I know it has been two weeks since our Demo2Win Class in the DC office. In the class we talked about some things that EVERY presenter should have with them. This list here is not exhaustive, but should give you an idea of some things I carry with me to make presenting a little easier and more professional. In addition to the things listed here, I also carry a handful of staples, paperclips, pencils, highlighters, ball point pens and thumbtacks. Some other presenters also carry with them flip chart paper and tripods.
Container: To carry everything, I use the 17 Liter Storage Box from a company called Really Useful Products. It is VERY rugged and carry’s everything listed here, plus about another 1/2 dozen things needs for training’s, etc. Plus, you can use this box as a podium when presenting to clients. They don’t have an online store yet, but you can pick them up in Office Depot, which is where I got mine. http://www.reallyusefulproducts.co.uk/usa/
Wireless Presentation Controller: Some of my co-workers LOVE the Microsoft Presenter Mouse. I hate it. I don’t want a stupid mouse to click with. I want something that I hide in my hands, not something I have to worry about clicking on, etc. 🙂 Wireless Presentation Controller is the one I use. There are newer ones, ones with more toys on them, but I want front, back, ALT+Tab, Black and a laser pointer. Nothing else. The only one I would upgrade from this one for is one with a Flash Drive in the USB side.
USB Powered Speakers: Since I generally show some form of a video during about 1/2 my presentations, it is always a good idea to carry a pair of speakers around. I want a pair that where slim, had at least three watts of power and most importantly, DIDN’T require batteries. So going with a pair of USB powered speakers got me all of that. These are nice because they include a little carry bag for them, which keeps them from sliding around and getting trashed.
Sound Extension Cables: Sometimes, I don’t need speakers, the room already has them. You generally wanna store two kinds with you. For example, in Microsoft offices, we generally have a male head phone jack for plugging into your PC. Other clients sites I have been to have a female one, so you will need to stock enough for both. Plus, you can use them together to make a 10-12′ long sound extension. So I would get both of them. (Male to Male) (Mail to Female)
VGA Switchbox: In doing presentations, projectors and everybody hates it when we swap out laptops for two different pieces of a presentation. A full blown KVM switch is overkill for what we do with laptops, but a simple Switchbox works VERY well. The only thing you have to remember is to include two VGA cables. It also helps to keep a Gender Bender in your bag for the cables incase somebody brings a MF when you need a MM cable.
VGA Cables: These are a mandatory. You should have two of them. So it goes from you to switch box to projector. This also helps you when your projector is on the other side of the room from where you are. 🙂 Again, you should keep at least one cable gender bender in your bag of tricks.
Gaffer’s Tape: Wires are not your friend when you are un-tethered from your machine. I like this Gaffer’s tape as it generally comes up from most surfaces with out issues. Not something I would use on my oriental rug, but great for most commercial surfaces.
Blue Tack: I have been using this stuff for over 20 years now. It rocks. Use it to put things up on walls and remove them with out leaving residue. How about making sure those pesky name badges stay put? This stuff has a million and one uses.
Dry Erase Markers: How many times have you gone to use the dry erase markers and they are dry? Or all of them are but the color yellow? (Which nobody can see…) This is a nice collection of them with a bottle of cleaning solution and eraser.
Colored Permanent Markers: When you are working on a flip chart, these are key to have.
Power Strip: You should have at least one of these with you. This will help when plugging in your second hard drive, your projector, your laptop, etc.
Extension Cord: You should set your room up in accordance with what works best for the presentation, not where outlets are located. This in conjunction with the Power Strip will give you 10+ feet of space between you and an outlet.
The total bill for this was right around a hundred dollars or so. Do you have any must haves for your demos?