Presentation Hardware

If you’re lucky, you’ll have complete control over every aspect of your presentation—including the computer, the projector, and all the other technical bits and pieces that are required.

Often, though, you’ll be using others’ equipment; plugging your laptop into a video projector at a conference; or just showing up with your presentation on a CD and running it on someone else’s computer. When the equipment isn’t your own, you have to be more flexible and ready to improvise.

Laptops

You can run PowerPoint 2008 presentations on any of the current crop of MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Older laptops, especially G4 machines, are apt to have some difficulty presenting some of the more complex animation and transition affects. To get the best performance, use JPEG’s for image files, MP3s for audio files, and don’t use 3-D or shadow effects. Presentations intended for single viewers—like self-paced lessons—are well-suited to a desktop computer. But for most presentations, the portability of a laptop makes it the computer of choice.

Projectors

Depending on the size of your audience, the type of room you’re in—and the size of your budget—you can show your PowerPoint presentations right on your laptop, on an external monitor, or with a video projector.

If you’re presenting to a group and you’re able to dim the lights, a projector is usually your best bet. The video projector market is booming, fueled by home theater buffs and computerized presenters like you. Prices are falling ...

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