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How to handle secondary conversations



Chances are if you call a meeting then you have something important to say, but in all offices or businesses there is going to be outside conversation that leaks into the meeting room. During computer and projector meetings it is exceedingly important to have the full attention of your audience. Off-topic subjects can range from office gossip, to relationship talk, and even children. Regardless, talk between meeting participants that does not have to do with the subject matter of the meeting can distract from what is important and ruin the professional atmosphere you are trying to project. Below I’m going to go over a few tips to keep all eyes and ears on you, and ensure whatever you are trying to convey in the meetings is heard and absorbed by all.

Be non-verbal and non-threatening

There is no reason to embarrass someone for a first offense, so when two or more meeting participants are chatting on the side, make eye contact with each of them to let them know their conversation has drawn attention. Let your cues be non-verbal so that the speaker is not interrupted. Signal the offenders to quiet down with a clear hand signal and leave it at that. Speaking up or calling someone out has the negative outcome of making the offenders only dwell on getting in trouble, and not the subject of the meeting.

If chatter continues, call the talkers out in a non-threatening manner

On the off chance that the people holding the sideline conversation do not stop after a non-verbal cue is given, it is appropriate to call the talkers out in a manner that does not put them in a negative light with their peers but forces them to pay attention. One method is to ask the opinion of one of the people holding the secondary conversation. Ask things like, “Do you feel that this is a good idea, Margaret?” or “Do you have anything to add, Joe?”. By grabbing attention in a non-threatening manner the participant in the secondary conversation is made to pay attention or risk the embarrassment of being ignorant on the subject matter. Another tactic is to ask to borrow the notes of someone involved in the talking. Say that you missed the last part, and ask if they could give you a quick rundown of what was just said.

Keep control without getting angry

Sometimes things can just get out of hand, especially if the person who has the floor has a meek personality or does not know how to handle a large crowd of his or her peers. If competing conversations continue to the point where multiple conversations are being held, it may be necessary to bring the conversations to a halt by addressing the room. Avoid sarcasm or anger so that no one feels intimidated or embarrassed. Comment on your own inability to hear whoever has the floor and calmly guide attention back to the presentation. With the whole group’s attention it is very unlikely anyone’s thoughts will stray to other conversations again.

Keep the presentation entertaining

When running a computer and projector presentation, the biggest key to keeping other conversations from springing up is to hold everyone’s interest. Make sure the projector screen is large enough that everyone can see and that everything on the computer is running smoothly. Keep the presentation engaging and fast paced while still being informative. Incorporate humor and ask lots of questions of the audience. If you do not have the floor, make sure to be engaged in the presentation being given. Laugh at the jokes and ask questions. Hopefully everyone will follow your lead and enjoy the presentation instead of viewing it as a chore.

Using these tips it should be easy to control the crowd and keep everyone focused. Low stress, highly interactive meetings are good for business and good for employees. Successful meetings help reestablish a feeling of group pride and motivation in offices and it is important to have a firm handle on these meetings to keep your work environment a happy one.

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Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes PerfectWhen you are having a meeting, chances are you will be making a presentation.  It may be long or short; it may be in front of a crowd of 10 or 100 people.   Regardless of the details, you want to make your best impression and give the best presentation you can give.  When you hold your meeting, you’ll learn that a little time and effort go a long way.  Practicing your presentation ahead of time will help you appear more confident, professional, and you’ll be able to grab your audience’s attention in ways you never thought possible.   You’ve always heard the saying “practice makes perfect;” well, in the case of presentations it’s absolutely true.  So what are some good ways to practice?   Take a look at the tips below and use as many as you can before your next big meeting. 

1.  Record Yourself.  If you can hear or watch yourself make your presentation, it makes you more aware of what you’re doing wrong and what you’re doing right.   If you have a tape recorder or some kind of audio recorder, go ahead and hit record when you make your speech.  Play it back and listen to yourself.  Are you speaking clearly?  Do you have any annoying habits such as saying “um” and “uh” between sentences?   Are there any words you have problems with? 

This works for videotaping yourself as well.  Set up your video camera or if you don’t already have one, consider renting a video camera.  Record your entire presentation and play it back to see where you can make improvements.  Are your gestures distracting?   Do you make eye contact with the camera/your audience members?  Do you look nervous?  

2.  Have someone else watch.  Whether it’s your friends, family, or a few close co-workers, have people whose opinions you trust watch you give your presentation and ask them to give honest criticism.  Ask them to tell you what they liked and didn’t like, what you need to change and what you can improve.  

3.  Use a mirror.  In a quick pinch using a mirror can be as rewarding as a video camera.  You have the same ability to watch yourself perform and you can watch to see what you’re doing wrong.  If you are making distracting gestures, you can stop and do it over again until you find a place where you’re comfortable. 

4.  Get familiar with props and technology.   If you plan to use any kind of visual aids, props, or technology with your presentation, you’ll want to make sure you do at least one run-through with them at your side.  Make sure you’re comfortable moving things around if you have props or paper visual aids.  If you plan to use a projector rental or any other technology you’re not familiar with, make sure you have the rental firm set it up ahead of time and make sure you get there early to learn how to use it well enough, so that you’re not having to stop your presentation to figure out how to change slides or power on and off.

Staying on Budget When Planning Your Meeting

Staying on Budget When Planning Your Meeting When you’re in charge of planning a meeting, staying within your budget is probably one of your biggest worries, but it shouldn’t have to be.  With a little extra effort, staying within budget can be the easiest part of meeting planning.   Here are a few tips  to help you out with the financial aspect, so that you can spend more time and effort on the important parts of your meeting.

1.  Make sure you know your budget.  If you know your exact limits verses a guess or estimate, you are more likely to stick to it. 

2.  Stay organized.  This one seems simple, but before you even begin the planning process, make a list of items you’ll need to pay for.  These might include transportation, entertainment, refreshments, technology rentals, accommodations if your meeting will involve out-of-town guests, renting a location if it won’t be at your office, and more.  Figure out how much of your budget you can afford to assign to each aspect and try to leave a little extra room in case something comes up.  

3.  Be flexible.  If you have specific expectations about dates and locations, you may find yourself having to shell out a little extra money to pay for those expectations.  Some places, such as hotels, might give discounts if you’re not 100% set on a date. 

4.  Have a back-up plan.  Something can always go wrong when you’re planning a big meeting.  Consider the possibilities and decide what you can do in the event of an emergency.  Not having a back-up plan could result in spending tons of extra, unnecessary cash. 

5.  Rent any necessary technology.  In today’s world, technology is king, and any successful meeting requires at the bare minimum a projector.  Renting a projector is a great alternative to purchasing one when you’re trying to stay within a budget.  You’ll pay a small fraction of what you would when you purchase a new projector and you can rent it for as long as you need.  Many meeting planners also rent laptops so that each meeting attendee can use one to access websites, take notes, and perform other tasks related to the meeting.

Start Your Meetings on Time

Start Your Meetings on TimeNo one likes a meeting that doesn’t start on time.  Most of the time, a meeting that starts late means a meeting that finishes late and it can eat up important productivity time and even affect when you and your employees are able to go home.   There are so many ways to prevent your meeting from starting later than scheduled.  After following these tips, you won’t have any excuse to ever start a meeting at the wrong time again!

1.  Make sure everyone involved with the meeting knows when it starts.  Also, make sure everyone knows you mean business.  State that your meeting will begin promptly at that time and that no excuses for tardiness will be accepted.

2.  If possible, remind everyone the morning of or shortly before the meeting.  Send out a group email or put a flier in your employees’ mailboxes.  Make an announcement if you have a PA system. 

3.  Even if your meeting starts late, wrap it up at the scheduled time.  This will also show your employees you are trying to stick to a schedule and may help them be on time when you have your next meeting.

4.  Close the doors to your meeting room and post a sign that says something along the lines of  “Do not enter. Meeting in progress.”   This will send a clear message to attendees that you will not tolerate lateness. 

5.  If you are planning to use temporary equipment such as laptop rentals or a projector rental for your meeting, make sure it’s set-up and powered on, ready to be used.  Familiarize yourself with the technology so that you do not have to spend the first fifteen minutes of the meeting learning how to show your slides. 

6.  Finally, be prepared.  Have your notes together and rehearsed, and be ready and waiting in the meeting room before your participants arrive.

Choosing the Right Font for Your Presentation

Choosing the Right Font for Your Presentation

You’ve got a big presentation coming up for your company’s next meeting.  You know your topic like the back of your hand and you’ve contacted your Tech Travel Agent to secure a projector rental for your meeting, but now it’s time to put together the actual presentation.  You want it to be appealing and attention-grabbing, but you don’t want to overdo it, right? 
 
One of the biggest things that often prevents people from even working on their presentations in a timely manner is the font.  There are so many different options when it comes to fonts these days, that picking the right one can be an overwhelming task for someone who does not usually work with programs like Microsoft’s PowerPoint.   Sure, you can use the old-fashioned standbys like Times New Roman and Arial, but that can get boring and surprisingly, it’s not always the best option. 
 
First of all, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions: 
1.  What type of audience are you presenting to?  
– Do you work in an informal office, where your presentation will be made to your co-workers?  In this case, you can probably spice things up a little bit and have a little more fun with your fonts. 
– Do you work for a larger company and plan to make a presentation to several executives from your corporate office?    Obviously, in this situation, you’d want to keep things formal.  
2.  How serious is your topic?  
– Are you discussing something important or sensitive such as accident prevention or budget cuts?  You may want to avoid using anything you would consider cute or fun in this situation.  
– On the other hand, are you discussing something fun, like the budget for this year’s holiday parties or the upcoming community project your office is involved with.  These types of presentations will allow for a little more room to get creative.   
3.  Is your presentation mainly in what you say or in what you type?  
– If you plan to let your mouth make the point and use your slides as simply a back-up tool for people to refer to or to emphasize a few key-points, then you can afford to be a little creative with your fonts. 
– If you plan to rely heavily on your slides and pack them full of information, you’ll want to stick to fonts that are easier to read and less distracting.  
 
Once you’ve answered these questions, you should have at least a general idea about what types of slides you want to make and what sort of image you want to convey. 
Here are a few general tips about choosing fonts:
 
1.  Don’t use too many.  The more you use, the more jumbled up your presentation will look.  If it’s too busy, it will be unappealing to your audience and hard to follow.  Many consultants suggest using three or four maximum. 
2.  Use one main font for your main content.  Whether you have two points or ten points per slide, make sure they’re all in the same, consistent font.  You’ll also want to be sure your main font is the most plain. This would be a good time to use Times New Roman or something similar that is easy for everyone to read.
3.  For titles, captions, and other non-main text, you can use something a little more fun, but make sure it’s still readable.  Trebuchet, Tahoma, and Comic Sans are a few examples. 
4.  Be careful about using anything too “out there.”   Not just because it might drive your audience crazy to look at it, but also because some of the more unique fonts don’t always transfer well from one system to another.  
5.  When choosing font size, never go below 16- or 18-point.  Also, keep in mind that different fonts can be the same size but they don’t appear the same on screen. 
6.  If you really want to grab someone’s attention, use even bigger fonts on words like “new,” that are meant to grab attention.   32-point or higher is great. 
7.  Use bold font, italics, and underlined font sparingly.  Just like having too many fonts, having too many extra characteristics can ruin you presentation.  

Projector Rentals Save the Day

Projector Rentals Save the Day

Did you know that no matter what type of business you’re in, a projector rental can be just what you need to save the day?  
 
Amy Evans spends the last few days of each month traveling around the metro Atlanta area.  She sales insurance to businesses and often meets with groups of new employees at various companies.  These meetings may include two people or 32 people. When Amy started the job, she realized quickly that showing her slide presentation on her laptop wasn’t going to work when she had a couple dozen anxious new employees to keep entertained.  Being new to her job, she couldn’t afford to purchase a projector and she never knew if the company she was visiting that day would have one on hand.  That’s when she turned to RentOurProjectors.com.  “I was able to take advantage of their Atlanta projector rentals, which saved me money and helped make my presentations a lot more interesting.  I recommend them to any new salespeople my company hires.”    
 
Jason Hudson learned that Maryland projector rentals are definitely life-saver when it comes to his job.  Every year, his company sends him to Baltimore for his industry’s big annual conference and every year, he’s forced to make an educational presentation to a few groups of about 50-100 people.  Jason has always been very shy and nervous about speaking in front of a large crowd, so anything that would help make his job easier is a welcome bit of a relief.  That’s why he uses RentOurProjectors.com to make sure he has a quality projector ready and waiting for him at the Baltimore Convention Center.  The projector is delivered and set-up exactly where Jason needs it, exactly when he needs it.  That’s one less thing he has to worry about. 
 
When Amelia Farquhar’s small business just outside of Jacksonville, Florida launches a new product and she has to present that product to potential buyers, she finds herself staying up all night for weeks, planning every little detail of her product launch.  But Ameila says she couldn’t do the launches without Florida projector rentals from RentOurProjectors.com.   “As a new small business owner, I can’t afford to purchase a bunch of technology for my office.  I’ve only been at this for about a year and a half.  I am just so thankful I found RentOurProjectors.com.  I’ve only had three product launches so far and each time, they’ve delivered the right projector to my office, set it up, and provided me with excellent customer service.  
 
If you ever find yourself in a tough spot and you need a projector for a limited amount of time or you can’t afford to go out and buy one, let RentOurProjectors.com save the day for you, too.  Visit our website or give us a call at 800-736-8772 today. 

Projector Rentals for Just about Any Occasion

Business Projector Rental
Projectors are well known for their large screen sizes, brightness, image quality, their ability to adapt to any size venue, and most importantly their lightweight bodies which can easily be transported. Projector Rentals are primarily used in situations where you want to make a big impression without spending the big bucks usually associated with high-end audio visual equipment. Best of all, projectors are extremely effective in just about any situation where there is a grouping of people.

The following examples are just some of the many uses that Projector Rentals are fantastic for.

Projector Rentals in the Classroom – Projectors are very popular at education seminars where an auditoruim can be filled with 300+ students, all whom need to see a crisp and bright screen. Large venue projectors fit the bill in cases such as these but there are also occasions when you need a smaller projector. Classes with as little 10 people often see guest speakers that utilize a low lumen projector to enhance their presentations.

Projector Rentals at Graduation Parties – Graduation parties are very special occasions that illicit friends and family to go above and beyond to celebrate a very important stepping stone in the graduates life. What better way to commemorate the occasion than with a high definition projector rental that is capable of playing slide shows, home movies, and even Blu Ray dvd’s with an excellent picture quality that everyone attending can see.

Projector Rentals for Conventions and Trade Shows – When participating in a convention or trade show, the ultimate goal is to get your product and services recognized among all attendees. Imagine an entire wall displaying exactly what your business is about with you nearby to engage in conversation and explain in greater detail to those wanting to know more. If you have ever been to a convention or trade show, it’s nearly impossible to miss a brightly lit and colorful screen with an enthusiastic presentation, even at an event with hundreds of competing display booths.

Projector Rentals for Business Meetings – Business professionals find themselves traveling nearly every single day across the country to attend corporate meetings and conferences. Many of these traveling businessmen and women are expected to give presentations at their respective meetings and turn to projector rentals which can be delivered straight to their meeting and used in conjunction with their laptops. This allows the business professionals flexibility as they don’t need to worry about traveling with a projector which could be damaged or stolen. Some even opt for a projector and laptop rental bundle so they don’t have to worry about losing sensitive data on their personal laptop over a short business trip.

Projector Rentals at a Grand Opening – So you are planning to open a brand new business and are looking for ways to grap peoples attention and maybe even explain a little bit what your business is about. How often do you find yourself watching the TV’s as you pass by an electronic store. Now imagine how much attention a screen would garner thats 3 or 4 times that size and you have a general idea of how a projector would behave in a similar scenario.

Projector Rentals in a Training Environment – The times are changing and so are the skills needed to stay up to date with the competition. Don’t try to find new employees, instead invest in your own with a short term training program. A projector just goes without saying in any kind of teaching environment. Whether its 10 or 100 employees, a projector is an outstanding way to ensure everybody can see the main points.

Projector Rentals for the Aspiring Artist – Projectors have been found to aid artists and painters working on a very large scale project. They can be used to trace concept art on a wall and can help an artist scale their designs better when using a small graphic to aid in the painting of an exponentially larger one.

Projector Rentals for Family Reunions
– Family reunions are another special occasion which occurs very rarely and sees over the top presentations and technology. A custom in my family is to have a projector run a slide show of all the pictures taken from the previous family reunion and the time in between. Anyone can donate pictures to the slide show and there are always family members who try to one-up each other by sending embarassing photos of each other. Everyone always holds their breath because you never know what picture is going to pop up next and it allows you to better know the family which you may not regularly talk too. It’s amazingly fun and easily one of the best reasons to attend my family reunions, and all I need is a Sony Projector Rental.