The Offstage Technologist

If you are any good with technology you will certainly be asked at some point in your career to assist with a presentation problem. The speaker is having trouble getting his or her presentation to work. Maybe it is their first time using PowerPoint (yes there are those few out there)…. Maybe it is a need to switch between video and slides… Whatever it is, without your assistance, the show will not go on. So what can you do…

First, anticipate the need for your super hero skills. You see, Superman always wore his suit anticipating the need to save the world. So if you are attending a conference and you know the speaker, be ready to fly in and save the day. If you know the speaker is inexperienced, be ready to leap tall buildings.

Next, have a workable solution. For me, I love wireless. I have both a wireless keyboard and mouse for these types of situations. When I’m asked to assist, I “bring the rain”. I roll up with a wireless mouse and keyboard. If I anticipate a need, I just grab my wireless mouse from my computer bag.

Sitting a couple rows from the stage is normally safe but if needed I’ll work from behind the stage. Whatever it takes, I’ll be connected to step in and assist. So which is better… mouse or keyboard or both. That depends on what you plan to do for the speaker. If it is volume and jumping between screens, the keyboard with volume controls is best or a super mouse with shortcut buttons on the sides. If you are just moving slides or taking care of the occasional popup window, a mouse is fine. A mouse is also helpful if the screen saver keeps popping up. You can move the mouse and reset the timer without anyone knowing.

All in all this solution is great. I’ve used it for many years. I’ve made a lot of friends in high places with my magic super powers. Remember, it is only through anticipation of the need that you can solve people’s technology problems from a distance.

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