File Management! Save your PowerPoint file in a folder with any media content in the presentation. Audio and Video files are not embedded in the .ppt(x) file and PowerPoint will expect those files to be in their original location.
Don’t rely on the internet for content! Have you ever been in a situation where you have lost internet access? Now ask yourself if you are comfortable having the only copy of your presentation stored online…
Backup! Have a copy of your presentation on a USB drive or saved in the cloud. You can also email a copy of your presentation to yourself.
Keep it local! Before starting your presentation, save any folders and files being used to the desktop of the computer you are using. Running directly from a USB drive or URL can cause issues, especially if the presentation has video or audio content.
First Impressions! Have a logo or welcome message as your first slide and have this on display before the first guest/audience member arrives. This looks more professional than opening PowerPoint and searching through your hard drive for your files in front of your audience. If you need to set up your presentation while the audience is waiting blank the screen of the projector/display.
Sound Effects and Animations! Try to avoid unnecessary animations and sound effects during a presentation. While amusing at first, these quickly become tiresome and waste a lot of time – a gentle swoosh or camera click may sound inconspicuous or amusing on your laptop speakers but in a classroom or over a PA system in a conference centre they will sound very different!
Be Prepared! If you are using someone else’s computer or laptop to present from don’t assume your presentation will work properly. There are many factors that may prevent a file from working – disk failure, lack of space, lack of drives or inputs and software version incompatibilities (e.g. Office 2013 vs. Office 2007.) If you are expecting to use a laptop or computer other than the one you created your presentation on, make sure that it has the space, memory, hardware and software you need to successfully run your presentation.