Unplug and Verify!

Verify every variable before presenting to your potential customer!

Many things can be different between your office and a presentation room. These are things you may not notice or take for granted, until they become a problem on location at the time of presentation.

Since I been surprised by this type of experience myself, lately by both Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office, I highly recommend some preliminary verification, setup and preparation. When you are presenting work, especially through Adobe Creative Suite or Microsoft Office remotely, there are some things you might want to walk through first:

  • Is your laptop battery charged?
  • Do you have an AC adapter and all required projectors, connectors and adapters.
  • Will your presentation application require Internet access to function on location?
  • Will it require a username and password?
  • Are you 100% sure you have the correct username/password required?
  • Will you have Internet access to present at the location?
  • Will it be easily available both on location and in the particular room in which you’re presenting to the customer.
  • If you need it, will the person you’re meeting with have the Internet password? (I advise you avoid needing it in the first place. It can be annoying to an interviewer or client to have to locate a password for you.)
  • Don’t assume anything. (I would suggest completely disconnecting your laptop or device from the Internet and network, then seeing what would happen if you had to present completely disconnected.)
  • Are there any other surprise passwords needed on-site? Any there any network drives your computer is linked to in your office network that won’t be available? Is there a VPN password, Internet log-in or even something as basic as a laptop login or an Internet plugin that may be required?

I have seen all these things delay, interfere or stop presentations.

  • What if the power goes out, you drop your laptop, the battery wears out or your hard drive fails? Avoid disaster easily by always bringing a hardcopy backup and be prepared to use it!
  • If your audience has to wait more than 2 minutes due to technical issues, fold up the laptop and hand out your attractive collateral and meeting guides that you brought just in case.
  • Laugh it off, apply your natural charisma and present your material. (This is much more impressive to your client than making them wait. No presentation is worth waiting very long for while you “fix the problem”. The client rightly expects you to have done all that before you arrived.  Trying too long to “fix” a presentation will make you run over your allotted time and says to your client that you don’t value their time.)