Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Computer tip -- Shortcut Keys

Shortcut keys are useful small applications that allow you to move around on your computer screen without using the mouse. In fact, I think that once you get used to using them, they can work faster than using a mouse or the touch pad on a laptop. All of these shortcuts start by using the Control key (CTRL)

CTRL + C will copy text after it has been highlighted.

CTRL + V will paste text that you have copied.

CTRL + X Cut Text and place on Clipboard

CRTL + Z will undo any change that you have done.

CTRL + ESC will bring up the Start Menu.

CTRL + A Select all items on a page

CTRL + ALT + DELETE will bring up Task Manager and allow you to end a process (terminate a program) if it has crashed or has stopped responding. Select the process which has stopped responding, and then press "END PROCESS''. Use this before you decide to do a computer restart because a program has stopped responding.

CTRL + PRT SCR (Print Screen) Copies what is on the screen to allow you to paste it in any photo editing program like PaintShop Pro or Adobe PhotoShop.

That's the Planner's Pointers for today.

Planner's Pointers is written by Mary Pam Kilgore, CMP owner of Kilgore Business Services, LLC. Email: marypam@kilgorebusiness.com Website: www.kilgorebusiness.com

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Audio Visual Aids -- Laser Pointers and More!

Welcome to Planner's Pointers --

This week: Audio Visual aids you will see used by speakers.

Laser Pointer: Laser pointers are devices that emit a beam of light that projects a small, red dot onto a surface. During a meeting a laser pointer may be used to call attention to specific areas during a presentation.

Wireless Presenter: In recent years laser pointers have been paired with a wireless presenter. A wireless presenter is a device that advances the slides in a PowerPoint presentation. The wireless device works similar to a wireless mouse in that it uses radio frequencies. One part is the transmitter, the part in your hand, and the receiver that is plugged into the computer USB port.

Microsoft PowerPoint -- A software program that develops presentations. While PowerPoint isn't AV equipment, it has become the primary tool for developing presentations. You could almost call it a crutch for some presenters. By crutch, I mean they talk to the presentation and not the audience because their notes are the PowerPoint and they haven't taken the necessary time to rehearse the talk.

6 by 6 rule -- Guidelines that state that no transparency or slide to presentation should contain more than 6 words per line of text and no more than 6 lines text.

There was a phrase that went around a few years ago that went like this: Death by PowerPoint! What it was talking about was the over crowding on a slide of to much text or illustrations that were overly complicated. What the 6 by 6 rule tells us is to keep it simple, one idea per slide. Also to keep the slides to a minimum.

That's the Planner's Pointer for today.

My website http://www.kilgorebusiness.com/

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Audio Visual Equipment -- LCD Projectors

This month I will be looking at common Audio Visual equipment that meeting and event planners use.

LCD Projector LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display In a nutshell how they work is -- You connect the projector to the VGA output of your computer, or DVD player and the projector becomes the monitor screen or shows the DVD. The output of a projector is measured in lumens; the higher the lumen the brighter the projector and the more expensive it is.

There are several websites out there that describe how the LCD projector work, how to connect it to your computer, how to purchase a projector so I won't go into all of that, however; I will take a stab to answer this question: Why are they so expensive to rent on a per day basis. In Pittsburgh, for example, the average rate is $250 +/-.

In my experience LCD projectors are tender creatures that need some care to work correctly and if you don't know how to set up and use the projector you could be asking for problems. One of the things you are paying for when you rent an LCD projector is a technical person to help you get the thing set up correctly with the laptop that has the presentation. If you are not the least technical, then it is worth it. I am not saying don't learn how to use a LCD projector, I am saying having help available when you could be or should be doing other things at an event is a very good idea. Another reason is that like it's predecessor, the slide projector, the LCD projector has a bulb that gets really hot (which is why projectors have fans) and when it is time to replace the bulb; the bulb may cost as much as 50% the cost of a new LCD projector.

Best tip, make sure you allow for the rental in the budget. Ask your speaker if they will need one. Some speakers travel with their own equipment and some venues, especially conference centers have built the cost of using AV into the cost of using the room so you may not need to rent one except on the occasional basis.

Another question I get a lot is should you own a LCD projector. My response: How much do you use the projector? The average cost of a 2,000 lumen LCD projector is $1,000.00 depending on the manufacturer, weight, bulb life specifications and some other factors. At $250.00 a pop to use at a venue, then you would need to use it 4 times in a period of let's say 3 months to make it worthwhile to own.

My advice to beginning planners is to not purchase one right away. You have other things that you could be doing with the money like building your website, and joining MPI (Meeting Professional International) or ISES (International Special Events Society).

That's the Planner's Pointer for today.