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anybody understand powerpoint ?

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Jan 20, 2020 - 10:43:36 AM
1438 posts since 2/12/2009

in the absence of anybody better, my local history group have invited me to give a presentation relating to local history, I thought to take seaside entertainers/pierrot troupes as my topic as my town was a hotbed during the Victorian and Edwardian eras for such entertainment. I intend to give a talk and play a couple of newly learned classic banjo tunes on a period instrument, so far so good but, I now feel that some kind of slide show would be a good addition and, here I am stuck ! I have heard folk talk about powerpoint using a laptop connected to a projector, I have a laptop I can load with the appropriate pics in the order I wish to use them, does anybody understand which type of projector I need and, how to get it up and running ? I dont mind buying a projector as I can probably utilise it in live performance also, can I use smart media cards slotted into a projector ? how would you proceed ? I dont want to give up on what I feel could be a good idea just through ignorance, any advice would be much appreciated, thanks.

Jan 20, 2020 - 11:18:24 AM

2010 posts since 5/2/2012

Are you using an Apple or PC computer, as the answers might vary.

Powerpoint would work. If you don't have that, check out Google Drive and the "slides" app. Powerpoint and the like are pretty easy to use. If you are comfortable working with a word processor and working with picture files, a lot of it is copy and paste, then type in text if you need to.

If you borrow a projector it should have a cable with it. You might be able to connect them with an HDMI cable, input the presentation with a media card or stick, and maybe even connect wirelessly (bluetooth or WiFi). If you are thinking about buying a projector, what is your budget?

Jan 20, 2020 - 11:18:24 AM

2010 posts since 5/2/2012

Are you using an Apple or PC computer, as the answers might vary.

Powerpoint would work. If you don't have that, check out Google Drive and the "slides" app. Powerpoint and the like are pretty easy to use. If you are comfortable working with a word processor and working with picture files, a lot of it is copy and paste, then type in text if you need to.

If you borrow a projector it should have a cable with it. You might be able to connect them with an HDMI cable, input the presentation with a media card or stick, and maybe even connect wirelessly (bluetooth or WiFi). If you are thinking about buying a projector, what is your budget?

Jan 20, 2020 - 11:25:24 AM

2010 posts since 5/2/2012

Amazon US has a video projector for <$100 US, an Amazon "best seller" but it specifically says no powerpoint. A search using "video projector powerpoint" as the search term gets you a number of them around $200US.

Oh, and you might be able to connect them with a USB cable as well.

Jan 20, 2020 - 11:28:38 AM

2010 posts since 5/2/2012

And you will probably find other uses for the projector as well (like watching football/soccer games on a huge screen or wall).

Jan 20, 2020 - 11:29:41 AM

1022 posts since 2/4/2013

The projector is connected to your laptop and shows what you have on your screen. You have to adjust your display properties on the laptop so the projector replicates what you have on your screen. In Powerpoint you create a slide show but if your just showing pictures any photo program that can run a sideshow would do. Powerpoint is usually used to show other information as well as pictures in a presentation.

I've no idea if you can run slideshows using smart media. Certainly not on the projectors I've used. Costs are quite variable. For example:

viking-direct.co.uk/en/electro...-11706001

Jan 20, 2020 - 11:53:58 AM

14535 posts since 12/2/2005

The Powerpoint app is pretty straightforward to use - you can basically either import images or copy and paste them in. Not much to it.

The projection system appears to be what you're really asking about. As others have noted, basically the projector is set to show the same thing you're seeing on your laptop display (it can get a little more complicated than that, but it doesn't need to).

The projectors in question are called LCD projectors (liquid crystal display). Modern ones usually use an HDMI cable between the computer and the projector. Some older laptops don't have HDMI ports, using either USB or VGA ports. This shouldn't be a dealbreaker as long as you have appropriate adapters to convert one type of port connection to another.

Here's another thing to consider, and this is probably the most important aspect. LCD projectors should be suitable for the room they're in. Small, inexpensive ones typically don't have particularly robust projection capabilities; they can work great in small conference rooms but in larger rooms - particularly if there's a fair amount of ambient light - they can be woefully inadequate. Depending upon the size and light conditions of the room you'll be presenting in, a less-expensive projector might not give you satisfactory results.

If I were you, I'd probably ask the organizers if they've done presentations like this before and where the projector came from. A member of the group may already have one; if you live in an area where there are AV rental places that might be your best bet. Either way, make sure you test the system prior to the event - preferably a day before, if you can, in order to adjust as necessary. I also always make a backup copy of my presentations and bring them with me on a USB jump drive, just in case something goes funky with my computer (nothing ever has, but I'd be screwed without it). That way, if something DID happen, you can borrow someone else's laptop and run the presentation from the jump drive.

One more hint. It's a good idea to have a wireless "clicker" mouse that enables you to advance your slides without hitting the page down button on your computer. These use a small USB chip you put into a USB slot on your laptop. Makes things a LOT easier. May be rented, or may be purchased.

Jan 20, 2020 - 12:28:50 PM

1438 posts since 2/12/2009

well, thank you everybody for the advice given, I shall certainly be giving this a try out, my intention is just to project a number of still photos onto a screen and, perhaps a few printed words of text to accompany my bit of playing, I will let you all know how I get on, thanks again .

Jan 20, 2020 - 1:30:02 PM
Players Union Member

Chris Meakin

Australia

2655 posts since 5/15/2011

In addition to all the above, just a minor detail... with text in your powerpoint presentation:

I know you mention only a few words, but I find no more than eight lines filling up the slide is best. Don't be afraid to use 44 point (or larger) font.

Also consider making the slide background a light grey (15%?) with black text - black on white can be a bit too bright for the audience.

Jan 20, 2020 - 1:53:53 PM

2376 posts since 4/29/2012

I do Powerpoint presentations all the time at client sites. Things to ponder:
If you have an old laptop and a new projector, or vice versa, make sure that both have the same video interface. I've turned up at venues where my new laptop with HDMI but no VGA does not connect to their old VGA but no HDMI projector. I now carry adapters that can convert both ways. If you just want to project slides then powerpoint is probably overkill. Just use your favourite WP program to put captions on your photos and use a simple inbuilt slideshow or Google slides.
As said above. If you do have text on your slides just have a short caption or bullet point. Nothing more boring than watching somebody read their notes from a slide.

Jan 20, 2020 - 4:40:39 PM

2010 posts since 5/2/2012

Got to thinking that if you have an older PC, it might come with Movie Maker. If not, you can download the app.

You can use Movie Maker to do a slide show presentation. One of the pluses of using Movie Maker is that you can set the time the individual slides are up, so you don't need to use the computer or remote to physically push a button to advance to the next slide. There are also lots of other bells and whistles to the program/app, but at it's most basic level it makes for a nice slide presentation. Plus, if you have any video you can download and edit it. Or even download some pre-recorded music to play during the slide show.

Jan 21, 2020 - 11:35:09 AM

1438 posts since 2/12/2009

Some great ideas, thanks, I do have movie maker, just gotta figure out how to connect it to whatever projector I end up getting.

Jan 21, 2020 - 11:40:06 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

11883 posts since 5/24/2005

Minimize the gimmicks and minimize your variety of gimmicks for your slides. I am speaking how they change to next image, fade in-fade out, spin in-spin out, and many other features like that. Keep it simple, and yes make sure all your hardware works and works together. Brad

Jan 21, 2020 - 11:49:41 AM

1438 posts since 2/12/2009

simplicity always works for me, just a series of appropriate images while I talk and play sounds like a plan I think, a few words about JWS while his pic is shown, some comments on minstrel shows while showing relevant images and, so on, I do not want to distract my audience with lots of gimmicks .

Jan 24, 2020 - 12:09:53 PM

tmercks

USA

743 posts since 3/7/2006

Since most projectors were originally intended to work in the business environment - a replacement for the overhead projector - almost all projectors will have a regular computer vga style input. Chances are your laptop has a vga style output . Most newer stuff today can be connected either hdmi or usb.

You may not need to buy anything, just prepare your slides. It's easier than you think, and most high school kids can help. Chances are someone in your history group, or the group itself may own a projector, and I'm sure someone knows powerpoint that can help. You might even check with your local library to see if they loan such equipment, or a local office supply store might lease you one for a night with the cables you need, and help out with the presentation.

Good luck.

 

PS. If you don't need it, some people believe powerpoint slides kill any presentation, so you might also conisder not using it unless you find it necessary.

Edited by - tmercks on 01/24/2020 12:10:56

Jan 24, 2020 - 12:27:06 PM

1438 posts since 2/12/2009

Tommy, I don't understand what you mean re; killing it ? I am a complete novice at this and, just need a few pics to illustrate my points ! I just don't want to stand there with all sorts of unrelated paraphernalia behind me distracting people. I am hoping to interest others in what I am doing so do not mind spending a reasonable amount on presentation, I am recording some tracks to use as kind of links/background and, really want my little show to shine !

Jan 24, 2020 - 2:20:56 PM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

11883 posts since 5/24/2005

I figured most folks in my parts don't have a clue what I am playing or singing (old time Appalachian stuff). Or the culture and history of the area.
I put together from old photos posted on the internet a 60 pp slide show of of pre WWII Appalachia culture, musicians, work, moonshining, and scenery. No audio. Just had the slides fade in fade out at about five second rate. I had the screen in the background. I did get more reaction to the slides then playing and singing. But I liked the presentation. Brad

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