Flashy presentation? Connect laptop to projector

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Know how to connect laptop to projector and be ready for your presentation

Presentations are a vital part of many a business person's job.  Luckily computers are able to help presentations be more visual, allow the audience to see a summary without taking their eyes off of the speaker, and they allow for the use of audio and visual elements.  Because delivering these types of presentations is so important, it is equally as important to know how to connect laptop to the projector.

While you may have your laptop setup by someone else before your presentation, as Murphy's Law shows us time and time again, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. 

It's always a good bet to be prepared and know the workings of your computer equipment before delivering an important presentation.  In the event something doesn't go the way it should, you can be prepared to calmly handle the situation.

Set it up:

  1. Turn off both your laptop and the projector before connecting the two.
  2. Grab your video cable (usually a VGA or DVI) and connect one end--it doesn't matter which end--into the projector (it should say "computer in"), and the other end into your laptop (the "video" or "external monitor" port).
  3. Double check that your video cable is securely connected.  If they aren't secure, this could cause problems during your presentation.  Use a screwdriver or a small set of pliers to make sure that the cable is secure.
  4. Check what kind of remote control will be used for your presentation.  If you will be using an infrared remote, make sure that the adapter is in place and that the signal will be able to be received without interruption.
  5. If you are planning on using audio elements during your presentation, make sure that your audio cable is correctly in place.
  6. Turn both your laptop and the projector on.
  7. Press "fn" and press either "f4," "f5," "f7," or "f8."  The buttons will be different depending on your computer, but it should have a small symbol of a screen with two vertical lines on either side of it.  Doing so will sync your computer to the projector.
After setting up your computer to the projector, it's always a good idea to run through your presentation to make sure that everything is being displayed as it should be.  If you are using audio or video aides, open them up if possible to make sure that they will not only work, but also be loud enough for your audience to hear comfortably.

Make certain that you (or tech crew) have backup cables, projector bulbs and other parts needed in case of equipment failure during your presentation. Have the pager or phone number on hand.

Presentations can be a big part of a business person's life.  A presentation can make or break a deal depending on its reception.  If you know how to properly connect your laptop to the projector, you will be able to avoid any embarrassing and possibly presentation-threatening situations.

How to connect a laptop to a projector

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