Sunday, November 22, 2009

Portable Presentations

The use of Powerpoint and other forms of electronic illustrations of verbal communication is loathed by some, useful from time to time for some, and embraced totally by others.

For the most part internally prepared communications within parishes work okay - initial problems of inadequate or insufficient software or hardware to run presentations are sorted out and life proceeds smoothly until the day when, say, a new computer or projector is purchased, or one piece of software is upgraded. But new teething problems are sorted and life goes on!

A challenge I frequently come across is externally prepared communications which do not work. A visiting speaker comes with an embedded video or a slideshow or a Powerpoint with peculiarities and, oh dear, nothing happens when the button is pushed at the beginning of the address or sermon.

Obviously some practical solutions lie at hand in a category called 'rehearsal': visiting speakers telegraph ahead of time that what they want to present requires software X and hardware Y, or a practice run is scheduled for the Saturday night before the Sunday service. There is also the possibility that a visitor brings their own laptop (though that may incur other problems such as changing from one machine to another in the course of a service).

Nevertheless speakers on the move, with busy, compressed schedules may not be able to offer 'rehearsal', and their own laptop may not be a solution, more of a problem. What to do?

Here I admit that I am no expert on these matters and thus ask: what ways of presenting visual material are portable from one environment to another with 100% guarantee of success?

I look forward to your suggestions!

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