In Our August, 2017 Issue:

Present your best


As col­lege stu­dents, we have all been assigned a class pre­sen­ta­tion. To help us, we turn to soft­ware like Microsoft Pow­er­Point, Google Slides or Prezi. They are easy-​to-​use and acces­si­ble from almost any device.

Cre­at­ing a good pre­sen­ta­tion is one thing. But run­ning it on a class­room com­puter is the vital part. What if there are soft­ware or hard­ware com­pat­i­bil­ity issues and your care­fully crafted pre­sen­ta­tion won’t load? Here are some ideas to make sure your pre­sen­ta­tion goes smoothly no mat­ter which com­puter you use

Favor a flash drive?

One option is to upload your pre­sen­ta­tion file on a USB flash drive, con­nect it to your class­room com­puter, open it and press play.

This might be the most pop­u­lar approach among Metro State students.

When I see my class­mates use this method in class, their pre­sen­ta­tion runs smoothly — most of the time.

But using a flash drive has more cons than pros. First, there may be cross-​platform issues between your per­sonal com­puter and trans­fer­ring the infor­ma­tion to a cam­pus computer.

Or you could lose or break your flash drive on the way to class.

If you want to avoid these issues, test out the tar­get com­puter in advance and make mul­ti­ple copies of your pre­sen­ta­tion file in var­i­ous file-​formats

Opt for e-​mail or web storage?

Another approach is to attach the pre­sen­ta­tion file to an email and send it to your­self or your pro­fes­sor. In COMM 103 Pub­lic Speak­ing, my pro­fes­sor required us to send our pre­sen­ta­tion files to her email account and then use it to run the presentation.

Sim­i­larly, web stor­age ser­vices like Slack, Drop­box, Google Drive, OneDrive, D2L Locker or Home Drive (H:) can be used to store your file and then down­load it on the class­room com­puter. This is an improve­ment over a flash drive as you won’t lose access to your file in any scenario.

But these tech­niques present pri­vacy issues as you must log into your email account while your class­mates see it pro­jected on the screen. They can see your email address or StarID, your per­sonal mes­sages and files

Take my advice: Link to your lecture

Want all the fea­tures men­tioned above, while also elim­i­nat­ing pri­vacy and hard­ware issues? Google Slides is the way to go

Log into Google Drive at docs​.google​.com/​p​r​e​s​e​n​t​ation and cre­ate a pre­sen­ta­tion. When it’s ready, click on the “Share” but­ton (blue but­ton on the top right) and then on “Get share­able link.

This gen­er­ates a link that is too lengthy to mem­o­rize or copy down. To shorten the link, go to TinyURL​.com. This web­site can shorten a long share­able link.

While this is a two-​step process, it has many advantages

To run the pre­sen­ta­tion, just type your TinyURL link into the web browser and run it. This pro­tects the pri­vacy of your accounts and email.

Fur­ther­more, using Google Slides lets you col­lab­o­rate with class­mates or group members.

You can all edit and run the file from any device. You can con­vert and save the pre­sen­ta­tion as a PDF, .ppt (Pow­er­Point) or text file format.

Cre­at­ing a share­able link is a handy tech­nique for more than just class pre­sen­ta­tions. Use this ver­sa­tile approach to share your papers, projects or PDFs, and access them from anywhere