Friday, October 26, 2012

Presenting at tekom & What I Learned

The tekom conference is over and I am on the overnight train to Vienna, in a sleeper car where they just served us breakfast - a nice bonus. My presentation went better than I expected, but in the process I learned a few things:

  • A four-year-old netbook is too slow to efficiently manage my business while on the road and to follow up on conversations I had at the conference.
  • The resolution on that netbook also isn't quite sufficient for a conference projector. My slides did display, but were a little fuzzy.
  • The laptop I use next time should support extending the display to a second monitor, so what is displayed on my laptop doesn't have to match what the audience sees (see below).
  • I need to learn more about the firewall and security settings on my machine so I can get online on public networks with strange settings.

While attending other presentations I also learned a few things about speaking at such conferences:

  • Each slide should have a footer with the company logo/name and slide number. I added a footer with my company name at the last minute. The logo in an appropriate resolution/size would probably have been better and I couldn't get the slide numbers to display.
  • My slides need to look more professional. I used the background from my stationary and the blue and purple colors from my website, but I need to spend some time with fonts and a crisper layout.
  • Rather than having my speech on paper, I should have it on the laptop - probably as notes for each slide. That, of course, only works if the laptop supports dual monitors with the display extended to the second monitor, not duplicated there. I probably was the only presenter at tekom who used paper notes.
  • If available, I should use the wireless headset rather than the microphone on the lectern. That way the audience can still hear me when I turn to the screen with the laser pointer to highlight some aspect of a slide.
  • It might be good to also record the presentation in advance. For one thing, I can time it more accurately. Plus, if I get sick before a presentation I may be able to give the talk remotely.

Now I need to digest all the new information I tried to absorb during the last three days. I'll report on the presentations I attended sometime in November, after I get back to New York.