art.
Laptop computers are increasingly relied upon by professionals, especially those who travel and make presentations in many locations. The portability of a small, lightweight computer is a huge asset even at the venue itself, with fewer cables to connect and only one piece of equipment to move if any last-minute location changes are made.
Planning for and using audiovisual equipment can differentiate your presentation from scores of boring lectures. Don’t let distracting or underwhelming technology turn your audience off to the points you’re making. The right equipment is critical to success, whether you’re entertaining a handful of friends or several million attendees.