Here are some of Andrew’s requirements for an event that he is speaking at.
Sound and Microphone:
I can manage without a microphone for boardroom sessions… or very small workshop-room settings with say 20-30 people. Anything bigger will definitely require the use of a microphone. Here’s what we’ll need:
- Cordless lapel microphone, with fresh batteries.
- Backup: It’s always a good idea to have a backup microphone on hand. Also cordless.
- Sound cable for my laptop. The socket on my laptop is a “mini-jack”. Cable to extend to wherever the laptop will be positioned.
I carry my own laptop and run Microsoft PowerPoint 2010. I need to present from this laptop – my presentations cannot be copied to a memory stick or transferred to another computer – reason being that fonts and especially hyperlinks get lost.
I also carry my own cordless, remote mouse.
I insist on having control over the laptop, rather than having it stand at the technical desk, and being operated by the technicians. So my laptop needs to be set up IN THE FRONT OF THE ROOM at the lectern. This means that the cabling from the laptop to the data projector needs to be run to the lectern, and not to the technical desk – this may require a long VGA cable, and may necessitate the installation of a booster box.
Just so you know, I also carry an external USB-disk, complete with a full backup of my laptop. This should run off any other laptop (PC, not Apple). So, in the unlikely event that my computer dies on us, we can run my presentation from another laptop, off this external drive. REST ASSURED however that I am not computer dependant – I am perfectly able to present without the aid of a visual presentation. The visuals are merely for added impact – having said that, some people say that my presentations are even better without the clutter of PowerPoint… so we may just be better off if we’re without visuals!
We’ll need a data projector. The brighter, the better.
As I’ve already said, my presentation needs to be run from my own laptop, which may necessitate additional cabling, or perhaps even a separate projector.
We will also require a screen. It’s better when the screen is positioned off-centre – towards one of the corners at the front of the room. Rear projection is even better.
For large audiences, multiple projectors / screens are advisable.
This is aimed mainly at the South African market… Plan so that your show can indeed go on even when there is no power. Consider alternate power sources, at least to the extent that will see your show going on. Speak to the venue. Get them to commit… and get it in writing! Contract it.
Consider the time of day… for day-time events, book a room that has natural light (but which can be blacked out to allow for PowerPoint presentations under normal circumstances).
It’s not just about emergency battery lighting and a small generator to power a microphone (often, the generator will make more noise than can be overcome with the microphone it is powering anyway.
Ventilation and Air-Conditioning
Most important is that you consider ventilation and air-conditioning. The season, and time of day will place its own constraints on this. There are rooms that simply do not allow for large numbers of people to stay seated for any length of time. Even when they have lights and can hear the speaker, they still need to breathe!