Stuck in the Past: Projection Woes

Next week, I will be heading to Montreal, where I’ll be giving three different presentations to three different audiences in three different rooms. I’ll be bringing my laptop, my iPad, and my phone with me, any of which has the built-in capability to show a PowerPoint presentation. I’ve given these kinds of presentations before, and I’m not particularly nervous about the content of the talks.

However, there is something about this weekend that is causing me serious bouts of anxiety, and that’s showing the actual presentation. Like I said, I’ll be bringing 3 different computers to the conference, which connect to other display devices via Lightning adapter (iPhone and iPad) or mini DisplayPort (my MacBook Air) to DVI or VGA or even HDMI, or via screen sharing if there was an Apple TV/Chromecast(?) involved.

However, what I *don’t* know is what display technology will be available on the other end, connected to the projector. I am aware that many universities are starting to make sure projectors have connection options for Mac, which means one or more of these options may just be ready and waiting for me. But since I want to actually know at least one of these options WILL be available, does that mean I need to go and buy at least one adapter for VGA/DVI/HDMI just in case any of those is all the projector works with? Should I just buy an Apple TV for the weekend, hook it up, and share my screen to it (again, hoping the projector has an HDMI hookup). The Apple TV method means I’ll also need access to a stable Wi-Fi connection to run the screen share, which isn’t always the case.

I’m very risk averse, but I also like to be prepared for any possibility when it comes to this kind of thing, but it feels like there should be a better way when it comes to giving presentations in an unfamiliar environment. Conferences are a VERY common thing, and it just seems like there’s no good way to do things consistently with so many moving parts.

Side note: don’t even get me started on using a secondary device as a remote to control the presentation. This technology has existed for a decade, but the only software integration that currently exists for PowerPoint is that a presentation on the iPhone can be controlled via the Apple Watch. It just feels like these kinds of things should be further along than they are.

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