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Conference-proofing your presentation

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One of the frustrations of speaking at events is that your carefully crafted presentation will often appear different and sometimes unreadable on the big screen. You are much more likely to see the presentation the way you intended if you can use your own computer, but conference organisers prefer to have all the presentations loaded onto their own computer to speed the changeovers.

Many presenters complain that the fonts appear differently, that the formatting is disrupted, that background images disappear and that the page is cropped, chopping away vital information. These problems are hard to avoid entirely but by taking a few simple precautions.

Design for compatibility. Instead of designing your presentation for optimal appearance try to design it to maximise compatibility. Avoid using unusual fonts, special effects or embedded media content that might work on your own computer but not on others. Try also to keep slide construction clean, without cutting and pasting complex block…