Presentation Technology: One BIG Piece of Advice

Presentation Tech One Big Piece of Advice

There are so many ways to create presentations and resultantly just as many ways to bomb a presentation. I could devote two separate articles covering all of the ways to achieve both. However, I don’t want to do that. The internet is awash with such info.

Here at PassionFP, we’re all about staying relevant. I want to share one huge tip you must not forget considering the age we live in now:

DO NOT GET SEDUCED BY NEW PRESENTATION TECHNOLOGY


Quick Tech. Disclaimer:

I am not a Luddite by any stretch nor am I that crotchety ol’man sitting on his porch, lamenting presentation best practices of days gone by.

I love tech and what it offers as far as tools and new ways to create presentations that rock.


However, becoming seduced by presentation technology offerings in the form of the latest gadgets or software is an absolute danger.

The Reasoning?

We all want our ideas to stand out, however, when the use of such presentation technology becomes a distraction for audiences the following issue arises:

“Your ability to ensure that your message will connect and have an impact on audiences will become compromised.”

To be frank, the above is what presentations are all about. If you fail on the above, you and your presentation will bomb.

To get down and dirty on this topic, I’d like to give my insight and accompanied advice regarding the rise in the use of presentation gadgetry. This comprises apps as well as actual remotes.   

Now to be clear, I am not calling for people to stop taking advantage of these options but rather show some caution towards potential pitfalls they could represent.


Presentation Apps for Slide Control:

With a plethora of free and paid apps that offer slide control capabilities, it is often a temptation to give them a whirl. They offer functions like slide advancement, sound control and so on.

The problem is when this presentation technology doesn’t work as advertised. An even bigger problem is when their use is tested out for the first time during a live talk.

A Real-World Presentation FAIL at the Hand of Tech:

Recently, I attended a presentation that unfortunately went south real fast. You see, the speaker got caught in becoming too reliant on the tech. He was attempting to use a presentation app on his smartphone as a tool to advance his slides and bullet points.

Unfortunately, the presenter I was listening to had a misplaced trust in his presentation technology. Due to this over-reliance on his smartphone app, his pitch was essentially shut down by his device not cooperating.

It was an awkward exchange between him and his audience. At first, there was some sympathy in the room as most people understand how onerous the use of technology can be at times. However, this individual stuck to his approach and refused to simply walk over to his computer and manually advance his slides.

What this caused was a series of starts and stops that were wholly dictated by his app working or not working. It seemed as though whenever he had built up some momentum for his ideas, the technology Gods would crashingly halt it with yet another interruption.

Opportunity Lost:

The sympathy in the room shifted to frustration for some. I could hear shuffling all around me–a true sign that people were losing interest.

Additionally, I also witnessed the undeniable sign of a speaker losing a room; the retrieval of smartphones from purses and pockets.

It was sad to see. His ideas were solid. They deserved better.


The BIG takeaway concerning presentation APPS

If you choose to use one, I would highly advise you to rigorously test it out in advance, not only at home but at the venue. Should you be presenting where wi-fi is spotty or your mobile connection is lacking, this presentation technology could become an instant anchor which sinks you and your message.

If you would like freedom of movement and reliability, I would highly recommend you earnestly check out the next section.

Presentation Remotes:

Presentation remotes are getting better all of the time. The functionality is pretty darn amazing. In fact, recently I upgraded and purchased a new model as my old one was quickly becoming a liability. You can actually check out my review of it here! 

Admittedly, I too became seduced by some rather sexy functionality ranging from a batman-esque spotlight I could point and direct towards the screen to a magnifying ability contained within the pointer. Not too mention, timer vibrations and volume controls were a couple more options included in the device.

I was utterly impressed with the functionality. So much so, that I decided to incorporate many of them in my next presentation.

In tinkering with the settings, and rehearsing with it, I soon realized that I didn’t need everything all at once, however, I would give the spotlight feature a try as I had some fairly juicy stats I wanted to purposely draw attention towards.

Fast Forward: Presentation day

During the presentation, the remote worked flawlessly including the spotlight function. It felt like a godsend compared to my last device.

Surprising Feedback

After completing the presentation, I was struck by the number of comments I received. I had several reflective comments about the content as well as additional questions.

However, I also experienced a substantial number of folk approaching me to find out more about the actual device. 

This is when I knew I had probably overdone it.

Lesson Learned

While it is true, looking professional can certainly be connected to keeping up to date and staying relevant with the use of newer presentation technology, having devices overshadow or worse, drown out words, can become an obvious problem.

I do believe that I misread my audience. I should have known that such a function had the power to distract even though it was a useful feature.

The fact remained however that the device had a very strong impact and impression on people. And that was certainly not my intent. I would have much rather had post-presentation discussions centered solely on the content. 

Admittedly, my opinion may be over the top concerning this matter however I am all about serving audience needs. If they were positively distracted by my remote and failed to catch all of the content I deemed to be valuable to them, then, in my opinion, I dropped the ball.  

Future Adjustments

Luckily for me, this remote comes with advanced controls such as toning down its features. Specifically, in this case, I can shrink down the spotlight so it hopefully becomes less of a distraction the next time.   


The BIG takeaway concerning Presentation Remotes:

Do not be turned off towards them at all. They allow you to break free from your computer which in turn can help you find new ways to interact and engage with audiences.

Not only that some functions may add real value to your bottom line presentation results.

However, with added functionality, it is pertinent advice to keep in mind how your new presentation technology could steal your thunder.

One tip is to consider your audience’s level of presentation sophistication. If they are used to such tech, then you can probably get away with using much of the available tools connected to your remote.

However, if your audience is less familiar, you might want to tone things down as far as using your device as a magical wand.

Additionally, I might add that if you have a massive presentation with a lot on the line, I would tread very carefully as far as going all in with the utilization of every single bell and whistle your device offers.

Be wary and test things out in advance. Better yet, do a dry run of your talk with a few trusted colleagues or friends and take note when/if you receive more comments about the tech versus your message.

To sum up

Presentation technology is great. It has the power to drastically alter our approaches, impact, and ability to reach audiences. However, with that power, some caution needs to be exercised.

The next time you plan on adopting new tech in your presentation please consider the following:

  1. Will my audience gain some benefit from my the use of the device?
  2. Have I adequately rehearsed and tested out the tech in advance? Can I test it out at the venue too?

BONUS:

Read up on my “GO TO” presentation remote I referenced in this post. If you are looking for an upgrade, I heartily recommend this device! Grab my product review here! 

As always, I would love to hear how you make out! You can reach out by finding and following us on these platforms:

Twitter ⇒     @passion__fp

Pinterest ⇒ The Passion Fashioned Presenter

LinkedIn ⇒ Christopher Schoenwald

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