Tuesday, March 27, 2007

When to unplug your remote or mouse

I had a good conversation with a client this week about a struggle they had during a presentation. Things were going along well until an unknown problem caused every attempt to advance to the next slide to cause the pen pointer to come up on the screen. They eventually made it go away but were unsure what they did to stop the problem. With another presentation coming up this week, they wanted some ideas of what to try in case this strange behaviour happened again. We talked about a number of possible causes, but the most likely cause was low batteries in the remote mouse she was using. Many presenters are using remote mice or remote devices to advance their slides, which is a better approach than being glued to the laptop. But when the batteries get low, it can cause unpredictable behaviour as mixed up signals may end up being sent to the receiver. Two suggestions. First, always turn off the remote or remove a battery if there is no "off" button, when you store it in your laptop case. All it takes is a business card case pressing one of the buttons while in your case and the batteries will wear down mighty quickly. Second, if you get unstable behaviour while presenting, unplug the receiver from the computer. This ensures that no mixed up signals reach the computer. You will now have to stand beside the laptop, but at least you have a better chance of it working. If you want other tips on what to do when problems occur during your presentation, check out my webinar at http://www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com/wtproblems.htm .


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