How to hand over your slides

Two weeks ago my parents hosted a reunion for their medical school class. In addition to the usual black-tie meal (read “piss-up”), members of the class of ’79 were invited to deliver short talks. Twenty volunteers were given ten minutes each to speak about whatever they wanted.

I was recruited as tech-support which involved collecting PowerPoint slides, establishing Skype video calls with absent alumni, and a generally helping-out behind the scenes.

Overall things went smoothly. But I have a new appreciation for people who perform similar roles at conferences. Collecting and queuing up a few slides was surprisingly time consuming.

Here are my top tips to make the tech-support’s life (and your life) easier:

Use an old version of PowerPoint

Or have a backup plan if the presentation computer doesn’t have the most up-to-date software.

Expect your USB stick to get lost

Clearly label it. Delete your banking information and other confidential data. Don’t use an expensive stick or external hard drive. It WILL get misplaced.

Expect problems with embedded videos

Embedded video always leads to problems. Your video might require extra software to play or it might not have been properly embedded. Play it safe and bring along a copy of the original video. I had to use Any Video Converter make a video Mac-friendly.

E-mail the slides in advance

I know, I know. This last one is wishful thinking. But it will get you in the organiser’s good books.

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