Knowing how to Plan Effective Audio Visual Presentations is vitally important for every presenter and every business. You only get one chance to give a good and effective presentation and that presentation will have a lasting impression (good or bad) for yourself and your organisation. Your professionalism and abilities are on public display and you want to make sure that the impact is positive.
If your presentation is not effective then you are simply wasting valuable opportunity, time and money for little no result. This is as true for a simple sales presentation or training seminar, as it is for a major event or conference. Audio Visual equipment such as plasma, projector and screen are essential tools for effective presentations.
Properly planning and organising the equipment setup for the event is as important as the event itself. Many events start late or are disrupted because the setup was not properly organised and setup was not completed on time. This causes disgruntlement to the people you are presenting to and gets your event off to a bad start. Sure you can apologise but are you still seen as disorganised or unprofessional.
- It is important to have or hire the right AV equipment (and staging and lighting if necessary) to aid the presentation and give impact to the event you are planning and to make sure that it is suitable for the size of the audience (whether it be one person or hundreds of people), there are some basic rules to follow.
- Use Professional AV Equipment – You should always use professional equipment to project professional image. For instance, if using a projector you should also use a proper projector screen or projection surface. Projecting onto walls often detracts from the quality of the presentation and detracts from the professionalism of the presenter and power or impact of the presentation.
- Make everything simple so that you can just concentrate on giving the presentation. If you are mucking around with technology during the presentation you will be less effective.
- Planning the detail for your event or presentation is crucial to the success of any event. Don’t leave anything to chance or rely on the common sense of others, this is the first rule because common sense in no longer common practice.
- Know or learn your subject or material and rehearse the presentation – This will give you confidence during the presentation and increase your personal effectiveness when you are a presenter or doing any public speaking.
- Remember that most presenters are standing to get the full attention of their audience. This can be uncomfortable. It is best to move around occasionally and try to wear comfortable shoes.
- Properly organise your Technology – You do not want to be mucking around with technology while you are speaking or presenting. It will distract you and the audience. It is extremely helpful to be able to direct the attention of your audience to a particular point on your screen to refocus their concentration occasionally. You can address both of these things with a small simple (all-in-one) integrated remote control and laser pointer is a plug and play device that attaches to you laptop. It will enable you to start and stop the presentation and move slides backward and forward from any position in the room and its laser pointer can point on to the screen from anywhere.
Have you organised all the AV equipment and display equipment required? I have seen many events ruined because a small detail was either assumed to have been done or completely overlooked. Many times an executive will ask an assistant to hire a data projector for a presentation. Then the assistant will organise just that. When the executive is ready to give the presentation there is no screen or suitable wall to project onto. Nor has there been any thought given to other possible requirements such as:
- Coordinating Setup – Will everyone and all equipment required, be there at the same time in time for the setup prior to your presentation or event? Or have you overlooked something? There are logical steps involved here that if not followed it could end up in disaster. Here are some of the things to watch out for.
- What size Audience are you presenting to? Do you have the right equipment? Will the presentation be in ambient light or a darkened room? This is important for the size of a screen and strength of projector.
- Is the PA system strong enough for the size of the audience?
- If you are using a projector then what projector size and attributes are suitable – The projector that you use must be suitable for the size of the audience you are presenting to as well as for the format of material that you are presenting. e.g. If you are using standard PowerPoint presentation or computer files usually an 800 x 600 projector is sufficient. If you are projecting a widescreen video for instance then you will need a projector that will project in widescreen, otherwise you will not be able to see the whole image.
Day Coordinator – Unless you hire a Day Coordinator then you must also take on the additional responsibilities of properly coordinating the event. This includes Coordinating all equipment and responsible persons to be on site before the appointed setup time and you being there first to supervise the setup. This is particularly important where multiple vendors are used to supply equipment. If any equipment is not there then the setup and your presentation or event may be delayed. To properly plan, organise and coordinate the AV Equipment and the Venue properly to avoid problems!
Pay attention to the following points for setup:
- Where will the projector and/or presentation equipment be positioned? And will there be a safe power source at that position ready at the appointed setup time? This is import particularly import for projectors as they are normally mounted in the centre of the room. You may need to make provision for extension leads and safety. If there is no power source ready for setup it may cost you more money than you were quoted for setup and also delay your start time.
- What are you going to position your AV equipment and projector on? If you do not have a suitable (portable or mobile) surface to place your projector and equipment on then you may not be able to suitably position the projector a suitable distance from the screen or wall for your presentation. Using a proper mobile AV Trolley is obviously better than a table for adjusting distance.
- Do you need mobility to walk around? Most presenters are standing during their presentation and need to move around while they are presenting. Using an integrated remote control and laser pointer will give you mobility and better control of your presentation.
- If you are using a projector then what Size Screen will you need? Making sure that you have the right size screen is also essential. If the screen is too small for people in the audience to see then the presentation is doomed. The best thing to do with screens is to hire them. That way whether you need a small projector screen or even a Large or Giant Screen you can get the right screen for the event size. Once you know the details of your event you can find out more about how to choose a data projector [http://www.ezehire.com/au/rental/data_projector_hire.html].
- Will you have written notes that you need to refer to? If so you should consider hiring a Lectern also known as a Podium. Renting a Lectern gives formality and authority to any event although their main purpose is to hold notes and a microphone.
- Do you want to record your presentation for future use on your website of training? Most people that don’t record their presentations wish they had. Making a video of your presentation can be used for future training, online presentation to study and make adjustments to future presentation. If you do you, then need to have or hire a Digital Video Camera and have a person or Day-Coordinator to operate it.
- Would your presentation and the comprehension of your audience improve if you hand wrote things in conjunction with you AV Presentation? If so, there are three options for this:- You could use one or two Flip charts on adjacent to the screen for you to write on and let the audience take note from.- You could have a Whiteboard to write note on.- Use an Interactive Electronic Whiteboard that will immediately print your hand written notes for later reference and use and dissemination amongst the audience.That way you can write extra messages that are not in the presentation material for your audience to read.
- Will everyone be able to hear you? Do you need a PA system, Microphone or extra speakers if your room is large and you are speaking to a larger audience? If you have to use a wall then avoid gloss painted or glossy surfaces that mirror light.
- Have you ordered all the accessories and input devices that you need? Laptop, AV Trolley, integrated remote control and laser pointer, Projector Screen, DVD player, Flip chart, Podium or Lectern would your presentation. Many people fail to plan properly. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
- And is all the equipment compatible? For instance – If you are using more than one source of input device e.g. VGA, XGA, S-VIDEO DVI USB1 or USB2 or thumb drive, then you need to make sure that the devices have the correct ports so that you can interconnect the devices and get the signal to the projector.
- Can you connect up all the devices or do you need help? If you do not know exactly how to setup the Audio Visual equipment or have any doubts, then don’t risk it. Get professional help and pay someone to set it up for you. Most AV hire companies and hotels have IT staff that can help you. Otherwise you may end up being very embarrassed and ruin you presentation. Even worse if you ruin the presentation, call someone out and get charged extra fees on top of it all and then have to explain that to your boss.
- Who do you call if something goes wrong with the AV Equipment? If you have a tech savvy person in your office, then see if they can be at the event on standby in case something technical goes wrong that could ruin your presentation. If you hire you AV Equipment and it is a big event, then ask the hire company if you can also hire the services of a Day Coordinator with technical expertise to setup and look after all of your AV & IT Equipment for the day. Your event will run smoother and you will have the confidence of having someone to attend to any issues and assist you with the event.
- Always have water handy when you are presenting. Your throat can get very dry when you are doing public speaking so you should keep yourself hydrated.
- Dress for the occasion
- Have a break every two hours or so and give the audience a chance to refresh.
© 2011, chris. All rights reserved.