Dawn Bjork Buzbee
The Software Pro®
Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)
Certified Microsoft Office 2010 Specialist (MOS 2010) Master Instructor
Certified Microsoft Office 2007 Specialist (MOS 2007) Master Instructor
Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) Instructor
Certified Microsoft Office Expert
Certified Women's Business Enterprise (WBE)
WOSB (Women-Owned Small Business) Certified
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of the keys to a successful presentation is to be prepared. This
includes not only improving your expertise with your content and
presentation skills but also anticipating what can and will go wrong.
Whether you tote a briefcase, backpack, laptop bag or other carry-on
luggage, packing a well-stocked presentation bag can be the answer to
any number of problems which can happen before and during your
presentations. Whether you are speaking across the globe or down the
street, create a checklist of essential items which may include the
following. (Note: This list assumes a projector, projector screen,
and microphone are provided although some presenters are responsible for
these as well).
- Dedicated laptop power supply which stays in your bag. Leave the
original computer manufacturer version at your desk. Every time I buy a new computer, I
also buy an extra adapter but you can find a number of universal
power supplies at your local office or computer supply store.
- Extra battery for laptop.
- Presentation remote control; your own equipment which you have
Find out how to choose a remote
- Extra AA and AAA batteries for remote, headphones, and other
equipment plus spare 12V batteries for the wireless microphones in
a meeting room. Although these are often supplied by a hotel or A/V
staff, when these go dead, it always seems to be in the middle of a
- Mouse and mouse pad.
- Three-prong extension cord or power strip.
- Duct tape to tape down cords; small rolls are available from
most travel catalogs/sites.
- Security cable for laptop; although these can be cut, it creates
a deterrent to a swift thief.
- Portable timer or clock with a readable display to monitor
- Rubber door stop for wobbly or uneven projector.
- Backup copy of presentation on CD-ROM or USB flash drive to
transfer it to another laptop if you have equipment failure.
- Hard copies of presentation slide show and presentation handout.
- Presentation notes.
- MP3 player loaded with royalty-free music you can play during
walk-in and breaks in your program, plus your personal playlists of
music, movies, and TV shows.
- Cell phone, digital camera, surge protectors, and chargers for
all mobile devices; adapters and airline charges for international
- Stereo 1/8" (mini) cable to 2 mono 1/4" cable
so you can plug your MP3 player directly into the meeting room sound system.
As an alternative, I typically play music directly from my laptop
and then connect from the sound system to my laptop.
- Noise canceling headphones to help buffer noisy plane flights.
- A spare pair of earbuds.
- Copy of AV room setup.
- Copy of your presentation introduction printed in a large font.
- Monitor extension cord. Although this may not be needed by many
presenters, a monitor extension cord is one of my essentials as I
present directly from my laptop and often need to move it further
away from the projector.
- Network cable and wireless card for Internet access at hotel.
- Labels on laptop and all accessories.
- Notebook speakers.
- Cough drops or throat drops; avoid cherry flavored which will
give you an odd red mouth. I also travel with a small, portable throat
- Pepto-Bismol chewable tablets, Imodium AD, and other first aid
remedies to help you recover from a long flight or strange food.
- Eye mask for airplane naps. Also handy for ending unwanted
conversations with annoying seatmates.
- Color copies of your passport and drivers license.
- A new, crisp $100 bill hidden in a zippered pocket of your
carry-on bag. This can bail you out of a lot of trouble almost
anywhere in the world.
- A collection of smaller bills for tipping hotel setup staff and
other helpful personnel.
All this, and more, should fit neatly in your carry-on bag. Not only
have these essentials saved me multiple times, but I have also rescued
several of my fellow presenters as well.
>>Download your own presentation checklist
© Dawn Bjork Buzbee, MCT, The Software Pro®
Dawn Bjork Buzbee
is The Software Pro®
and a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) as well as a certified Microsoft Office
Specialist (MOS) Master Instructor, certified Microsoft Applications Specialist
(MCAS) Instructor, and a certified Microsoft Office expert. Dawn shares smart
and easy ways to effectively use software through her work as a software
speaker, trainer, consultant, and author of 8 books.
This article and
more can be reprinted at no charge in your publications and website with
copyright and attribution.
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