Presentation attendance is important for keeping sharp and up to date on topics and techniques. With that in mind, I often attend seminars and presentations on a variety of topics, Barco Clickshare Australia in South Africa from business development and consultancy to investing and asset management. Most recently, I attended a seminar from David Lerner and Associates on “Building and Protecting your Assets.” While this is clearly a sales seminar, looking to create a buying impulse, it also provided great information and food for thought. Mostly, however, I want to discuss the techniques used in the seminar, as I found it to be very well done.
I will begin by saying that David Lerner is a very polished and entertaining speaker. His use of technology was well integrated with his manner of walking the room. Three video screens were used, Barco Screen Share One large central screen and two smaller screens to allow the viewers at the peripheries to see the information clearly as well. On top of this, a wireless sound system was used to project the speaker’s voice effectively. The facility was a moderate sized convention center/ballroom, with a crowd that I would estimate at 600 people.
Utilizing an array of speakers connected to a wireless receiver, and a handheld wireless microphone, every word was able to be heard clearly. Volume and clarity are both key factors for successful speakers. However, it was not so much the technical details which made this a good presentation, it was the presentation style. Mr. Lerner made several overtures to connect with the audience effectively. First, he was adept at using humor, which is often touted as a public speaking tool.
I personally liked his references to Mel Brooks’ movies, as I am a huge fan of his work. Bringing the audience back to those references at points throughout the presentation also created memory points for the audience. This is a fantastic technique for getting an audience to remember key points, Barco Presentation System without seeming like a pushy teacher. Mr. Lerner also connected with the audience by sharing details and experiences from his personal life. Humanizing yourself as a speaker should not be discounted; an audience is far more likely to “buy in” to a speaker’s pitch if they see him as one of their own rather than an outsider. Sharing stories that the audience can relate to is crucial, but a speaker must know the audience well enough to make this work. Both the humor and personal connection set the audience at ease and allow for a greater capacity to listen and accept what is being shared without a highly guarded affect.
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I don't need to tell you that PowerPoint and Apple's Keynote applications are probably your number one tool for presentations but be aware that what you see on your computer screen is not necessarily what you will see on a video or projection screen. Here are some important techniques and tips to consider when building your presentations for your next meeting, seminar or special event. Let your attendees get the most out of your hard work.
I have worked on countless programs that have used PowerPoint and Keynote as a major focal point for their sales meetings, award show celebrations and other events and I can't tell you how many times I've seen attendees struggle to see what they were invited there to see. Why loose your audience in the back of the room if you don't have to? One or more of them quite possibly could be your next company superstar but they missed your presentation because they simply couldn't see it and decided to play solitaire on their smart phone.
Lets add another layer to the necessity of reaching the attention of your attendees from the front row to the back row. With a phone or laptop, a wireless connection and a little social media at your attendee's fingertips, they may be posting in real time what a bore your presentation is. Not good. You can avoid much of this by following these guidelines when building your program for a projection screen in any venue or meeting space. You may have heard the phrase, "Presentation is everything." Never take this phrase for granted.
*Lets start with font / point size.
Here is a quick test you can try right now. Enter a sentence in your document in 6 different point sizes **(10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20). Then simply move 4 feet back from your monitor or laptop screen. Without straining or squinting your eyes, which is the smallest point size that is easiest or most comfortable to read? I'm going take a shot and say you chose a point size of 14 or 16. Keep your font size at 14 or higher and you will be on the money every time. If you can't see your text content at this distance, neither can your audience or attendees viewing it on a projection screen regardless of screen size. We call this The 4 Foot Rule. It's a good idea to have satellite plasma screens in exceptionally large venues but you really want to keep your guests focused on the action on your stage.
Understanding Negative Space
For many years I've had discussions with event planners in need of a solution for making very architecturally busy meeting spaces or pre-themed environments disappear and turning giant, daunting spaces into intimate environments with the use of lighting. Understanding the concept of negative space is the key and the same applies to your screen presentations. Direct your viewers eyes where you want them. White backgrounds with black text is not recommended. The white space overpowers your text. You want your presentation to be dynamic. You want to hold the viewers attention. Use dark backgrounds with high contrast text, put borders around your photos and don't clutter your slides. An image with a single line of text or a handful of bullet points is the most effective use of your slide real estate. It draws the viewers eyes to the exact content you want them to see without distractions.
I'm going to cut to the chase here and say there are lots of web sites that discuss color schemes and the use of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary colors but for now, lets focus on what works on a projection screen. Color theory and colorimetry may be a topic for another day here. Take note, what you see here, the color saturation and contrast is not what you will see on a projection screen. **See link below for color image of this chart.
- Blue text will not work on dark or black backgrounds.
- Cyan text will work on dark or black backgrounds.
- Green text will not work on dark or black backgrounds.
- Yellow text will work well on dark or black backgrounds.
- Orange text will work on dark or black backgrounds.
- NEVER use red text on dark or black backgrounds.
- Pink text will work on dark or black backgrounds.
- White text will work best on dark or black backgrounds.
- Here is one last secret for squint proof, easy on the eyes presentation. If you have an extensive program that you can't break up with images or you must have slides containing a paragraph of text, go to your color picker and use a very very light shade of gray.
- Never use graphics that do not pertain to your message. The phrase "Less is more" in this respect is without a doubt, 100% true.
- Stick to one font set in your presentation. Sans Serif fonts are best for projection screens as Serif fonts are meant to be used with more text (Like a paragraph or book).
- Take a look at your favorite news program on TV and keep an eye out for how text is presented. Use it as a visual guideline. You will notice subtle movement such as swipes and fades, bulleted text and very minimal animation.
- Use or create custom key slide / key frame backgrounds or background images. Stay away from using the backgrounds included with the software. Everyone on EARTH has seen them already.
- Use the highest quality / resolution graphics and photos you can find. Don't acquire your images from the internet unless you know how to find high resolution images. Graphics and text decorations online are generally low resolution. Understanding some copyright law on using web images is a good idea as well.
Your presentation is not a stand alone document. If your slides are well crafted, your PowerPoint or Keynote document must require YOU, your narrative to have meaning. It is a tool to emphasize your key points, to add a bit of visual depth and possibly an emotional connection with your viewer to initiate action. It is a tool that ties a visual flow to your words, not the contrary. If it is more than this you have to much content on your screen. Put all of this together and you will have a successful presentation at your next event or meeting. Someone may even Tweet a nice comment about it back at the office.;-)
*The point sizes shown above will vary depending on your monitor or laptop screen resolution.
** See size and color reference.
Buying Tips For Wireless Lavalier Microphone
A microphone is an electronic device that convert sound into electrical energy and back into sound energy when it is transmitting out from the speakers. A wireless lavalier microphone is one tiny device that can be clipped onto your collar. It is usually linked to a wireless transmitter strapped to the belt or body. The transmitter will then link to the base wireless station.
This frees your hand and you will be able to use them for other purposes. They are commonly used by people giving presentations, bodyguards, backstage personnel and even professional singers giving a concert.
Here are some wireless lavalier microphone buying tips to consider while shopping for lavalier wireless microphone.
Frequency of Wireless Lavalier Microphone System
This is one important factor to consider before purchasing your microphone. This rule can be applied to other wireless products which you intend to purchase as well.
Ensure that the wireless system has a wide range of wireless frequency which you can switch to. If you are suffering from signal distortion, typically changing to another frequency will solve the problem. Hence, with a wide range of frequency channels, you will be able to solve your signal problem and indirectly increasing the wireless signal range of your wireless microphone.
Auto Scanning of Channels
If possible, purchase one wireless lavalier microphone system which is able to automatically scan for "un-congested" frequency channels. This will ensure that you are on the best frequency channel and will not be suffering from signal related issues.
Clarity of the Sound
Depending on your usage, this is another specification which you need to note before buying. If the system is used for a stage presentation, a microphone with small frequency range, 50Hz to 16kHz, is ample to allow the audience to hear the presenter's speech.
However, if you are using it for a concert or to sing a song, it is recommended to get an more expensive wireless lavaliere microphone which is able to support more frequency range such as 20Hz to 20kHz
Battery life of lavalier wireless microphone This is important if you are planning on using it for more than 2 hours. Common lavalier wireless microphone has a battery span of 2-3 hours. It is a common known fact that battery will lose their ability to store 100% of the charge rate over a period of time.
Hence, if you are going to use your microphone that you have kept for a long time in the warehouse, try using it on a full charge and check how long it took to become flat.
Certainly you do not wish to battery to be flat when you are giving an important presentation or while singing.
Another buying tip. Instead of buying those wireless lavalier microphone with 2-3 hours of lifespan, consider getting those which are able to last much longer at 7-10 hours per full charge. Although they are slightly more expensive, they could make or break the deal when you need it.
Simultaneous Connections to the System
If you are using for a presentation with a single speaker, a wireless system which has a single antenna to link to one wireless microphone is ample. However, if it involves an event like debate where several speakers will be speaking at the same time, the recommended guide line is to look for a wireless system which can handle 30% more simultaneous connections. This ensure that you are able to add in more connections for additional wireless microphone for speakers if needed.
Generally, buy one set of wireless lavalier microphone system which is customized for your needs. If you are using your sound system for demanding environments, be prepared to fork out money for quality product as they provide you with better sound quality, wider frequency response and more features.
Look for product specifications on-line and read the reviews of the buyers. From there, you will already have a clearer picture of how suitable the wireless lavalier sound system is suitable for you.