11 Quick AV Tips

Make sure you're ready for your presentation with these quick tips.

Make sure you're ready for your presentation with these quick tips.

Before your next meeting, take a look at these 11 AV pointers.


  • When you walk into a meeting room, make sure you know where the light controls are, where the microphones are, and who to ask if you need help - you don’t want to be scrambling if there’s a problem during the meeting.

  • If you have an onsite technician, make sure they know who will be speaking - give them an agenda so they can follow along and be prepared for the next part of the meeting

Slides and Video:

  • Make sure you know if the projector or AV system you’re using has VGA or HDMI inputs (or one of a few other less common standards) and that you have the right cables to use with it.

  • Make sure you (or your AV company) have all the video display adapters you’ll need.

    • There are LOTS of variations of video adapters for laptops (different generations and lines of both Macs and PC’s often need different adapters), so make sure that you have at least the most common ones:

      • USB-C to HDMI and VGA

      • Mini DisplayPort (thunderbolt) to VGA and HDMI

      • HDMI to VGA

  • If you’re using one laptop for all the presentations (We highly recommend this), load and test all the slides for the next session at each break. If you’ve got all the slides loaded at the break, you’ll have much less to set up between talks.

  • If you’re using a wireless presenter remote, make sure you show the presenters the button layout when you load their slides - you don’t want them to fumble with the buttons while they’re on stage. Make sure to show them forward, back, and blank - even if they won’t use the blank button, it can be surprising if they push it accidentally.

  • If presenters have video and audio, make sure you have tested the video and audio before they go on - sometimes videos and powerpoint don’t play nice.

    • Current versions of PowerPoint and Keynote embed the video into the presentation file, but if you have trouble with videos being lost or unlinked, the secret to this is make sure the files are in the same place relative to their original location - put them all in a folder with the powerpoint file BEFORE you add them to a slide, and then move the whole folder to the presentation computer

    • ALSAYS bring an extra copy of the video or audio files - you can re-link them on the show computer during the break if you need to.


  • Hook up audio for the presentation computer just in case - you never know when someone will add videos or audio last minute.

  • If you’re using wireless mics, check the batteries before you start and make sure you have spare batteries on hand. Some mics use 9V batteries, some use AA, and some mics use special rechargeable batteries, so make sure you have the right kind!

  • If you’re using a lavaliere microphone, make sure the mic is attached to the presenter’s shirt as close to the center of their collar as possible, and make sure it’s close to the presenter’s mouth - you want it to pick up their speech as well as possible, and avoid background noise.

  • If you’re passing mics for Q&A, make sure the audience members hold the mic close enough to their mouth - you ideally want it about 4” away and pointed directly at the speaker’s mouth. If the speaker holds it down at their chest, it will be hard to hear the question.

Cover image by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center used under CC By 2.0 license.

Blog post content © Copyright 2019 Talon Entertainment.