IT Problems at Trainee Summer School

Brian Inkster recounts the IT problems experienced in a recent presentation on IT use:-

Having been asked by the WS Society to do a talk to Future Lawyers at Trainee Summer School on IT use by Trainee Solicitors it was rather ironic to encounter a series of IT problems on the day.

I arrived at the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow with plenty of time to set up my PowerPoint presentation. However, the lap top provided by the venue could not cope with my brand new USB memory stick and simply would not communicate with it. Fortunately, at least I thought, I had taken my own Netbook along. So I would use that instead of the laptop. Alas it was not to be as the projector provided by the venue was not compatible with my netbook! Plan C: My USB memory stick was taken away to a PC within the same building to download my presentation onto that and upload it onto another USB memory stick that could work on the old laptop that could, in turn, work with the projector. That worked. All was set including a connection to the internet that was essential to play the Social Media Revolution film via YouTube that formed part of the presentation.

The laptop, projector and screen was set up a good distance away from the podium but a remote control was provided to move the slides forward. Needless to say that didn't work! I moved to the laptop and did my talk from there hitting the keys on the laptop. All was now working well and the slides in Trainee Solicitors and IT were moving forward as the talk progressed, until we reached the YouTube video. The video was apparently playing but the video screen was blank. Were videos blocked by the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow? Whatever, the reason we had to skip the video. The problems were not over. Nearing the end of the talk with another 10 or so slides to go the laptop froze: the slides would not move forward or back, Escape did nothing and even Ctrl, Alt & Delete did nothing! I finished my talk without the aid of the remaining slides.

I had told the Trainees in my talk that they would have to work with the IT that they are offered and learn how to make the most of it. That was clearly demonstrated by my efforts with the IT offered by the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow! Next time I will be taking my own Netbook and Projector with me and any necessary videos will be downloaded onto the netbook in advance. Or should I perhaps use a flip chart and felt tip pen as the speaker before me wisely did?

I took some consolation when tweeting about these IT problems from the response by Iain Nisbet (@absolvitor):-

@BrianInkster @HighlandLawyer I once turned up to do a presentation with a USB stick, while the venue had arranged an old style OHP!7.22 PM Aug 19th via web

Have you had any IT disasters when presenting and what would you recommend to minimise them?

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