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James Serra's Blog

James is currently a Senior Business Intelligence Architect/Developer and has over 20 years of IT experience. James started his career as a software developer, then became a DBA 12 years ago, and for the last five years he has been working extensively with Business Intelligence using the SQL Server BI stack (SSAS, SSRS, and SSIS). James has been at times a permanent employee, consultant, contractor, and owner of his own business. All these experiences along with continuous learning has helped James to develop many successful data warehouse and BI projects. James has earned the MCITP Business Developer 2008, MCITP Database Administrator 2008, and MCITP Database Developer 2008, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. His blog is at .

Presenting Tips

Having done a number of presentations, I have accumulated a list of items to go over before each presentation to make sure I am full prepared:

  • Bring my laptop that has my PowerPoint presentation, mouse, powercord
  • Bring a microphone to record the session or if it will be webcast.  A cheap solution is Logitech Labtec Desktop Microphone 600.  A better, but more expensive solution is the Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone
  • Bring a page-up clicker such as RF Wireless Laser Pointer with Page up Down PowerPoint Presentation Function (Black).  Saves having to press a key on your laptop to advance the slides, especially when your laptop if not close to where you are standing to present
  • Bring a USB memory stick that has a backup of my PowerPoint presentation.  Just in case your laptop fails and you have to borrow another laptop
  • Install ZoomIt on my laptop.  So you can zoom in during a demo for those in the back of the room
  • Print notes pages with slide thumbnails.  In the very unlikely scenario you have no power or no functioning laptop
  • Bring an air card if you need internet access in case the location does not have working WiFi
  • Turn off the power/screen saver on your laptop so your presentation is not interrupted
  • Use white background/black text on your slides
  • Wear a watch or display a clock on your laptop (or use the clock/timer in Presenter View) to keep track if you are going to fast or slow
  • In PowerPoint, turn off auto advance of slide (see Set Time Duration For Moving To Next Slide [PowerPoint 2010])
  • In PowerPoint, make sure to review: On the Slide Show tab, in the Monitors group, ensure that the monitor on which you want the audience to see your presentation, appears in the Show On list
  • Make sure to review how to view PowerPoint notes while in Slide Show mode: View your speaker notes privately, while delivering a presentation on multiple monitors.
  • You may want to make a few setting changes on your laptop to improve recording: Go to Sound -> Recording -> Properties -> Levels -> FrontMic (100) and Microphone Boost (+20).  Also check the boxes for Noise Suppression and Acoustic Echo Cancellation
  • Bring business cards

More info:

How to Write a Conference Abstract

What Makes a Good Conference Session or Keynote?

Plagiarism Week: Pilfered Presentations

How to Deliver a Killer Technical Presentation

How to Rehearse a Presentation

How I Made the #SQLPASS Top 10 Sessions

Gaining Speaker Experience Credentials

Speaker Lessons Learned – Free Advice That’s Paid For

Why Should I Present?

How Should I Present?

How to Prep for a Presentation

The Presenter’s Bill of Rights

Become a Presenter, Change Your Life

Building My Event Bag-Part 4


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