Public Speaking – BEHIND THE SCENES – AV for your PRESENTATION

This is an AI generated transcript so please forgive any errors and spelling mistakes.

Hello. I wanna ask you today, are you ready to be connected under any circumstances? And I don’t mean are you as super networker, ready to go out and shake some hands and connect with people that way. But if you are going to make a presentation, do you have what it takes to connect up your presentation with the AV at the venue under any circumstances? That’s what we’re going to chat about in just a moment.

First of all, I will introduce myself. I’m Shola Kaye. I’m a communication consultant and a professional speaker and a speaker coach based in London with clients around the world.

Today we are going to look at connectivity. I’m sorry if you are listening to this on my podcast you cannot see this bunch of cables I have in my hand. You cannot see this metallic connector that I have in my left hand. But I urge you to jump onto my website and check out this episode there because you will be able to watch it all in video format.

What I’m going to talk about today is this is a behind-the-scenes video. I haven’t done one of these for a while but just a small thing that will help you be ready for any eventuality when you get to a venue. That is the connectivity of your machine, your laptop.

Public Speaking – connecting your laptop to the venue’s equipment

Now, in another presentation I’ll talk about (sorry not presentation) in another video I’ll talk about formats for your presentation to make sure that you don’t get caught short and be in that embarrassing and horrible situation where you provide a format for your presentation it doesn’t work on the day. Today we are really going to talk more about the actual connectivity and in particular we’re going to talk about HDMI vs VGA.

Anyone who has spoken a venue with those old-school projectors with the fans that blow out and who’s been speaking for a while let’s say, you’ll be familiar with VGA connectivity. And VGA I’ll hold it up to the camera here you can see where you’ve got this sort of… (I should have figured out the name of the shape before I came on here) but you’ve got this sort of series of dots. You’ve got what we call a female connector here. So the male is where the pins stick out and then the females where you’ve got holes. This is what we call a VGA female input.

So typically, if you are going to speak at a venue that has an old school projector you’ll need some way to connect up via VGA. Those old-school projectors sometimes do not have what we call HDMI, which I’ll show you in just a moment, which is typically what you’d plug into a TV. Just recently, because you know I would have thought that most venues now have moved from VGA connectivity to HDMI, but literally, just I think three or four months ago, I was at a venue. I told them beforehand by email “I’m gonna bring my laptop, I’ve got a HDMI connector spot on my laptop, will you have a cable? Is HDMI OK?”. They just insisted “yes, yes, everything’s fine, just come along”.

Then on the day I get there the person I’d shared that information with wasn’t there, hadn’t told the person who is the one who would be connecting me up and then they say “oh, well actually with it’s been on the blink, the HDMI connector has not been working very well and the HDMI cable has not been working very well, so do you have VGA?” Thank goodness, lucky for me I’d brought my own VGA cable along and it was a VGA to HDMI.

Public Speaking – I have different connectors to cover all bases

A bit more cable stuff here, I’ll backtrack in just a moment. So I had with me this cable which I got from Amazon, I think was about I don’t know ten pounds or something. If you’re an American it’s probably cheaper there because everything is cheaper in America. People get paid more money but the stuff is cheaper, don’t know why that is but anyway… 😆

This is a VGA input. This is a male here because it pops out, and this is VGA female. The cable will have the male connectivity and that will plug in to the female. With laptops these days most of them don’t have an actual inbuilt VGA female slot, so you might need to have your own dongle or sort of peripheral piece here that you will plug in to your laptop. Then that enables you to connect up.

I’m just going to backtrack a bit because you’re probably like “what the hell is she talking about?”. I’m gonna backtrack. First of all, the very first thing you’re gonna need is a way to connect your laptop or computer to their screen (assuming laptop because I’m not gonna take a desktop to speak, right?). If you do not have a VGA port inbuilt into your laptop you will need one of these guys, which will have its own VGA or HDMI port built in.

I just recently bought this one that has HDMI as well as VGA just in case. The one that came with my laptop just had VGA but I get paranoid so I wanted to make sure that I was ready for anything. So, I’ve got a VGA input here and then I’ve got HDMI input here. This was from Amazon it cost about £28 or something. There’re tons of different brands, you don’t need to know what brand this is but anyway, HDMI and VGA. That plugs into my laptop, so now my laptop is ready to connect up to their screen or to their projector.

Public Speaking – it’s useful to bring your own cable

Then the next thing is we need a cable and you might think “of course they’re gonna have a cable, I don’t need to have my cable”. I’ve been to more than one venue where the cable did not work and last minute we’re hanging around the emailing presentations from phones and things trying to get it onto the right machine so that I can actually play the presentation. So I now have my own cable. I’ve got several cables actually.

I’ve got a cable which is HDMI and HDMI. Those are both male. They will slot into a TV screen on one side and then into my computer or my dongle on the other. Then I’ve also got a different cable here. This cable is (oh my phone is ringing, I’ll come back to you). I’ve got this cable here and this cable is VGA male here, so that will go into my VGA input here. Now you gotta be careful because some VGA cables have got like little screw piece here and those won’t work if your VGA input doesn’t have the two little holes for the screws. So be careful. This is a VGA input that will go into a projector let’s say.

In case you’ve got sound on your presentation you’ll need a little jack. This is a mini jack, and the cable comes with all this anyway. Then here’s the HDMI so this cable has got VGA on one end so I can go into their projector and it’s got HDMI on the other end so that I can fit into my laptop dongle. I hope that makes sense. What I also have, which I have had to use before but only on one occasion, was this little adapter. This is HDMI to VGA. If the HDMI is the VGA it’s what I can do with this one is I can just plug in my HDMI cable and then this can also work with a projector. So that’s female. I’d need to get the projector cable which is male that can plug into here.

Public Speaking – be prepared to present without the AV

But essentially, I’m not saying you need all of this stuff, but I’m just saying you need to be on your toes. Some venues will say “oh yes, we’ve got everything you need, just bring your laptop”. Then you get there and stuff ain’t working, right? And you’re like “oh my god, oh my god, I need to do my presentation the worst is gonna happen”. If you’ve got a few extra cables in your bag and you’re ready for that situation it can help you it can save you from stress strain and having to kind of BS your way through your presentation. I would also say that on top of that you must be ready for the AV to not work.

I think a well-known story of that is Al Gore. He was giving I think a big presentation which was on climate change and stuff did not work. He had to do the presentation without all his fancy slides, the video, all the rest of it. He still carried it off. From what I understand, I wasn’t there of course, but from what I understand he did a fantastic job.

I always on top of all the cables and all the bits and bobs I bring I always bring a hard copy of my presentation. Whether it’s my notes, written notes or note cards, or just some physical thing that does not rely on electronics and computers and the internet. Just in case all else goes wrong and it’s just me and the audience and nothing in between. No slides, no screens, nothing. I’m always ready for that.

Public Speaking – brief summary: know your connectors

I hope that helps. As I say, not that you have to have all these cables and things but I haven’t done behind the scenes episode for a while I thought this is a useful thing to share. Some people don’t know the difference between HDMI and VGA. I think it’s at the very least you should understand that and understand that VGA is this shape here, old-school projectors typically. HDMI is this shape here as the input and that tends to be more modern connectivity in particular to TV screens and the like.

I hope that helps. I’m done for now and I will see you next time. And if you are interested in finding out a bit more about how I work then please do jump on to and look at the work with me section. You’ll find some interesting information there about how I work with organisations and also with individuals.

Take care, see you soon. Bye.


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