We’ve all done it. We’re so comfortable with our personal computers we think it’s OK to use them for a boardroom presentation. Not always a great idea, unless you’ve screen proofed and scrubbed your machine.
Here are the top ten mistakes made by professionals who use their personal computers for presentations. Embarrassment guaranteed.
10. Clear your desktop! Maybe you should have removed that raunchy PowerPoint file with its self-explanatory name. Do you really want the world to see a file called “bigbutts.ppt” right there next to the task bar. Sure dad sent it to you …
9. Menu bars. Sure you’ve scrubbed your favorite browser’s cache … but you’ve stared at Firefox so long you forgot about your “personal menu bar” with all those shortcuts to gambling sites. Ouch.
8. Eject DVDs. Always.
7. Cheesy background images. Yes, that picture of your cat means a lot to you. Sure “pussy whiskers” brings you joy and happiness. But nobody else cares.
6. Clutter. So your computer is clean. No nasty files, no unprofessional histories. Are people going to take you seriously when your desk is cluttered with 25 or more icons, shortcuts, drives and folders? The virtual desktop says as much about you as your personal appearance. When it comes to presentations, be NEAT. Super-neat. That also means no Family Guy icons.
5. Shut all unnecessary software down, restart the computer afresh. You’ve crammed all night for that crucial presentation. You fired up all kinds of software and of course… you have a Mac: meaning you restart your computer once a month. Do you really want to start the presentation, watch in horror as your browser crashes only to reveal your latest iTunes purchases? Do you really want the world to know you secretly enjoy Lady Gaga? Work that poker face dude.
4. Are your licenses in order? Nothing says illegal copying like starting up an Office Suite licensed to the New York City Department of Education when you’re a Web Designer from Albuquerque New Mexico.
3. Log out. Log out. Log out. So you have multiple Facebook and Gmail accounts, don’t leave lesser accounts active in the background. Odds are you forgot about it and the next time you log into Gmail, it’s not email@example.com but firstname.lastname@example.org …
2. Stickers and decals. They’re great for political bloggers. Gives you that extra “cred”. Do you really want to explain why there’s a McCain Palin sticker on your laptop when you give your next presentation at MoveOn.org?
1. Erase your browser’s memory! So the presentation is just flying by, when someone asks you if you’ve been to Reddit’s iPhone section lately. You’re so happy you’ve connected with another Redditor you just start typing in the url, and the browser’s memory decides to offers up Reddit.com/r/boobies – Sure it’s autosuggest…