November 28, 2007

The Two Tools PowerPoint Presenters Need

Teens make great slaves. At a recent open house, the high school guidance counselor leaned on a podium on stage throughout the requisite PowerPoint presentation while a student kneeled on the floor near a notebook computer and advanced the slides. Really! Only the student's hand was visible, which made me think of a horror film with a decapitated hand.

I felt like shouting two suggestions:
  1. raise the microphone to your height
  2. give that boy an A+ in Spacebar Pressing 101
but decided to write instead.

Where To Find A Teen
If slavery is banned in your part of the world, you can't use a teen. Why not use what they love? Technology. If you're using a PowerPoint presentation, you need two tools
  1. a wireless presenter mouse / remote control
  2. a wireless laser pointer
You can combine both features in one device for extra convenience.

Look, Ma! Ho Hands!

The presenter mouse lets you advance from slide to slide without touching your computer. Better models have extra buttons that let you move backwards and even to blank the screen.

A typical presenter mouse uses infrared (IR) signals, like your TV remote. That means two disadvantages: line of sight and short range. You have to point the remote at the receiver and make sure there are no obstacles like a podium the way to block the signal. You also need to be fairly close to the receiver. The result is restricted mobility.

Get a radio frequency (RF) mouse instead. The range is much larger --- 100 feet or more. Radio signals bounce around: obstacles are no longer obstacles. You can move around.

Laser Pointer
A laser pointer focus the audience's attention where you want on the screen. You can even use one if you're in the audience and in a playful mood.
Tips: Be sure you have steady hands. Be sure you have good aim. Be sure you don't accidentally point at the audience.
Spare Batteries
I bought some batteries, but they weren't included - so I had to buy them again. --- Stephen Wright
If your devices lacks an off switch, remember to remove the batteries when not in use. Otherwise, you may find that a button remains on when you cram your equipment in your travel case.
Tips: Be sure to reinstall the batteries. Be sure to use a well-lit spot to reduce the chances of inserting the batteries backwards.

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