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Your “Speaker’s Bag” Should Contain. . .


0LOT More than a Thumb-Drive!

Let me tell you a story: I gave a presentation last week to a ladies networking group. The talk was about developing great Elevator and EXPRESS Elevator Speeches.

The venue was a classroom in a college. There was a projector mounted to the ceiling and a computer on a lectern connected to it. I’m a mac guy, so know there can always be challenges.

  1. Disconnecting the VGA cable from the back of the classroom monitor required needle-nose pliers. Check! I had a pair.

  2. Connecting to my macbook pro necessitated an adapter. Check! I had one.

  3. Unfortunately, the projector did not recognize my computer, and the presentation screen, no matter what I tried, would not show my slides.

  4. Fortunately, Lisa, my networking group contact, brought her projector.

  5. I disconnected the VGA cable from the classroom monitor and connected it to Lisa’s projector – Nothing!

  6. Lisa suggested trying an HDMI cable and plugged one she brought into the projector.

  7. To connect that to my computer, I needed another type of adapter. Check! I had one.

  8. Problems Solved!

Presentation Challenges can be Overcome if the Speaker Plans for the What Ifs!

  1. What If the emcee forgets to bring my Introduction.

  2. Always bring a copy to the presentation. The person you originally sent it to may have lost or forgotten to bring it. Sometimes, the job has been assigned, at the last minute, or otherwise, to someone who never received your Introduction. Check! I do this.

  3. What If my computer crashes?

  4. Because I use Keynote software for my slide presentations, I back up my presentation on a thumb drive in powerpoint and PDF formats. Check! I did this.

  5. The computer I may have to borrow could have a version of power-point not compatible with my version. PDFs will work!

  6. What If the bulb on the projector burns out and there is not an extra one available?

  7. Delivery may necessitate the speaker using their computer onlyor, having the images of the presentation printed out in power point’s slide view on several pages. Check! I always do this.

  8. What If a remote control is not provided or, the one supplied doesn’t have all the functions I need?

  9. Own and bring a remote that does everything needed to deliver a great presentation. Some can make the slides go forward and back, control audio levels, contains an infrared pointer, and make the screen go blank, bringing the attention of the audience to the speaker, where it should be! Check! I have one and bring it.

  10. What If the batteries go dead?

  11. Pack several of the correct size batteries as backups. All too often an “On” switch is left in that position and the device goes dead. Check! I do this.

  12. What If audio is an important part of a talk and it doesn’t work through the projector?

  13. Bring a blue tooth/cable external speaker and several feet of mini-plug connectors. Check! I do.

  14. What If the project and computer power cords are too short to reach the electrical outlet and the venue doesn’t have an extension cord?

  15. Have a power strip in that carry-on with multiple outlets and a six-foot cord. Check! It was in the bag.

  16. What If the outlet at the venue or provided extension cord only has two prongs and all your cords are three-prong grounded ones.

  17. Grounded plug adapters will solve this problem. Check! I’ve got them.

  18. What If the levelers on the projector, as sometimes happens, don’t work or are broken?

  19. Have one or two rubber door stops and that problem can be fixed. Check! I have those.

  20. What If someone wants to buy your book (You have a book, don’t you?) and doesn’t have cash.

  21. PayPal and Square are great ways, amongst others, to accept credit card payments. Be certain your phone, with the app and card reader, can validate cards with security chips. Check! Mine does.

  22. Some may want a receipt. Check! I have a book of them.

Other Items to Pack.

  1. Water.

  2. Cotton Mouth is  Bring your own water bottle and keep it at room temperature.

  3. Water that is too warm or too cold is not good for your vocal cords.

  4. Often, water provided by the venue is ice cold and in a sweaty glass. This should not be next to your presentation notes or gear!

  5. Folding Stands for displaying books.

  6. They won’t purchase one if they don’t see it!

  7. Phone App for scanning business cards.

  8. There should be a way to build the database of prospects for products and services.

  9. Asking people to leave their business card in exchange for a FREE Template, White Paper, or other items of value can do this.

  10. It’s far easier to scan and edit business cards than read someone’s scribbling on a sign-up sheet!

  11. Duct tape or, even better, Riggers Tape.

  12. This is important for keeping cords in place and people from tripping over them.

  13. Mouse, mouse dongle, and mouse pad if they are necessary for your talk.

Take this advice for packing your “Speaker’s Bag” and your next presentation will be – NO SWEAT!

—————————————————————————————————————————————————– About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, a coach, and the author of the book, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.

They do this because they know: Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

They also know: We perceive really great speakers to be Experts, and we like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver ‘Knock Your Socks Off Presentations!’ with – NO SWEAT!


  1. Keynote Speaker

  2. Workshop Facilitator

  3. Breakout Sessions

  4. Personal and Group Public Speaking and Presentation Coaching


  1. Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!

  2. Crafting Your Elevator Speech, Floor by Floor with – NO SWEAT!

  3. Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

  4. We are All Self-Employed!

314-517-8772 Connect/Follow me: FaceBook LinkedIn Twitter YouTube


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